FELA ‘Conscience of the Nation’: THE CONVERSATION

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As a fan of Fela’s music immediately we got this email(from Obi Asika) it was important we shared it with you 360 readers.  But as as a great fan, personally, i thought it would be wrong to send out this poem without presenting the poem in the best way i could via pictures of Fela Anikulapo Kuti we don’t see often which were mostly collected from lastfm.com.


This is a poem written by a Lawyer, a Banker, a Poet, a Writer and a Commentator of our nation as well as a Childhood friend of Obi Asika(CEO Strom Records).  The poet’s father, a great fan and friend of Fela’s music and activism introduced Mr Asika to Fela when he was about 8.  Mr Asika’s late father also had a great influence on him listening to Fela’s music and he referred to Fela as the conscience of the nation.

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Who was Abami Eda?

You mean Fela?

Oh, that strange being!

Funny you should say so, Abami Eda means strange being,

I hear he was highly eccentric,

Well I rather think he was afro centric

And his many women?

He only lived the dream of many men!

But he smoked weed and was said to be authoritarian,

I think he was merely a “strict” vegetarian,

The government thought he was a gadfly,

That was because he let fly,

Questions for which they had no reply,

Was his music not defamatory?

Well the burning issues were inflammatory,

In Beast of No Nation,

He sang of a hypocritical nation,

In Yellow fever,

He discouraged the bleaching diva,

In Teacher don’t teach me nonsense,

He declared government policies did not make sense,

When he sang Kalakuta Republic,

He sang of an affront in full glare of the public,

That’s the stuff of which legends are written,

To speak out without fear of being smitten,

He lived his life to the fullest,

And departed when the ovation was highest,

He may be dead and gone to the grave,

But about him we will always rave,

Truth will always be told,

But only by the bold…

This poem was written by IGUWO UKWU.
(Iguwo Ukwu is a Lawyer, poet and CEO of a Trust and Fiduciary service company in Lagos).



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