Friday, February 24, 2006

Nigerian superstars

It struck me in my malarial haze this morning that it is a little odd that arguably the three most well-known and well-loved human exports from Nigeria in the twentieth century - Fela Kuti, Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka - are not part of the official culture in Nigeria. Fela seems to be buried deep inside the soul of many many Nigerians (as his music is with people around the world) - and yet there is no "Fela day", no street named after him (or is there?) no Fela museum where people can read about his life and times etc (perhaps the Kuti family should create one in Femi's shrine?). The same goes for Achebe and Soyinka. It seems to me that if this triumvirate were accepted into official culture (perhaps via special holidays, like Martin Luther King day in the States), it would do a lot to heal the growing rift between govt and the people.

Meanwhile, Abuja is tense today, with rumours circulating the city yesterday that there will be a riot today after lunchtime prayers. I hope the authorities are well prepared to clamp down - its the last thing Nigeria needs after such a turbulent week.. It's time to stay indoors and hope for the best.


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