Classics, Entertainment

CELEBRATING FELA 20 YEARS AFTER: ‘I’m already packing’ –Dancer

Fela 4

UCHE Nwachukwu, a dancer with the Egypt ’80 band who resides at Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s Gbemisola street, Ikeja home, said because she does not know what would become of her after Fela’s demise, she’s already on her way out.

“I will surely leave this place, because I don’t know what the family has in stock for us. But all the same I came here because of Fela and now he’s no more. I’ll go back to my home in Imo. My father is a well-to-do man, although, he is now deceased, he left things behind. I’ll leave soon”, she stated.

She told NATIONAL ENCOMIUM that since the shrine has been sealed up by Gen. Bamaiyi-led NDLEA, no money was paid until July when they were paid salaries.

“It has been difficult for us to survive, but God has been kind to us through friends.”

Recalling how she joined the band, she said, “It was my friend, a dancer with Fela, that brought me to Lagos to join the band. She left three years ago, now she’s married with three kids. I have a child too, that is in my hometown. I don’t have a husband though I just have a child. Now I’ll return to my child.”

She said she was shocked when the news of Fela’s death came. “I felt bad, because Fela is a very nice, talented man but to think that he died of AIDS is sad.”

Chima Okafor, one of Fela’s numerous aides will eternally be grateful to him for his love and care, “He was like a father to me,” said the Abakpa Nike, Enugu State-born indigene who worked for Fela for 16 years before the cold hands of death snatched him.

“I will miss him a lot. There can be no other Fela, he’s one in a million. A father to many of us who worked with him.”

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