Archive for the Felasophy Category

I be Africa Man Original!

Posted in Felasophy with tags , on April 22, 2008 by Naijaman

Fela, the true Africa Man, challenges those of us who are so quick to adopt a “Colonial Mentality” and warns us about the dangers of not staying true to our African culture and mannerisms. He uses the most obvious adoption of western clothing despite its unsuitability to the tropical African weather as the basis for this song. This assimilation clearly extends beyond the clothing and is addressed over and over again in several other Fela songs.

While there is nothing wrong with adopting the western culture, I think the key is in how we adapt these elements to our everyday lives while staying true to our Africanism. One can argue that Fela started off playing Jazz with western musical instruments however; he demonstrated his ability to make it work for him when he gave the world Afrobeat.

The irony of all this is that Afrobeat (in particular) seems to have been more widely adopted by non Africans! I recall the very first time I saw Antibalas perform in Brooklyn (sometime in 2000), I was shocked to see that the only other black person at the venue apart from my boy and I was Amayo, the token lead singer. I haven’t been to an Antibalas show in a while but judging from the Jump ‘n Funk crowd that used to show up at SOB’s before they shut it down, things might be different these days. I’ll certainly check it out and let y’all know!

I leave you with these words from “I no be Gentleman”:

Africa hot, I like am so… I know what to wear but my friends don’t know.

E put im socks, e put im shoe, e put im pant, e put im singlet, e put im trouser, e put im shirt, e put im tie, e put im coat, e come cover all with him hat!

E be gentle man… E go sweat all over. E go faint right down. E go smell like sh*t. E go piss for body, e no go know.

I no be gentleman like that!

Full Lyrics below: Continue reading

When you kill us, we will rule.

Posted in Felasophy on April 11, 2008 by Naijaman

by Femi Sanyaolu (Keziah Jones).

(Chimurenga) I had planned to visit the Shrine1 the night I arrived in Lagos but never made it. My sister Dupe, who knew some of the band Egypt 80, then took me to the Kalakuta Republic2. But each time we got there, every day for a week, we were told Fela is sleeping. On the fifth day, Sunday June 11, 1996, we decided to wait. We waited six hours. By that time he had stopped giving conventional interviews and was not talking with journalists. I sensed someone who truly loved himself and all peoples, but who has been persecuted for speaking truth, by the very same people it was designed to uplift. In the middle of our conversation there was an electricity failure and the second half of our talk took place in the dark. In Yoruba cosmology, some things happen outside of the logic of time and space. This felt like one of those moments. When I left he came out to greet me from his balcony—an unusually polite gesture from the Chief. It’s under that very balcony that over a million people gathered, around a year later, to wish a safe passage to the Black President.

Continue reading

Missing Plane – Senators Want Top Aviation Officials Sacked

Posted in Felasophy, Naija News with tags on March 20, 2008 by Naijaman

At first I thought this reaction was fueled by our usual jungle justice mentality but apparently there’s more to it than meets the eye.

First of all the story was…

THE wreckage of the missing Beechcraft 1900D plane owned by Wings Aviation was found yesterday at Nbagu village in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State, according to the Minister of State for Air Transportation, Mr. Felix Hyatt.

Then it became:

Uncertainty and confusion yesterday took the better of the country’s aviation sector following an embarrassing discovery that an earlier claim by one of the agencies that the missing Wings Aviation aircraft had been found was totally false.

and then long story come start…

According to Obock, “We engaged the services of local farmers and hunters who came with their dogs to help us locate the plane. We have been at it since midnight on Sunday till late Monday evening and have not been able to locate the crash site. Fisher men who claimed to have seen the plane did not come up to tell us where it is. We have decided to suspend the search today till tomorrow because of the bad weather.

And now:

SENATORS, yesterday, demanded the resignation of senior officials in the aviation sector following what they described as embarrassing failure to find the Wings Aviation plane four days after it went missing.

Unfortunately and sadly, three lives have probably been lost in this confusion.

Is it me or does this sounds like a Fela song in the making? 

I beg, make we go Shrine briefly. Baba dey sing…

“Abracadabraaaaa, Plane don reappeeeaaarr…”

“Abracadabrooooo, Plane come disappeeeaaarr…”

Two new categories are born today, Naija News & Felasophy.