The Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, has said the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, was as an enigmatic artiste who used his musician to fight bad governance.
The governor stated this during the inauguration of the ‘Liberation Statue’ in honour of Fela, erected at Allen Roundabout in Ikeja.
Ambode said apart from challenging people to free their minds of all inhibitions and actualise their true potential, the late music icon voluntarily turned his back on a life of comfort and privilege.
He said, “The phenomenon that the world knows as Fela was deeply rooted in the evolution of Lagos State. The story of music, art, entertainment and tourism in Lagos and Nigeria cannot be told without an eloquent mention of the Abami eda.
“On this day, October 15, which would have been Fela’s 79th birthday, the government and people of Lagos State celebrate Fela with the inauguration of this ‘Liberation Statue.’
“It has been 20 years since he passed on, but the memories he left us with remain evergreen. Today we celebrate a man who voluntarily turned his back on a life of comfort and privilege, and took up his saxophone as a weapon to fight for the liberation of our people from neo-colonialism and bad governance.
“This ‘Liberation Statue’ is not an image of Fela, but a symbol of Fela’s philosophy. This artwork was created as a form of respect and remembrance to this legend; what he stood for and fought for with his music, his struggle for freedom and Pan-Africanism, among others.”
Ambode said although Fela was no more, he was still alive in his music and in the music of Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti and other artistes who had followed his style of music.