WHEN ‘FEARLESS’ FELA WAS HONOURED WITH A DESIGNER SAX

The 2021 edition of Felabration was brought to a rousing conclusion early Monday morning with electrifying performances, climaxed with a posthumous award to Afrobeat King, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti by Fearless energy drink, the leading brand in its market segment produced by Rite Foods.

The beautifully and magnificently designed award —made in a saxophone shape— depicts what the music icon stands for, and also in recognition of his musical distinctiveness and political activism aimed at creating a better society for the citizenry.

Speaking on the award presented to the Anikulapo-Kuti family at the Afrika Shrine in Lagos, the Managing Director of Rite Foods, Mr. Seleem Adegunwa, stated that the Late Fela deserves honour for the impact he made in the music industry, having fought for justice and equality for all Nigerians through his songs.

He pointed out that Fela resonates with what ‘Fearless’ stands for —positive energy, courage, leadership, and can-do spirit that comes with Fela’s creativity and leadership quality.

Adegunwa affirmed that Fela demonstrated fearless attributes through his songs, which led to constructive criticism of injustice, inequality, and oppressive tendencies against Nigerian citizens and Africans.

Fela fearlessly wrote songs like “Trouble Sleep, Yanga Wake Am,” “Zombie,” “Sorrow, Tears and Blood,” and “Unknown Soldier” as a form of resistance against oppressive leadership.

He composed other songs on inhuman acts against Africans like “Colonial Mentality,” “Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense,” ”Mr. Follow Follow”, among others.

While presenting the posthumous award to Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti, Fela’s eldest daughter and Founder of Felabration, Ms. Boluwatife Adedugbe, Rite Foods Brand Manager, amidst a standing ovation, said the Fearless award signifies respect for the music megastar who traversed the globe, with outstanding performances that made the nation proud.

“Fela was an enigma of exceptional talent, an African pride, just like Rite Foods with its leading position in Nigeria’s food and beverage industry,” said Adedugbe.

She added that the initiative demonstrates the company’s commitment to the growth of the entertainment industry and promoting what is Nigerian.

She also stated that Felabration was also a platform for consumers to get rejuvenated with the company’s brands comprising the premium Fearless energy drink, the 12 Bigi variants of carbonated soft drinks, Table Water, and Rite Sausages.

While receiving the award, Yeni, flanked by one of her siblings, Kunle Anikulapo-Kuti, was filled with the euphoria created by the audience.

She praised the Fearless energy drink brand, stating that the award was the best thing that has ever happened since the inception of the Felabration, and from a leading brand in the energy drink market.

Yeni expressed her gratification for the support and honour bestowed on her father for the legacy left behind for posterity while eulogizing the World-class company for refreshing participants at Felabration with its unique brands and the creativity introduced to make it more exciting.

She disclosed that the magnificent award will be moved to the Kalakuta Museum in Ikeja, Lagos where all Fela’s properties and items are preserved.

This year’s edition of Felabration ended on a high note with performances from scores of rave artists and other top musicians including Femi Kuti who was later joined on stage at a point by Seun Kuti and Made Kuti to performance one of Fela’s classics, ‘Water No Get Enemy’.

The highlight of the night was the performance by D’Banj who thrilled the audience with one of his hit songs, “Top of the World.”

Other interesting activities in a week-long Felabration include an Arts competition, Afrobics dance competition, schools’ debate with the topic “Covid 19 is a Blessing,” a Symposium themed “A Presenting National Question Devolution or Evolution” with the moderator/chairman, as Femi Falana, amongst prominent speakers like Senator Shehu Sani.

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