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The Afrobeat Legend5 minutes read

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Without much words, meet the pioneer of Afrobeat and the one who paved the way for the success and prominence of the African music and it’s industry. The great Pan-African.


Fela
Fela Anikulapo Kuti was born 15th October, 1938. He was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre and Pan-Africanist. At the height of his popularity, he was referred to as one of Africa’s most “challenging and charismatic music performers”.
Kuti is remembered as an influential icon who was brave enough to boldly voice his opinions on matters that affected the nation through his music. An annual festival “Felabration” held each year to celebrate the life of this music legend and his birthday.


Since his death in 1997, there has been a revival of his influence in music and popular culture, culminating in another re-release of his catalog controlled by Universal Music, Broadway and off-Broadway biographically based shows, and new bands, such as Antibalas, who carry the Afrobeat banner to a new generation of listeners.


Fela was born in Abeokuta, the modern-day capital of Ogun State in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, then a city in the British Colony of Nigeria, into an upper-middle-class family. His mother, Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, was a feminist activist in the anti-colonial movement; his father, Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, an Anglican minister and school principal, was the first president of the Nigeria Union of Teachers. His brothers Beko Ransome-Kuti and Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, both medical doctors, were well known in Nigeria. Fela is a first cousin to the Nigerian writer and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, the first black African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.


Fela attended Abeokuta Grammar School. Later he was sent to London in 1958 to study medicine, but decided to study music instead at the Trinity College of Music, the trumpet being his preferred instrument. While there, he formed the band Koola Lobitos, playing a fusion of jazz and highlife.
The musical style of Fela is called Afrobeat, a style he largely created, which is a complex fusion of jazz, funk, Ghanaian highlife, psychedelic rock and traditional West African chants and rhythms. Afrobeat also borrows heavily from the native “tinker pan”. Tony Allen (Fela’s drummer of twenty years) was instrumental in the creation of Afrobeat. Fela once stated that “there would be no Afrobeat, without Tony Allen”.


Afrobeat is characterized by a fairly large band with many instruments, vocals and a musical structure featuring jazzy, funky horn sections. A riff-based “endless groove” is used, in which a base rhythm of drums, shekere, muted West African-style guitar and melodic bass guitar riffs are repeated throughout the song. Commonly, interlocking melodic riffs and rhythms are introduced one by one, building the groove bit-by-bit and layer-by-layer. The horn section then becomes prominent, introducing other riffs and main melodic themes.


Fela’s band was notable for featuring two baritone saxophones, whereas most groups were using only one of this instrument. This is a common technique in African and African-influenced musical styles and can be seen in funk and hip hop. His bands at times even performed with two bassists at the same time both playing interlocking melodies and rhythms. There were always two or more guitarists. The electric West African style guitar in Afrobeat bands are paramount, but are used to give basic structure, playing a repeating chordal/melodic statement, riff or groove.

Fela’s songs were mostly sung in Nigerian pidgin English, although he also performed a few songs in the Yoruba language. His main instruments were the saxophone and the keyboards, but he also played the trumpet, electric guitar, and took the occasional drum solo. Fela refused to perform songs again after he had already recorded them, which also hindered his popularity outside Africa.


As Fela’s musical career developed, so too did his political influence throughout the world. In turn, the religious aspect of his musical approach grew. Fela was a part of an Afro-Centric consciousness movement that was founded on and delivered through his music. In an interview found in the Hank Bordowitz analysis Noise of the World, Fela stated: “Music is supposed to have an effect. If you’re playing music and people don’t feel something, you’re not doing shit. That’s what African music is about. When you hear something, you must move. I want to move people to dance, but also to think. Music wants to dictate a better life, against a bad life. When you’re listening to something that depicts having a better life, and you’re not having a better life, it must have an effect on you.”


Kuti was a political giant in Africa from the 1970s until his death. He criticized the corruption of Nigerian government officials and the mistreatment of Nigerian citizens. He spoke of colonialism as the root of the socio-economic and political problems that plagued the African people. Corruption was one of the worst political problems facing Africa in the 70s, if not the worst; and Nigeria was among the most corrupt countries of the time. Its government was responsible for election rigging and coups that ultimately worsened poverty, economic inequality, unemployment, and political instability, which further promoted corruption and thuggery. Fela’s protest songs covered themes inspired by the realities of corruption and socio-economic inequality in Africa. Fela Kuti’s political statements could be heard throughout Africa.


Kuti was outspoken; his songs spoke his inner thoughts. His rise in popularity throughout the 1970s signaled a change in the relation between music as an art form and Nigerian socio-political discourse. In 1984, he harshly criticized and insulted the then authoritarian president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. One of his popular songs, “Beast Of No Nation”, refers to Buhari as an animal in a madman’s body; in Nigerian Pidgin: “No be outside Buhari dey ee, na krase man be dat, animal in krase man skin ii”. Kuti strongly believed in Africa and always preached peace among Africans.
A legend!
Rest on!

