A visit to Fela’s Shrine is quite the moment! Walking through the entrance, you will be greeted by a pungent smell of marijuana and cigarette smoke. Inhale it and enjoy the moment, for that’s a welcome. After all, what would Fela’s Shrine be without the sight and smell of all those people perpetually smoking their heads off?
I was completely enthralled the first time I was at Fela’s Shrine. I had gone there as part of work, along with some expatriates who wanted to have a feel of the Lagos night life. As I sat front row close to the podium, it was as though I got baptised [again] to Fela’s eccentric Afro music. Some lesser known acts were performing, opening the stage for the main act of the night. All the while, my eyes were trained on the twining waists of the dancers who gyrated to the rhythmic beat as those they were no bones in their bodies. And as the time finally came for Femi Kuti to perform, the beat simply changed for the better.
The experience was more than the music, the unique sounds of trumpets blasting and the sight of the nearly-naked women dancing. It was also about the messages contained in the songs’ lyrics. Fela Anikulapo Kuti was very famous due to his lyrical contents; messages that spoke sense to power and incited others to take action. And even though it’s been many years since his death, his legacy lives one thanks to his son Femi whose songs contained just as much wisdom as his father’s. Consequently, as you listen to him sing, you can’t but be made wiser. And this is very awesome because by the end of the day, you would have been entertained and imbued with an extra dose of wisdom that will expand your worldview.
No doubt I enjoyed my visit to Fela’s Shrine. And I’m sure you too can! And while I expressly recommend that you go experience the place, there is a caveat- the need for you to be vigilante! This is very important because, in a place like Fela’s Shrine different characters are bound to be present. You do not want anyone stealing from you or harassing you. More so, be reminded about the heavy smoking that happen in this place. A lot of it really does happen at this place, such that the auditorium is literarily [constantly] filled with smoke. That said, if you are allergic to smoke then you might as well have to reconsider. But if you can brace it, then all well and good. I guarantee you a god time, and a smoke-tinged ambience that would make those that walk past you on the way assume that you are a heavy smoker.