The celebration of Nigerian Afro-beat star, Fela Anikulapo dubbed Felabration, at the Alliance Francaise last Saturday couldn’t have been better without performances from great musicians like Kankam, Oppong Kyekyeku, Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Blakk Rasta, YaaYaa and Ebo Taylor.
Kankam, set the tone for the evening when he performed one of Fela’s songs, Gentleman on the night. He also sang some of his own compositions including Mekondo adebi and Juju. Although he isn’t as popular as the other artistes on bill that night, his stagecraft and energy got the audience on their feet till he exited the stage.
Female artiste, YaaYaa was next with yet another song from Fela, Mr. Follow Follow. Until she sang Dumb Drum, her latest song, the songstress failed to get the audience to cheer to her performance though her act was on point.
Controversial Reggae artiste, Blakk Rasta, was next to celebrate the man whose works has sold Nigeria and African music to the world. He charged up the atmosphere with his presence on stage.
Clad in an outfit and matching headgear made from waxprint, Blakk Rasta was obviously the toast of the audience as he churned out some of his popular songs such as Letter from Babylon and The Goat Dance to the admiration of the patrons. But that was after he had livened the moods of audience with his popular Obama song.
The other artistes, Oppong Kyekyeku, Gyedu Blay Ambolley and Ebo Taylor were also awesome on stage.
The latter’s performance which could be described as phenomenal proved his prowess of the art he has mastered over decades.
An exhibition of posters, titled Buy Africa which highlights the legacy of Fela’s music, put together by Joseph Oduro-Frimpong of Ashesi University, was also opened on the night.
Created by Yeni Anikulapo Kuti in honour of her father and Afrobeat creator in 1998, Felabration is one of the biggest cultural gatherings on the continent and beyond.
There will be another celebration of Fela on Saturday, October 24, at + 233 Bar and Grill featuring Gyedy Blay Ambolley.