Twenty years after his demise in August 1997, costumes of the late Afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, are set to take a fitting place among other world music greats on the renowned Hardrock Cafe Music Me Memorabilia Collection.
On Thursday, May 25, the singer’s famous children, Yeni, Femi and Seun Kuti, will hand over costumes worn by Fela, including pieces of clothing and shoes to representatives of Hard Rock International in Lagos.
A two-part ceremony begins by 3pm at the Hardrock Café Lagos with an induction ceremony to be witnessed by late Fela’s friends, entertainment bigwigs and corporate Nigeria. The ceremony will climax by 7pm when Femi Kuti with his Positive Force band and Seun Kuti with his Egypt 80 band hit the stage for a pulsating power-packed night of Afrobeat music.
One of the major highlights of the induction will be the release of a new song dedicated to the late Afrobeat maestro by two-time Grammy Award-winning artiste, Lekan Babalola. The song entitled ‘Mr. Lakaye’ (Tribute to Ogun) is produced by Will Angelero (New York/UK based Producer) and co-produced by Lekan Babalola. In addition, sensational artist, Fola David will do a live speed-painting of Fela on stage.
Also to be donated are original evergreen album covers whose designer, veteran artist, Lemi Gharioku will also be in attendance. Lemi is known for listening to and digesting Fela’s music, then expressing his reaction in Fela’s album cover design. Lemi designed over 26 Fela album covers.
The Hard Rock Café induction is being put together by Temple Management Company (TMC) after brokering a similar donation last year by juju maestro King Sunny Ade (KSA) as well as staging the Sunny On Sunday concert.
“The Hard Rock Induction event again reinforces the influence that the great Fela Anikulapo-Kuti still commands twenty years later,” TMC’s Head of Entertainment, Mark Redguard said.
“We at TMC are delighted to be identified with another historic occasion that further develops and memorializes the Nigerian Music industry worldwide.”
Fela’s music journey began in 1958 when his parents sent him to London to study Medicine but he opted for Trinity College School of Music. Fela formed his first band, Koola Lobitos, in 1961 providing the fodder for a movement that morphed into Afrobeat, a combination of elements of traditional High Life, Rock, Funk and Jazz.
Fela’s music became the voice of the hopeless and a constant thorn in the flesh of successive military governments. Some of his popular albums include Open & Close (1971), Gentleman (1973), Confusion (1975), Expensive Shit (1975),Zombie (1976) ending with Confusion Break Bones (1990).
Other legends whose souvenirs are on the Hard Rock Memorabilia Collection include King Sunny Ade, Quincy Jones, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Prince, and Bob Marley among others.