The members of the Felabration committee held their press conference for Felabration 2017 on the 2nd of August 2017, This event took place at the Kalakuta Museum (former home of Fela Kuti). Felabration is an annual musical festival which was conceived by the eldest child of Fela, Yeni Anikulakpo-Kuti in memory and celebration of her great father who is most known for his human right activism and also as the pioneer of the Afrobeat genre of music.
The press conference which was well attended by members of the press kicked off with Dotun Ransome Kuti, a member of the Felabration committee, asking other members to join him on the high table, they included: Yeni Kuti, Theo Lawson, Kunle Kuti, Funke Kuti, Nike Nedum and Sam Onyemelukwe. Mr Dotun noted that this year is a special one for Felabration as it is the 20th anniversary, and also informed the audience that the aim of the press conference is to enlighten the public on what the plans of Felabration 2017 are, He said that there have been new additions like the dancing competition, children’s debate, the Dress Like Fela Pagent, street carnival, and the symposium and that we should be expecting a tight package this year, as this might be the best Felabration yet. A short documentary on the previous Felabration events was shown.
The Chairman of the members of the Felabration committee, Theo Lawson in addition to what Dotun Kuti discussed, touched upon what they (members of the committee) strive to do, which is to keep the legacies Fela stood for. Mr Theo announced the theme for this year: THE PROPHECY which is in line with the fact that all of the issues Fela spoke about in his day are still very much happening in our society today. “Nothing has really changed”. He added that the members of the committee hope to act as catalysts to get some positive change which hopefully the 20th anniversary of Felabration will initiate.
Theo Lawson announced that Lagos state has promised to support the event, and also for the very first time they will be a part of the Notting hill carnival coming up later in August, also other cities abroad like Argentina, Brazil, Japan, London, New york and Ghana will be taking part in the Felabration 2017. Furthermore, he highlighted that the members of the committee are planning a tourist package for those who will like to be a part of the festival from abroad, and in respect to this, there are rooms on the top floor of the Kalakuta museum which are being worked on to become boutique hotels where the tourists can lodge comfortably. In conclusion, Mr Lawson shed some light on the importance of the symposium which will be held on the first day of Felabration and encouraged everyone to attend.
Yeni Kuti, gave the vote of thanks and we all proceeded to take a tour of the Kalakuta museum which was an awesome experience, there were interesting sites like Fela’s bedroom in its original state, photographs of the family, and clothing items that belonged to Fela. Now we look forward to an exhilarating Felabration 2017.
Lagos State is 50 years this year, Festac was 40 years ago and Fela Anikulapo Kuti joined the ancestors 20 years ago. That year, the world watched as almost a million people trekked with Fela's remains from TBS to his resting place at Kalakuta. Yet Fela lives, he lives in many of us through his music, his felasophy, his activism and his charm. We must continue to keep his memory and message alive and that is what Felabration is about.
This year’s theme is 'The Prophecy' as it was foretold by our 'Chief Priest', Black President, Original Sufferhead, Fela long ago.."suffering and smiling", "no bread...no light...no water". The official theme song is “Pansa Pansa”!
To mark the 20 years, Felabration is bigger and better; Join us to give a befitting global celebration to the true African hero. Dates are October 9-15. We expect to entertain and engage over 250,000 people this year with over 30 events in 20
Some of the key highlights are listed below and we are excited to announce that we will give updates every few weeks leading up to the Festival.
Lagos State participation and support – Lagos has supported Felabration in the last but this year, His Excellency, The Executive Governor and the entire State Government has stepped up to officially recognize Fela’s iconic status and legacy.
-Tourist package – We are in the final phases of organizing a Tour package to capitalize on the power of Fela’s celebrity to benefit the local economy. The package will help Fela fans across the world travel to Lagos for Felabration. We will make more announcements about this in the coming weeks with Lagos State.
-Crowd funding – As Felabration continues to evolve and modernize, we are leveraging on technology to offer Fela fans across the world the chance to get involved by contributing.
-Trace TV partnership – The FOC has partnered with Trace to raise the profile of Felabration and the Tour package on their channels in 160 countries across Africa and beyond. Trace is also producing a new Felabration documentary. The FOC and Trace will have more announcements in the coming weeks.
“Fela is the single most important foundation for Nigerian and African music and social movement. His life, music and message have paved the way for creatives over the last five decades and it is our honor to partner to celebrate and remember the legacy and “The Prophecy!” Said Sam Onyemelukwe, Managing Director, Trace Nigeria. -Island and Abuja concerts – For the first time ever, we will be holding crowning versions of Felabration on the Island and Abuja this October with details to be announced before the end of the month.
We have licensed Felabration events are being planned in Europe, the US, Asia, other parts of Africa and Nigeria.
Secondary Schools Debate Competition- Topic; African History; Curriculum Necessity or Not. Participating schools are Dowen College (last year winner), Cayley College Kings College, Vivian Fowler. Apata Memorial College, Vettland College, Oke odo Senior Secondary school, Wesley Girls Senior Secondary school, Ogudu Senior Secondary School, Epe Girls Senior Secondary School.
Felabration is now listed on Fest300.
New Felabration events include the Felabration Artwork competition in which entries from as far as Japan and France have been received. The winning entries will be displayed throughout Felabration.
Felabration Afrobics Dance Competition. Date of entry to the competition closed on the 31st of July 2017 and qualifying rounds will take place in September 2017. The winners will perform at Felabration.
There' are plans for a Dress Like Fela Day during Felabration and details will be announced soon.
Authorized merchandise dealers will make their products available during Felabration. There's a plan to live stream F17 and more details will follow.
Other Features – The Symposium: "40years after Festac, 20years after Fela; wither the Pan African dream?" Keynote speaker: Prof. Patrice L.O. Lumumba (Kenya), celebrated speaker on African issues. School debates and a street carnival will be announced shortly.
Felabration 2017 will feature in the Notting hill carnival and in many cities around the World.
Visit www.felabration.net for more information*