Many years after Afrobeat legend Fela died, things are still the way even after his demise.
One of the core reason Fela Kuti is being revered as a legend was his ability to use his music as a weapon. And oftentimes, Fela has been quoted in that regards.
Music is the weapon. Music is the weapon of the future.
With my music, I create change…I am using my music as a weapon.
Music is a weapon of the future / music is the weapon of the progressives / music is the weapon of the givers of life.
Nigeria more than ever misses the legend of Fela especially dealing with the present harsh economic realities. One reason the legend of Fela lives long is that his music was very society conscious and politically motivated. He used his music to echo the desires of the masses who are voiceless and gagged. About four decades now the political injustice and societal imbalance Fela sang about is still very much in display.
Since the dawn of the millennium, Nigerian music has flourished beyond what the older generations witnessed. But that seemingly comes with compromise and indifference from the current breed of artistes. Everyone seems okay with the evils that persist or worse still “we act like say nothing spoil”.
Our generation of Nigerian artistes are cowards and selfish to say the least. None of them should soliloquy even in their closets about coming close to being “Fela Kuti in legends” or to be upheld in that regards. Fela Kuti was not a coward.
Our dear artistes are chasing commercial success (which isn’t bad) but neglect simple civic responsibilities to the community they were raised. To whom much is given much is expected.
Making massive dance tunes helps us cope with our problems but it never erases it. We still wake up to it daily.
2Baba came really close to hitting the same spotlight as Fela but he messed up his chances. It is well understood 2Baba did not initiate the anti-government protest. He showed support and promised to participate only to pull a “coitus interruptus” at night before the protest. Main reason behind the withdrawal is allegedly for “damage control”.
It should have occurred to 2Baba before his pull out that the path he had chosen was an uneasy road. Challenges, threats should be well expected. We all know Fela had to deal with opposition, arrest, loss of property and his dear mother as he sought to be an agent of change.
Why are our Nigerian artistes only lending a voice against the current economic reality only on social media? Are they unaffected by the tide? Where is Burna Boy and Davido who professed support for the protest and promised to be physically present? Has everything gotten better overnight?
One touching reason our stars have taken the hustle abroad is because Nigeria can no longer cater enough for them anymore.
Today Nigerian needs more than a social media protest messed up with hashtags as done by our celebrities which changes nothing. It’s time to put in more action than words and hashtags.
If anyone wants to emulate Fela Kuti it should be done both in words, music and actions.
Nigerian artistes need to build legacies beyond the music we love them for.