Pinehas Nakaziko-To mark the twentieth anniversary of the passing of Nigerian-born musical icon Fela Kuti they will hold an event tomorrow with DJs playing his music from vinyl records only in a musical extravaganza titled Felabration Music Festival. Pinehas Nakaziko previews the festival.
“This is an experience not to be missed,” one of the organisers of the event at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC) Goderich Sikwana says.
Local organisers, through their media company, KoolTrain have obtained permission to host the event locally from the international Felabration Organising Committee. They have entered into partnership with the company Jamacre.
Sikwana believes it is time Namibia joins other countries across the globe in celebrating the music and legacy of one of Africa‘s musical icons, multi-instrumentalist, composer, pioneer of the Afro-beat music genre, human rights activist and political maverick.
The event is themed, The Prophesy, since Fela’s followers and fans deemed him prophetic as the social ills he spoke about during his musical time still haunt Africa today.
Jacobs Sihela, a local follower of Fela’s music, who also knew him when he was young, regards Fela’s as a monumental figure who has contributed to African music greatly.
“I got to know Fela when I was young, I have been collecting his music ever since and his music is so African, that it can make you dance.”
“His music also appeals to us more as it contains educational messages,” says Sihela adding that Fela was very much into African music and his aim was to embrace the African identity.
“His music is still relevant to many of us. As I am also one of the DJs, I will have the privilege to play his music through vinyl records.”
Organisers caution that it is important to celebrate Fela’s legacy, because he was a socio-political activist who used his music to condemn and criticise systems of oppressions in Africa with a Pan-African voice.
“He called for a united Africa rooted in African values and norms. This message was to the whole of Africa, Namibia included.”
“In one of his songs titled, Beast of no Nation, Fela Kuti criticises the Apartheid regime in South Africa and by extension, Namibia at the time,” Sikwana says.
South African-based Zimbabwean vinyl DJ, The New Timer and local vinyl DJ Brother Mbango will be spinning Fela Kuti vinyl records and other Afro-beat records.
Other music genres played at the event include Afro-funk, hi-life, juju, cumbia, Samba, Afro-psychedelic rock and other musical genres with an African influence, mostly from the 1970s.