It’s the week of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s birthday once again and Felabration, one of Nigeria’s biggest concerts, which his children have done to immortalize him in the years since his death holds again.
Fela was known for his strong political views, which led to him singing songs attacking the various Nigerian governments of his day and somewhat ironically, 16 years after his death Nigeria still grapples with the same problems Fela sung about.
In the spirit of Felabration, we give you a selection of songs by Nigerian musicians who must have been little kids if at all they were born when Fela started taking on governments but yet still have the same message as the songs of the Afrobeats originator.
Sorry Sorry – Femi Kuti
What better way to start up this list than from Abami Eda’s son himself. Femi Kuti sings of his pity for Nigeria because of the repair that the county needs. This song mirrors the theme behind his father’s “Zombie”. This particular song is about 7 minutes long and the song itself takes a while to start.
Sound Sultan featuring MI – 2010
Sound Sultan refers to the apparently failed vision 2010 proposed by the Nigerian military government of the 90’s, which promised that Nigeria would by 2010 have joined the list of developed countries. Sultan sings on this track that was released on the 1st of January 2010, that the so much talked-about 2010 had arrived and yet the promised were yet to be fulfilled.
African China – Mr President
African China sings about poverty, lack and want pervading the country, highlighting the disparity between the rich and the poor and attributing this to bad governance by the ruling class.
Eedris Abdulkareem – Nigeria Jaga Jaga
Controversial rapper, Eedris drew the ire of ex President Olusegun Obasanjo when he sang this song and performed it in a concert at South Africa so much so that the then President had to address the issue in a televised broadcast. The song however holds truth about the many ills of the Nigerian society.
Suffering And Smiling – Fela Kuti
The legend himself rounds up our list. In this song, Fela Kuti describes the daily lives of Africans as one where they are constantly “Shuffering and Shmiling”, and holding on to a hope that seems out of reach.
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