The passing week has been buzzing with news of French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Nigeria. One of the highlights of his visit was paying a visit to Fela’s New Afrika Shrine.
One of late Afrobeat progenitor Fela Kuti’s children Yeni Kuti has remarked about Macron’s visit to the Shrine. Yeni noted that Fela would have been impressed with the visit while speaking with Saturday Beats.
“Fela would have been very happy because while he was alive, he was happy that the government of France recognised him, his struggles and music. French people were the first Europeans to connect to Afrobeat; that is why there is a sustained relationship between the Kuti family and France.
“The president had been to the shrine when he was a very young man and he even made a comment that he never knew he would come back to the shrine as president. He really had fun when he came and enjoyed Femi’s performance. However, he didn’t want to disrupt the flow of the shrine; he just wanted to enjoy his visit. But as a president, his arrival had to be guarded with strict protocols,” she said.
Yeni spoke further saying she was taken aback by the different dignitaries who visited the New Afrika Shrine that day.
“I saw a lot of people there who had never been to the shrine before; many people were there for the first time in their life. I was even shocked.”