I trust you are alive and kicking.
Thank you Femi Anikulapo-Kuti for an unforgettable electrifying performance at the Koroga Festival, long live the king of Afrobeat!
Dear Femi Kuti,
Sorry for the delay, I know you should have heard from me sooner but I had to calm down first and compose myself after you nearly gave me a heart attack. The crazy thing is I actually won’t mind getting another music-induced heart attack… Arararara…. Ororororo.
Three weeks after your electrifying performance at the 26th edition of Koroga Festival my ears are still ringing with your music and every day reminiscing about it is pure joy.
I knew I was in for a treat when I heard a beautiful Saxophone tune blasting away and lasted a bit longer than I expected so I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and follow the music. Thank God I did because I would have missed a live performance of a lifetime.
Like a river naturally attracts a animal in the wild, no sooner had your lips touched the mouthpiece of your sexy sax than you got hold of me and much as I struggled, I couldn’t shake you off I was in a trance.
A beer in hand I slowly maneuvered my way to the main tent, the music getting louder and sweeter as I inched closer.
And behold there you were, standing tall and proud like a true African King and blasting away on the sax as if your dear life depended on it. Yes! mama I had arrived and I wasn’t intending to leave the show even for the world.
“We are extremely delighted; we are extremely happy to be here with you this evening. In Nairobi, yes! In your new city, Tatu City,” you boomed into the mic after many glorious minutes
(I later found out that you are the world record holder of the longest single note held on a saxophone after holding it for a record 51 minutes and 35 seconds. Maximum respect!)
I was indeed in the presence of greatness and the king of Afrobeat was about to give a musical and memorable speech and I wasn't going to miss it for the world.
Despite knowing well in advance, that you were going to headline the Koroga Festival I wasn’t really sure what to expect. To be honest I was only hoping you could simply be half as good as what I heard about your father - Funmilayo Ransome Kuti - legendary performance at his peak.
My doubts of your prowess were, however, immediately lifted off with every second you were on that stage. My eyes, my ears, my body, my spirit my everything was in love with your Afrobeat music, charisma, stage presence, your voice, your everything.
I was on my feet for the entire period of your performance not because I had no seat nor space but because my legs couldn’t allow me to even bend them. They took a life of their own and kept tapping to the beautiful rhythm of the drums, guitar and the sax.
As you energetically as if possessed dropped your classic banger 'Bang Bang' I had a Eureka moment. Your message on Afrobeat music especially rang true to me and marked a culmination of my life so far.
“With this kind of music, no two beats are the same, you are not allowed to remain stagnant or monotonous,” you boomed breathing life into the mic.
Ahh! you struck a chord; I had heard enough and I slowly came back to reality.
Residing in a continent characterized by chaos of all kinds, over time I had slowly stopped living altogether and instead had chosen comfort. Hell! I had made me a warm nest and banished any thoughts of constant growth. No growth no pain, right!
However, you the one and only King of afrobeat showed me that chaos can actually be the recipe of greatness. I am born again, thank you brother!
Bang Bang to fear, Bang Bang to procrastination, Bang Bang to mediocrity Bang Bang to going after your dreams, Bang Bang to believing, Bang Bang to Africa, Bang Bang to One People, One World.
It’s not only your music that I noddle to but also your overall message of Africa unite. No one could have said it better and thank god a four-time Grammy nominee artist said it to all and sundry loud and clear.
“I do hope this new city is going to be for all Kenyans and not just a certain few because we know what Africa does, they just like to take the rich and leave the poor behind. Let Kenya serve an example and take everybody along,”
“I hope after tonight you are all going to be inspired, you got to unite yourself in Kenya, propel yourself into the future, Africa can be the envy of the world,”
Before my very eyes I saw the undying spirit of your father in you. Indeed, the fruit didn’t fall off far from the tree and while you are uniquely gifted in your own beautiful way you also share similarities with your father who was a political campaigner, women’s rights activist and traditional aristocrat. He couldn’t be prouder of you.
Femi (Can I call you that?) Thank you from the bottom of my heart for a performance to die for. You Femi rescued and baptized a lost soul that day and bring forth a new proud African man ready to take on the world and for that, I will forever be grateful.
I am not only lucky but very privilege to have attended and witnessed your performance. Inshallah, we will one day meet and shake hands.
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: