France’s president on Tuesday visited a nightclub founded by legendary Nigerian Afrobeat star Fela Kuti and announced the launch of an initiative dubbed “Africa culture season 2020.”
Emmanuel Macron arrived at the famous venue, the New Afrika Shrine, in the Nigerian city of Lagos, just hours after holding talks and a joint news conference with President Muhammadu Buhari in the capital, Abuja, at the start of a two-day visit to the West African country.
During an evening in which classic Fela songs were played alongside contemporary artists, Macron told the audience that France will host series of events about African Culture, “for African artists, by African artists.”
The French President also encouraged young people to get in involved in politics, saying Fela Kuti had not just been a musician, but also a “politician who wanted to change society.”
Fela was jailed on dozens of occasions by military rulers in the 1970s and 1980s, including by Buhari during his time as a military leader in the early 80s.
The New Afrika Shrine replaced the famed original venue – created by Fela – which burned down in 1977.
It is managed by the musician’s sons Femi and Seun who continue their father’s musical and cultural tradition.