Fela Anikulapo Kuti & The Afrobeat Legacy

The Nigerian Afrobeat Musical Legend, Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Anikulapo Kuti, (popularly known as Fela), was a multi-talented instrumentalist; he played the keyboard, saxophone, trumpet, electric guitar, and drums.

Fela was also an activist; he was arrested about 200 times for rebellious and extreme political lyrics against the government and leadership of Nigeria, where he resided. He produced over 50 albums in his lifetime, including timeless international hits. He was loved worldwide

Image:africahiphop

Image:africahiphop

Fela was born on 15 October 1938 in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. As a child, he played the piano and drums and also led his school choir. He later studied music at The Trinity College of Music in England. He formed ‘Koola Lobitos’ band, later changed to ‘Africa 70’, ‘Egypt 80’, and finally ‘Afrobeat’ in the 60’s.

In 1968, Fela’s Afrobeat became a unique genre, a blend of highlife, jazz, salsa, calypso, funk, rhythm & blues, hip-hop and best of all, Nigeria beats, produced by conga, and many drums like ‘gan gan’ (talking drums), guitar, ‘shekere’, percussion, saxophone and keyboards.

Fela’s afrobeat was the birth and inspiration for today’s music industry in Nigeria. Fela’s music lives on, and has crept constantly into recent songs by much younger artists, most of whom never really experienced the music maestro’s art, before he passed. His controversial music, eccentric style, and stage performance was loved all over the world, and brought attention to Nigeria. Locally, his activism brought about more fans and fame; he had a song for every political situation, without fear of extreme criticism of governments. Songs like ‘Beast of no Nation’, ‘Zombie’

He lived in ‘Kalakuta Republic’, his home, with many wives and other women; he married 27 women at-a-go, in one day!!!. He also has many children. His sons, Femi and Seun are international afrobeat musicians as well, with their unique styles.

Fela’s ‘Shrine’ (his night club, and performance stage in Lagos) was the place to be for most fans and afrobeat lovers on weekend nights. It was indeed an experience. The Shrine will never be the same without him!

Image: stars-portraits

Image: stars-portraits

Fela Anikulapo Kuti died August 2, 1997 at the age of 58. His funeral was attended by over a million people with a procession from Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos to ‘Kalkuta Republic’, (approximately 30km where he was buried in his front yard.

His Afrobeat legacy and the development of the music industry in Nigeria, makes it impossible to forget him. He paved the way for today’s artistes, Davido, Don Jazzy, Wizkid, Olamide and so on. These ‘Kids’ have put Nigeria and Afrobeat on the World’s Pedestal; and I daresay, one of the few industries that have thrived tremendously in the face of economic turmoil in Nigeria.

Image: pintrest

Image: pintrest

When Fela had to speak for the people, he did.  When he had to protest, he did. When he had to campaign for rights, he did, through his Music. However, while he was such a Musical enigma, genius, and activist; how wonderful would it have been, if Fela had impacted more positive virtues on his followers then, and generations thereafter, especially in the  music industry.

Terence MacArthur

Editor, The Street Hawker

We celebrate the movement that contributed to the thriving music industry in Nigeria today, Fela's music is alive! We have added a few to our playlist for your listening pleasure. Get the app for TSH Playlist. 

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The Billion Dollar Industry - Celebrating Davido

The music industry in Nigeria has made a mark for itself world-wide. It is one that without doubt has grown way past the provision of the Federal Government of Nigeria in its sector. It is highly commendable that the world has come to terms with Nigeria’s Afro-Beat, such that it must be played at parties, clubs, gyms, and sports centers in every corner of the world. When the ‘groove’ must be hot, Nigeria’s Afro Beat must be on board. I have found myself in the ends of the earth, only to hear a ‘sound’ that takes me back home…I smile, and I am proud!

Where the lyrics are not understood, the beats are sufficient to keep a crowd on the dance floor. Although the lyrics could be ‘heavy’ and the language ‘strong’ for young listeners, it is loved by all. The Street Hawker, is, however, of the opinion that younger fans (who constitute an enormous number) should be considered by the artists.

