If we talk of African inspiration in fashion, music and politics, we must speak of the legendary, Nigerian-born, Fela Kuti. Sadly, Fela has long since passed but his fundamental legacy of fighting corruption, inspiring hearts and minds whilst empowering the listener with his music – these legacies have lived on through his sons, Femi and Seun Kuti.
Both Femi and Seun are artists and activists in their own rights and came together in April for the 2 Kings concerts at the Eko Hotel, Lagos island. This was the first time the brothers had sung together outside of The Shrine, the music ‘temple’ built in their father’s memory in the heart of Lagos. Both performed their own music as well as one of Fela’s most famous tracks “Water No Get Enemy.”
Kuti recently told a reporter for All Africa Global Media that the Shrine was a place of worship where people can honour “great black people, who fought for the emancipation of Africa through music.” He has always remained outspoken about Nigeria, corruption and the positive changes that Africa can achieve. But at the concert held at the Eko Hotel on the Lagos Island, both kings of Afrobeat re-lived their father’s legacy, playing hours of electrifying performances and speaking out against modern emancipation, xenophobia and corruption still prevalent in Nigeria and across their beloved continent.
Seun is the leader of the Egypt ’80 Band of Fela Kuti, spoke in opposition to the idea of Nigerians taking revenge against South Africa and South African businesses in relation to the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa. Seun called upon Nigerians to play the “Big Brother” role – pleaded with them to help the oppressed South Africans reveal the faces of their real oppressors and for Africans to come together to confront the ultimate a and widespread oppression affecting their continent.
Femi Kuti used his music – his masterful trumpet playing to deliver his anti-corruption messages to a captivated audience, as in the style of his late, great father. Check out the video below.
Let’s hope their messages and efforts were not in vain and that in their lifetime the African man will be released from the emancipation of the West, from the corruption and hardship of rogue governments and that the continuation of their father’s efforts will not have been in vain. At the very least, they have given the world a fervent energy, and an education of untold pleasure through their musical gifts.
photo credit: Pulse. Nigeria