By Taiye Baiyerohi
Prof. Patrick Lumumba, a Kenyan Professor of Law has urged Africans to immortalise Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and his ideal of a corrupt-free society.
Lumumba said this during the 2017 Felabration, with the theme: “40 Years after FESTAC, 20 Years after Fela, Wither the Pan-African Dream?”
Felabration is an annual music festival conceived in 1998 by Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti in memory and celebration of her father Fela, a Nigerian musician and human rights activist known for pioneering the afrobeat genre of music.
Lumumba said that Fela had remained ever green because of his ideas which emanated from his observation of the society years back.
“To achieve a corrupt free society, we must immortalise Fela’s ideas as most of his songs had attested to the fact that he had seen corruption deeply entrenched in everything in Nigerians.
“We need to immortalise Fela’s ideas and make corrections, take positive steps to adjust,” he said.
“I quite appreciate Fela’s non materialistic nature, he never indulged in acquiring material wealth, he had only one house,” he said.
“If Nigeria can get it right politically, African problems will be solved and we will be making progress.
“As patriotic Africans, we must ask ourselves questions of our origin and dig into it.
“Africans must be alive to their challenges and take conscious effort in solving those problems.
According to him, Africa’s biggest problem which is corruption must be tackled through deliberate effort of every individual and most especially the politicians.
He said that corruption was evident mostly in public sectors hence ideological schools should be established for political parties to correct every negative intention before any politician assumed office.
He urged Africans to take pride in who they are, shun inferiority complex and seek to know more of their history which would help them to solve present problems.
Lumumba also lauded the Nigerian fashion industry for promoting the local designs and made in Nigerian wears.
“Nigerians are the best dressed men and women in the world but most of the textile industries are moribund.
He appeal for the revamping of the textile industries.
Also, Mr Femi Falana, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, one of the panelist urged parents to groom their wards in indigenous languages and culture so that they would not lose touch from their root.
“I was Fela’s lawyer in his lifetime and I love his commitment to African culture and correcting societal ills.
“We need to take our culture seriously, in my house,me and my wife speak our indigenous language to our children so they speak English in school.
“I want us to emulate Fela; he changed his western name “Ransom” to Anikulapo because he believed so much in our culture.
“So let’s have people here who will denounce their western names and embrace the indigenous ones,” he said.
Mr Abraham Ogbodo, a Senior Editor with the Guardian Newspaper, one of the panelists called for the integration of the word “Felabration” in English dictionary.
He said that Felabration had been in existence for 20 years and should be recognised beyond the shores of the nation.(NAN)