We should celebrate these talented, young people; who have made success out of passion. It is also clear that a lot of hard work goes into ‘keeping the fire burning’ and staying relevant in their industry. Some are so acclaimed and have received nominations and awards worldwide. They have also done collaborations with top Musicians in other parts of the world.

We celebrate Davido, Don Jazzy, Wiz Kid, Olamide, P-Square, Wande Coal, Flavor, Phyno, TuFace, D'Banj, Lil Kesh, Teckno, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Darey and others who have put Nigeria out in good light internationally, as far as the music industry is concerned. The Dj’s are doing great as well…that’s a story for another day…Proud we are of these great talents.

The Light today, is on Davido

Photo: 360nobs

Photo: 360nobs

Our Favorite Davido tracks are up on Tsh Playlist (on the Mobile App only). Get the app if you haven’t already.

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David Adeleke (Davido) was born in 1992. He attended British International School, Lagos and later enrolled to study Business Administration at Oakwood University, in the U.S.A. It was here that his interest in music began; as a result dropped out of Oakwood. He later earned a music degree from Babcock University in Nigeria, after which his music began on an upward journey, and up he is today!

Photo: instagram

Photo: instagram

Toyin Wura Oke

Publisher, Chief Editor

Hobbies, Passion, & Education - Ibrahim Olatunji

I remember my secondary school days, when my mum kicked against me playing Table Tennis during my long break from school. I specifically remember an event when she sneaked behind me during school pick up time. "Tunde, I have told you not to waste your time on this Table Tennis game. You will meet me in the house". 

Of course, you can imagine the rest of the saga by the time I got home.

Hiya, 
I'm Scribble. 

Photo: C.A.K.E. Africa

Photo: C.A.K.E. Africa

Let me start with some facts that some of us might know.

1. Wayne Rooney started his first football career at the age of 16 with Everton FC.
2. Serbian Darko Miličić was the youngest player ever to play in an NBA Final game. He played for the Detroit Pistons in Game 3 of the 2004 Finals at the age of 18 years and 356 days old.
3. Kanak Jha became the youngest athlete ever to participate at the ITTF Men's World Cup, when the 14-year-old competed at the 2014 event in Dusseldorf, Germany, in October 2014.
4. Lori Anne Madison was the youngest person ever to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee at the age of 6.
5. Called to The Bar before she's old enough to go to a bar, a Florida 18-year-old becomes youngest person ever to qualify as a Barrister in Britain. 
The list is endless. 
Your child can be added to this list too.

Okay, to continue my life-changing story, the house wasn't funny on that faithful day. 
To cut to the chase, 5 years after that, I became the second best in 2 colleges in Stoke-on-Trent. 
Now, imagine if my parents had seen the same potential my coaches saw in me 5 years before;
the possibilities would have been endless. Although, parents are usually right, when they insist that children get their formal education certifications before pursuing hobbies or sports interests; it is important that at during the child's early years, inherent gifts are identified and allowed to flourish along-side educational development.    

Parents, the world is changing and evolving. 
Twenty years ago, a child would have been an outcast for his love and passion for a particular sport. 
However, in this jet age, children are becoming a ‘wow’ factor in different spheres of sports. 
Below are a handful of tips on how to identify and foster greatness in your child in the area of sports.
1. Make observations on whatever sport/hobby your child chooses. If you notice him/her kicking stuff around; buy a football. If they seem aggressive as boys, buy an American football. Every talent/character trait is a blessing, even when you think the child is too restless or playful. Perhaps, with some refining and shaping, that child will be excellent in a special field.
2. Invest in developing your child's preferred sport. If you can spend lots of money on purchasing luxury stuff, perhaps a fraction can be spent on sports equipment for the child. Also, make an extra effort by getting involved in your child's favorite sport for motivation. Allow your children go to Wimbledon, walk the fields of Anfield, cheer up the Red Devils at The Old Trafford and roar with the Mighty All Blacks of the New Zealand Rugby team.
3. Always keep the fire burning in your children in the area of sports. Go to the park with them. Play sports video games with them. Challenge them to debates on sports. Encourage them to learn about their favorite sports. Always push them farther than they can go on their own.