Art

NC Exclusive // The Tea On Niniola’s Album “Colours And Sounds” With Riyah Abdul

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Telling the African story The Queen of Afro-House, Niniola sits pretty with Newscentral TV Journalist Riyah Abdul as they discuss @Niniola ‘s new album -Colours and Sounds. This album includes her collaborations with legendary afrobeat musician, Femi Kuti and American record producer and rapper, Timberland. Colours and Sounds is a follow-up to her 2017 record ‘This is Me’, which produced the hit song, ‘Maradona’. The new 13-track album (plus two extras) features Afrobeat stars Nonso Amadi, Kenyan Afro-Pop band Sauti Sol, South African singer-songwriter Busiswa, and Nigerian record producer; Sarz

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“I may not run for office but I’ll join a political party that aligns with my values”- Diary Of A Naija Girl

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Brand cinematic story teller, Ife, popularly known as Diary of a Naija girl has revealed her utmost displeasure to the system of governance in Nigeria stating categorically things she would do and things she would not do after the president’s address on Thursday night.


“Last night, I chose to calm my spirit and sleep early. This was after I had cried in frustration in the shower. I’m up now and after a deep soul search, I have made the following decisions: I may not run for office but I’ll join a political party that aligns with my values. I will take it as my sole duty to encourage youths to join a political party that aligns with their values. I will make it my sole duty to encourage youths to get their voters card and vote. I will spend my resources to support youths who have the right values to get involved in the governance of this country.”

Here’s what I will not do:I will no longer spend one more moment of my energy, emotions and time feeling bad or angry at this government .Even though I’ve lost faith in the government, I have faith in myself and my capabilities because I know that when I set my mind to something, I’m unstoppable, no matter the challenges.

For now, I’ll go back to my business to regain the time I’ve lost while enveloped in the #Endsars movement. I hope that in your own time, you’ll join me in this resolve to make REAL change happen in Nigeria by starting with yourself and participating in your little way because it truly does start with us. And because enough is enough! No more wallowing in defeat and/or self-pity, A LOT IS AT STAKE. May the souls of those we’ve lost in this fight, rest in peace. Amin.


https://instagram.com/diaryofanaijagirl?igshid=p3pbnxolm795


Ife ‘s hope of a new era seem to have been dashed. Few days ago, DANG made it known how optimistic she was that change had truly begun. In her exact words, I was moved to tears by the unity amongst us, the real pain in people’s eyes and the desperate hope in their voices. This is happening, we may have reached the peak of “anyhowness” from our Govt. I think change has begun”


However after the President’s speech, she lost hope against hope.
“Did you watch the President’s speech?I watched it and heard him pay tribute to fallen policemen but didn’t hear him mention anything about the #LekkitollgateMassacre .Or was there a point he did this and maybe I was distracted? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

I was at that protest almost every day and on Tuesday as well. It could have been me that was shot dead and this is how everyone will act helpless, just the way I feel helpless now. This means those people too who were killed, that’s it. They’re gone and that’s it?” The content creator said disappointed.

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Feminist Coalition Stops Receiving Donations, States Plans For The Remaining Funds

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Feminist Coalition, a not-for-profit organization and one of the leading supporters of the #EndSARS campaign, has informed all financial supporters of the campaign to stop sending funds to the group, while also revealing plans for the remaining donated funds.


The group disclosed this in a statement titled “A Statement from the Feminist Coalition”, issued and co-signed by Damilola Odufuwa, Odunayo Eweniyi, Layo Ogunbanwo, Ozzy Etomi, Ire Aderinokun, Fakhrriyyah Hashim, Oluwaseun Osowobi, Jola Ayeye, Laila Johnson-Salami, Karo Omu, Obiageli Alintah, Tito Ovia, Kiki Mordi and FK Abudu.

The group, which also urged protesters to stay indoors and observe the curfew in their respective states, stated that it received a total of N147.8 million cash donations in favour of the #EndSARS protests against brutality and extrajudicial killings by men of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.


It stated, “The funds were raised through the generosity of well-meaning people and concerned Nigerians who want their voices to be heard and their demands to be met.”
According to the group, it decided to stop all donation inflows following the speech by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday evening.







“The rest of the donations will go towards funding medical emergencies, legal aid for wrongfully detained citizens, and relief for victims of police brutality and families of the deceased.


“The past two weeks have been tough for many Nigerians, most especially the last two days. Many lives have been lost and properties destroyed at the height of what started as peaceful marches for the end to police brutality.
“The Feminist Coalition condoles with every Nigerian mother, father, son, daughter who has lost a loved one in these trying times. These Nigerians share the same vision for a better country as we all do and should be duly recognized as heroes.


“Following the President’s address, we hereby encourage all young Nigerians to stay safe, stay home, and observe the mandated curfew in your state.
“The Feminist Coalition has made a decision to henceforth stop all donation inflows for the #EndSARS peaceful protest. The rest of the donations will go towards funding medical emergencies, legal aid for wrongfully detained citizens, and relief for victims of police brutality and families of the deceased.”
Breakdown of funds received over the past 14 days:
* Total received – ₦147,855,788.28 (includes donations in USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, GHS, KES, and BTC)



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