Had a chance to watch Fela's Broadway produced play a couple of times in London a few years back, and earlier this year watched Alex Gibney's film "Finding Fela", and each time I've walked away with an immense sense of pride and admiration for a man who in life was regularly severely beaten, arrested, jailed by the establishment and who was never fully appreciated by the masses, but in death what he stood for and he's legacy will forever be enshrined in our consciousness......
Fela's music and message was relevant 35 years ago and is still fresh and relevant today, and will remain relevant for decades to come. He wasn't perfect, especially regarding his views towards feminism and women's lib issues. But undeniably he was a man from a upper-middle-class family, who became the voice of the oppressed, underclass, working class and less privileged, on a continent with abundant human and natural resources, where the corrupt 419 ruling elite to this very day continue to fail us. There will never be another 'Abami Eda', 'The Weird One', 'Chief Priest', 'The Black President', 'Anikulapo - The One Who Carries Death in His Pocket'.
So difficult to choose my favourite Fela songs, but if I had to, I would have to reluctantly go for Army Arrangement, Sorrow Tears and Blood & Unknown Solider.
All 3 songs are a "two finger salute" and audacious damning indictment of corruption, in-justice, a lack of accountability, break down of the Rule of Law against the government and our past leaders. He also takes a slight swipe at society's penchant (you and me included) for beamoning, and (our) it's unwillingness to act or take a stand. So full of personal sorrow, pain, humour, drama and rhythm, like so many of Fela's songs, it shows him off as a great story teller.
In the words of the great one "Whether you like or you no like..."
|camera||Canon EOS 40D|
|exposure mode||program mode|