‘Fela Shrine Is An Iconic Cultural Hub’ – France President, Emmanuel Macron

Says he recognise the importance of African culture

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France president, Emmanuel Macron has described the Afrika Shrine, as “an iconic cultural hub”, and a symbol for Africa.

Macron visits Nigeria for an event at Late Fela Kuti’s Afrika Shrine, tagged “A celebration of African Culture”. Before the event in Lagos on Tuesday, the French leader had also visited President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja same day.

During a Press Conference alongside his host, President Buhari, Macron, while responding to a question from a reporter who asked him why he chose the Afrika Shrine – of all places of interest in Nigeria, says:

“I mean first, because I wanted to find out a good occasion to come back there. I know the place and I had some memories about the place. I have to confess at the time, there was no president around. So, I hope I would not spoil the party.

“First because I think that it is such an iconic place, for a lot of African people and African culture. And I think very often when you speak about African culture in Europe, you speak about those from Africa who succeeded in Europe or in France, which is still only different. Most of the time are not automatically very famous in Nigeria or in Africa. And there is a bias because you know people who are absolutely not the same.

“Fela, Femi Kuti and Seun Kuti are very famous, even in France and Europe. They are big successes. But the shrine is I think, a cultural hub; an iconic hub. For me, it’s first a personal pleasure. With a lot of humility, I recognise the importance of this culture; I recognise the place of this culture, in the current environment…”

The 40 year old was intern at the French embassy in Abuja, in the early 2000s.

He becomes the first President to ever visit the shrine.

Afrika Shrine, located in the teeming Lagos district of Ikeja replaced Fela’s original club that was burnt down in 1977, but for millions of fans, it still represents the original Shrine built by the legendary singer.

“A celebration of African Culture” was compered by Banky W, and it had performances from Fela’s son, Femi Kuti as well as Yemi Alade.

 

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