On Monday 12 October, the auditorium of NECA House at the Central Business District, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos will play host to cultural enthusiasts, academics and Afrobeat music lovers as the annual Fela Debates/symposium kickstarts the 2015 edition of Felabration, a celebration of the music heritage, life and times of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
With a rich list of speakers including Prof. Chidi Odinkalu of the Nigeria Human Rights Commission; Mr. Kunle Ajibade, top journalist; Mrs. Ayo Obe, renowned human rights activist; and Ms. Sandra Izsadore, an African-American who was instrumental to redirecting Fela’s music perception from American styled Jazz to the Rhythms of Africa, Afrobeat, the panelists will be speaking on the topic: “Human Rights As My Property”.
Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, former governor of Lagos State, will moderate the symposium.
The debate will set the tone for the week-long festival as activities move to the New Afrika Shrine within the same CBD later Monday night with the first batch of performers taking the stage.
According to the organisers, the 2015 edition of the annual international music festival will run from Monday till Sunday 18 October, with daytime carnivals, road shows on major streets in the Lagos axis and epic musical performances. It will parade a variety of music stars from within and outside the country.
Aside Sandra Iszadore, who arrived Lagos on Friday with her husband, Bryon, some of the top acts that will perform at the festival are Third World, international reggae group, London Afrobeat Collective, the Newen Afrobeat Band from Chile, Seun Kuti and Femi Kuti.
Also expected to rock the Afrika Shrine stage include Olamide, Modenine, Iyanya, Waje, Saheed Osupa, Timaya, Oritsefemi, Burna Boy, Kiss Daniel, Remi Aluko, Olu Maintain and Adekunle Gold.
With the theme, “Just Like That”, this year’s edition officially kicked off with a debate for secondary schools on Tuesday, 6 October at Freedom Park, Lagos Island.
Public and private schools slugged it out as they debated the topic, Poverty Is Not An Accident, a quote made famous by the late Nelson Mandela.
Felabration is the brainchild of Yeni Kuti, the legend’s eldest child and is held every year in honour of the Afrobeat creator, and music icon.