Remember a child can take anything form of pressure if channeled properly. 

Let our children be the best they can be.

Our children are the future

Ahoy!
I am Scribble, the Year 6 Teacher

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A Talent & a Half - Patience Ozokwor

Patience Ozokwor, is a veteran and outstanding award winning Nollywood actress. Mama G, as she is popularly called, is a fashion designer and musician as well. She has taken part in over one hundred movies. Here are excepts of our chat with Patience Ozokwor

The Beginning

“Well, if it is inside, you can’t hide it for a long time. It is just like pregnancy – you can only hide it for a while, at the appointed time it protrudes. I have always had interest in acting. It is about the only time I truly enjoy myself. Regardless of who is around, I just do my thing. Acting for me actually started from childhood, because I was opportune to be brought up by a man who loves education and understood its true importance in life – my uncle.  He would make me read novels like Jane Eyre, and Oliver Twist, even when I did not comprehend them, but on the long run I discovered he was exposing me to the world of literature and creativity.

He also registered me with the Takwa Bay Children’s club, where children met to socialise through various activities. All these early nurturing exposed me tremendously, that by the time I was in secondary school, I exuded so much confidence. My teachers at secondary school and teacher’s training college also contributed in no small measure to the development of my talent.

After teachers college, I taught for about four years before leaving for Radio Nigeria where I was an announcer. This afforded me the opportunity to take part in various radio theatres. Really, acting on radio is quite difficult as everything has to reflect in your voice because nobody sees you. So, if you say you are happy, your voice must express that very well. It really was not easy because after a while, we were relieved of our duties; I had a sick husband suffering from diabetes and hypertension, and also a family to take care of.”

The Journey

Though, I had some experience before coming into the industry, God has a way of leading you to the right path. In His program, there is nothing like time lapse. He is always on time, never late. He does His things the way He feels like, irrespective of who is involved. God led me through a sister to Chika Okpala’s (Zeburdaya) crew, and really that is how it started. On my very first day, I was given the lead role without auditioning! Since then, God has been faithful. Hitherto, the smaller roles used to be the preserve of actors and actresses in the Enugu axis, but with me, they would send their scripts all the way from Lagos in advance.

Before ‘Authority’, the movie that shot me to limelight, I had played challenging roles in movies like ‘Amina’ and ‘Odum.’ These roles actually paved way for the lead role I got in ‘Authority’

Great Talent at Work

Great Talent at Work

Fulfilment?

I enjoy what I am doing. If you enjoy what you are doing, it means you are finding fulfilment. Though I have found fulfilment, it is not over for me. I still have lofty aspirations that must be met.

Aspirations?

Well, outside of Nigeria, I have done some movies in Germany, Holland, and Cameroun, but my ultimate desire is to do a movie in Hollywood (the mother of all woods), I believe God will answer my prayers. I was glad last year to be honoured by ‘African American Women in the Movies’, in America, for the movie, ‘Deeper than Sex.’ It is a stepping stone towards the fulfilment of my aspirations.

Motivation?

I must confess, God has been my motivation. He has never abandoned nor forsaken me. He is my inspiration. As a widow, I came to Him, and He has consistently upheld me with His right hand of righteousness.

"When the going gets tough, that is when I see him coming in His full might" - Patience Ozokwor

 

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Funmi Iyanda, An Amazing TV Personality

We celebrate Funmi Iyanda, an amazing Tv show host, mother, and woman of strength and passion for achieving goals.

Here are excepts of The Street Hawker's Talk with Funmi

Photo: Mousa Mousa

Photo: Mousa Mousa

"I run a production company, I research and write for TV, magazines, l moderate conferences and seminars, and l speak on areas of media, youth, gender, development and emerging trends."

