Kuti’s nightclub closed by authorities
Presumably angered by the activism of the Femi Kuti, authorities have closed the legendary nightclub and concert hall in Lagos he runs together with his family. Anyone who enters it is “risking their life”, wrote The Independent on 5 June 2009.
The first time the Nigerian authorities shut down Africa’s most famous nightclub, they sent 1,000 soldiers to raze the place to the ground. This time a warning letter and some police tape were enough to close the doors to the Afrika Shrine in Lagos, the second coming of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti’s controversial music mecca,” wrote Daniel Howden in the British newpaper The Independent on 5 June 2009.
This time Lagos’s governor decided that the “noise, street hawkers and illegal parking” were causing a nuisance. A letter was delivered to the new premises of the nightclub, only a stone’s throw from the old ruins and run by Fela Kuti’s eldest daughter Yeni Kuti and his son, the musician Femi Kuti.
“They made all these complaints and said we had 48 hours to address them and then they closed us down the next morning at 9am,” she told The Independent over a phone from Lagos. “They didn’t even give us a chance to react.”
“I’ve been in a depression,” Yeni said. “I’ve tried everything. I keep on wondering if we’re in a democratic government or if we’ve got a military government.”
Femi Kuti’s tour manager, Chris Markland, is quoted as saying that Femi Kuti may have annoyed authorities just like his father.
“The Kutis have been campaigning to have reliable electricity supplies to the area of the Shrine and Femi has been very vocal in his condemnation of the government’s attitude about this and uses his shows at the Shrine as a vehicle to get this message out to a bigger audience.”
Whether the current wrangle is over electricity, street hawkers or even the desire of Babatunde Raji Fashola, the Lagos state governor, to change the face of one of the world’s most chaotic megacities, it is nothing in comparison with the battles fought by Femi’s father.
Photo by Mik Aidt
Shrine TV – continuously updated:
‘Say NO to the shutdown of the NEW AFRIKA SHRINE by the Nigerians Authorities’
The Independent – 5 June 2009:
‘Still struggling – Fela Kuti’s family fights on’
Femi Kuti’s official profile on MySpece.com:
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