Letter from Lagos 10

16 Oct 2018

Hi Folks,

It was a busy week indeed, I had to travel over 600 KM to see my aging mother. When you take a day off work to travel with plans of returning after 24 hours, you’ll get a drift of what I went through. My mum had a domestic accident and wanted so bad to see her last son. It was like medicine to her when I arrived as she leapt in joy to welcome me. In her characteristic way, she picked up the phone and started calling every single person who had offered her assistance for me to thank. I had a number of good folks to express my gratitude to, for being the Good Samaritan when my mother needed them most. It was a short stay and I headed out as early as 6A.M the following day to prepare for my niece’s wedding.

Most times I run away from family events as I don’t get the chance to sit back, relax and have a jolly good time. But this was Bukola, my niece in whom I am well pleased getting married, so there was no dodging it. My attendance turned out to be worth the while, as it brought back memories of my growing up. My brothers and cousins came in from every nook and cranny of the world to attend, the parents of the bride are good people and they do all within their means to attend all family events.

We spoke about growing up and the pranks we played, the focus was on me somewhat as there were more of my peers and they were mostly women. I joggled between serving guests and chatting with my family. It feels good getting together with family once in a while, Bukola’s wedding afforded me that opportunity.

I have known Kafayat Qadri, a doctor of law, from her days at OAU and her unfolding as a multi-instrumental musician is nothing short of magic. Her poetry events are small and intimate with the audience feeling like they’re part of her creative process. Her recent project of using music/poetry as a source of healing for children in cancer wards is part of her message of music as a source of healing for a broken world. As a friend who appreciates the arts, Kafayat had always invited me to be a part of her exciting events but our schedules were always clashing. Last Friday, however, was different; I broke all laws to make it to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos and truly, I got my healing. Kafayat has made it clear that you do not have to own the world, to bring happiness to people.+

Felabration 2018 kicked off with the Fela Debates, I missed the school debates but was on hand to enjoy and learn from the speakers from the Monday 15th October debate. The debate themed, “Leadership in Africa in the Millenium”, was scheduled to have five presidential aspirants in attendance; Omoyele Sowore, Fela Durotoye, Oby Ezekwesili, Donald Duke and Eunice Atu-Ejide. Oby and Donald Duke were not able to make it for some reason.

Leadership in Africa is a subject of big debate and the speakers did justice to it, I was able to note a few quotes that may inspire a new school of thought. Some of the quotes are thought provoking while some were just quotes as far as I am concerned. See some of them below;

“Now that the older generation have refused to leave, they will need to be overtaken”. – Omoyele Sowore

“We cannot learn democracy from those who do not understand democracy”. – Fela Durotoye

“It is not really about age, but having the right person for the office”. – Eunice Atu-Ejide

“People who destroyed your past cannot guaranty you any future”. – Omoyele Sowore

A young president will be cool for Nigeria, the question remains, is Nigeria ready for such? The narratives from all the speakers shows how articulate and hopeful they are, but the body language of most of the guests in the auditorium left me wondering if the agree with the speakers. The debate was brought to a close with a dance drama by a group of young dancers who wowed us with a show on the phases of democracy in Nigeria.

Felabration is the annual festival of music and arts commemorating the life and times of Nigeria’s foremost musical icon, the Abami Eda, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Fela would have been 80 years old. Lagos will remain bubbly as top artists from across the globe will be live to thrill guests at the New Afrika Shrine. Some of the expected artists include Femi Kuti, Tuface, Wande Coal, Davido, Small Doctor, Timaya, Daddy Showkey, Siti and the band (Tanzania),Adekunle Gold, Eedris Abdulkareem, Amayo leader of Antiballas group of New York, Oritsefemi, Lorraine Lionheart and Sir Shina Peters just to mention a few.

You can guess what my week will be like already. Wish me well for now as you wait for my gist in the coming week. Have you got a party or event for me, drop a note below and I’ll be there to ball with you.
Yours,

Ilupeju B