‘Why I wrote book on Fela’ - THE NEWS EXTRA

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

‘Why I wrote book on Fela’

The need to continuously document the life and philosophy of the late Afrobeat King, Fela Anikulapo Kuti has motivated Journalist, writer and activist Lanre Arogundade to present a book on the music icon at the weekend.
Riding on the crest of this year’s edition of Felabration, Arogundade, chairman of the International
Press Center (IPC) presented the book on Saturday at the Kalakuta Musuem in Ikeja, Lagos.
In attendance were members of Arogundade’s constituency in the media and activism as well as Fela enthusiasts.

The book ‘Fela: Yesterday’s Message As Toady’s Reality,’ is a recollection of the author’s encounters with the globally celebrated African music and political icon. It also documents the author’s views on nationalistic issues, using Fela’s life, music and ideologies as a peg.

According to Arogundade, he encountered Fela as a child through his uncle’s music store in Ijebu Ijesa, as a student union activist and also as a journalist.

He said he was motivated to write the book to document the founder of Afrobeat from his interactions with him.

“I discovered that the more you think you know Fela, the more you realise that you didn’t know him,” said Arogundade

“And the more you write about Fela, the more you discover you still have much more to write about him.”

Arogundade said he decided to share how he ‘encountered’ Fela as a sense of duty.

“With this wealth of knowledge about Fela, I thought that I would be doing history injustice not to document some of them so that through my prisms, some other people could at least understand the man Fela much better.”

The guest speakers – culture activist Jahman Anikulapo, publisher Kunle Ajibade and renowned author Odia Ofeimun – praised the author for his work and reiterated the importance of studying Fela and his ideals. Also, veteran journalist, Benson Idonije, who wrote a book about the music legend, Dis Fela Sef, activist Yinka Odumakin and former presidential spokesman Reuben Abati spoke on Fela, sharing snippets of their encounters with him.

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