"NEW DAWN ran its course, eight years on a near daily basis is a long exhausting run especially as l was producing, presenting and running the company in the back end."  

"TALK WITH FUNMI was an amazing evolution that came about in a quest to get around some of the challenges of production we were facing. In the process we evolved something entirely new and uncharted."

She took the show to the people, rather than shoot at the studio. 

"I talk to people, great and small. If you look into the archives of NEW DAWN, l have interviews with people like iya eba the bukateria woman in Onikan, just like l have interviews with Madeline Albright, the former American Secretary of State." 

"I am interested in all people and the many layers to their stories. My job has always been to give expression to people especially those who are usually ignored."

Photo: Mutiu Okediran

Photo: Mutiu Okediran

"I was bored with the studio; l was also irritated with being typecast as a high fashion talk show hostess. I am first and foremost a journalist, an interviewer and storyteller with the training and aptitude for rigorous research, creative expression and a little subversion. I also love Nigeria as a geographic entity and our people aesthetically and emotionally." 

Photo: Mutiu Okediran

Photo: Mutiu Okediran

"My desire was to interpret Nigeria’s beauty, ironies and complexities in a creatively exciting and sociologically accessible manner. It was great that l found a kindred spirit in Chris Dada my production partner and director. Hence the mad props, film like shoot, post production, and unobtrusive dialogue. We produced in a way that allowed us deepen and change the narrative for different audiences as required."

How she chose people and locations

"Research, gut instinct, ability to recognize and cast people correctly, and a deep cultural reference, pulled out of our collective experiences and confidence in the people we are."

Inspiration

"I am inspired by brave people who are doers and problem solvers."

On the Nation

"It is a flawed system, all systems are flawed, but the perfecting will come in active engagement of the people not apathy, fear or posturing."

On the Economy

"The Nigerian economy will only experience real impactful growth, when infrastructure for production of both tangible and intangible economic products and their distribution is significantly improved. There will also be need for banking reforms that are friendlier to entrepreneurs at different levels, as well as policies that stimulate job creation and production of good and services, including agricultural goods."

"To do all these, we require committed, exceptional leadership, to get that, we need an electoral system that allows participation of the brightest and best and gives the majority a fair chance to vote in such."

 Dreams

"I am not a dreamer, l am a doer. I never dreamt to be any of what l am today, l just get on with life, work on making meaning of my existence. Life is never about individual outcomes, but about the journey, the lessons and skills learnt along the way".

 

Photo: Mousa Mousa

Photo: Mousa Mousa

To the upcoming

"No one can anchor a show like mine, but they can anchor a show fit for their intentions, talents, training and opportunity." 

Tsh Archive

 

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Dede Mabiaku - An Incredible Story of Life & Arts

A multi-talented Man with an incredible story life and arts, certainly, a man of intricate qualities.

 Most of this interview is splendidly spoken in pidgin, a simplified speech used in some parts of Africa between people of different languages it actually could easily be described as our Lingua Franca in this part of the world. It is usually spoken with pleasure and delight.

Dede’s Story…

It all started when I was in primary school, we had a band in the boys scout, I was a drummer, and then I became a cultural troop leader. I carried that interest to Federal government college Warri. Way back in the early seventies, at the secondary school, I was a member of nearly all cultural activities. I left there to study Theater Arts in The University of Jos (78-79). I was a drummer and member of the Palm wine Drinkers club, because of music; I loved the songs. In those days membership was more for comradery.

I left Jos and went to University of Benin, still theater Arts.  I joined another musical team. 

So how did music connect with FELA?

DEDE: When I was offering my Youth service, in Owerri. I worked with a company and put together a band, here is the twist, when I was in Secondary school, my group played one particular format of music, and we were called us the ‘Fela boys’. So now I got to Owerri, the band started, I found out that anytime, I did any of Fela’s numbers, people just went ‘gaga’. We went round the Owerri environs and villages; Olu, Umuahia and so on. I wanted to leave that kind of musical angle behind, because my field of study was Theater Arts and my area of specialization was Film and Television Production. I also loved acting.

