Fela is far more celebrated in public culture in Brasil than he is in Nigeria, as these publicity images for various events around the country celebrating Fela this month show (only the Kuti family celebrated the anniversary of his death this month via the Felabration at the Shrine).
Thursday, October 29, 2009
While Fela is widely celebrated amongst the poor (at least in the South-West), the middle-classes/elite are often conflicted. On the one hand, there is a sense that Fela was a man of immense courage in search of the truth, railing against the political greed of his day. On the other hand, the image of a man in his underpants with a huge spliff in his mouth and 27 face-painted wives doesn't cohere that easily with being a member of RCCG or a God-fearing stance in a similar hallowed chamber (or cattle shed). Brasil: Nigeria without the religious hypocrisy?