Fela; Arrest the Music
Fela: Arrest the Music! is the celebration of the life of one of Africa’s iconic musicians, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a man who took on fire, water, earth and wind with only one weapon in his hand – Music!
While the music itself gave us joy and an escape from the concerns of our everyday lives, the musician himself continued to be pummeled and hacked down by different forces who tried to arrest his music.
Fela; Arrest the music is a production of Declassical Arts & Entertaiment, it got its title from the book, “Arrest the Music: Fela and His Rebel Art and Politics” authored by Prof. Tejumola Olaniyan. The premier was at the 20th anniversary of the MUSON festival in Lagos, Nigeria.
- Producer – Ayo Ajayi
- Script Writer – Paul Ugbede
- 1st Production was directed by Kenneth Uphopho, Music Director, Ayo Ajayi and choreographer, Justin Ezirim.
- Fela was played by the duo of Olumide Dada and Gideon Okeke and it also featured The Voice, season 1 winner, Arese Emokpae.
- To celebrate the Hero, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
- To celebrate his ingenious creation, Afro Beat.
- To teach the new generation the power in music and how it can be used to pass across meaningful messages capable of inspiring human lives.
- To celebrate and teach the new generation the history and culture of the black race.
- To provide top entertainment by creating a memorable experience for the audience.
A story was told of how a band of soldiers came to Fela’s Afro Club to arrest Fela. It was during one of Fela’s scintillating performances, one of his numerous abrasions with the men in uniform. Fela’s music was blaring from strategically positioned speakers, and the soldiers came; loads upon loads of them in thousands!
As Fela crooned and danced away in ecstatic abandon, the soldiers, also in ecstasy of the potency of their weapons, jumped down from their vehicles in commando style and swooned down on the club.
Their commander, who seem to be the most fired up of all, came forward and bellowed in an erratic voice that boomed over the horn speakers; “Arrest the music! Arrest the music!“. Well, Fela was arrested that day…but not his music.
No one can arrest music. If the music was arrested, we wouldn’t be here today. It is more than 25 years from the day of the incident. The men in Uniform have long gone. But Fela’s music is still with us.