Acting?

Yes. When I came back to Lagos in 1985, we were actively doing Theater. That is Arts for Arts Sake. We were acting full time. As a matter of fact, prior to that time, a group of friends and I, gave our lives to The Theater. I did lead roles in many plays like, “The Lion and the Jewel”, Congi Harvest, Shattering in the Sun by Osofisan, and Oriki of the Grasshopper”.  Which we took on tour, and it was sponsored in 1987 by The French Cultural Centre. At that time I was working with The Television Authority as a contract staff, not The Nigerian Television Authority, but I was acting full time and I was in productions too. And then in 1987, there was this competition in Nigeria and I was nominated. I was the first person to ever win an award, for acting in this country; the best Male Actor in Nigeria, then, but I wasn’t really fulfilled. I was soul searching and my old passion came back to meWe went to JAZZ 38 to watch FELA perform, on a Friday and my friend’s, went to tell Tunde Kuboye that they have one friend who could sing. They called me and I sang the track ‘Water’ from Fela’s album. FELA heard me singing and came out from the house, looked at me, with a serious stare. I no go lie, I fear. Then, he gave me a wink. That wink was the sign of approval. That day, we left together to the Shrine. Then, the father-son relationship began. And close to that period was his 50th birthday, so I asked him if I could sing with the band. And instantly, he said, “Baba Ani, any song wey this bobo fit sing, make the band play am with am, oya. Dede, you will sing with the band on my birthday”. And that’s how it started. He became my teacher, my mentor and my friend, my father, guide and my guardian.

Photo: thestreethawker

Photo: thestreethawker

From then, I opened all his shows.

His death was really painful.

He had prepared me for his physical exit even before any sign of it was to come, but there was too much pain. The way he was arrested, the way he was treated. All over the world they give regard and respect to those who bring value to their people. FELA continually brought value to Nigeria and Nigerians. FELA has not brought the name of Nigeria down but he has rather put Nigeria on a high pedestal in the world. Why was he treated that way? 

 I remember our experience was a sad one, when we got to the shrine, after the court had given an injunction that soldiers should quit the shrine and return Fela’s property to him. We got to the shrine and Fela was about to pray by the time we got in there. There were about 10 soldiers.

Pray?

Yes he prays at the shrine. That is why it is called a shrine. We didn’t call it a shrine because it was a Jive place. We called it a shrine because he was praying there. You know, praying to ‘Olodumare’                                               

We got there, Fela took off his shirt and shoes, and was about to pray, one thing led to another, and the captain ordered both of us to seat on the floor, when we refused, he pointed the gun at me, and threatened to shoot. We sat down on the floor. They de-humanized him in his own shrine.

That was the last time Fela spoke to anybody. He just sealed his lips, refused to talk, or drink water, refused to eat food, refused to do anything.

...subject too emotional...

So...

To young people…

I want young people them to realize that giving up on anything is like giving up on Life itself.

If we give up on Nigeria, we have given up on our own self’s. That’s our identity. Undermining the fact that there has been so much abuse of the system and the running of this same place called Nigeria, there is hope. 

You cannot divide yourself and sleep on two beds at the same time. No driver for this world fit drive two motor at the same time.

So, what is all this rush for ill-gotten wealth?

What is all this rush for self destruction which we are developing?

Look back to the villages. We no dey thief. Man go plant, go farm when he carry him yam finish, he go just cover am. Even if someone wants to come and take one yam tuber from there, he go drop the money there. Carry the yam tuber go, when the owner come, he go see the money. That’s how they live in the villages.  Typical way the Africans live. Younger ones need to get themselves constructively creative. Those people wey say Education no be anything, make them try illiteracy. Make them no where the value dey. In truth, an educated mind is a developed mind for the future. We must concentrate on self development. Africans are wonderful minds.  

 

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