This month (October), waka-about, the travel- and arts- based monthly newspaper-magazine publishes a special collector’s issue on Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. It will be the second such coverage in two years; in October 2011, waka-about devoted 60% of its pages to stories (and photographs) on the life and times of the late Afrobeat legend, with contributions from individuals who either worked with or knew him closely.
This year’s edition, published to commemorate the annual memorial concerts in Fela’s honour (FELABRATION; Oct. 15-21), features exclusive interviews with Lemi Ghariokwu, the artist who designed more than 20 jackets for Fela’s albums and Japanese academic Professor Toshida Endo, a keen follower of African music who travels the world to collect Fela’s songs on vinyl and has managed an extensive Fela discography since 1999.
The edition also includes reminiscences by the versatile entertainment writer Azuka jebose Molokwu, who interviewed Fela a couple of times and paid weekly visits to his home. Adding to the package is creative writer Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu, who reviews the autobiography, FELA: This Bitch of a Life (written by Carlos Moore and published in Nigeria by Cassava Republic).
There is also an article on what it’s like inside the New Afrika Shrine, which has hosted FELABRATION for 15 years, and a feature on the weekly Sunday Jump as well as the new Kalakuta Museum, scheduled to open to the public later this month.
Fela Anikulapo died in August 1997, aged 58. He has been described as one of Nigeria’s biggest cultural exports.