Governor Ambode Unveils Fela’s “Liberation Statue” In Lagos
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Sunday unveiled an effigy tagged ‘Liberation Statue’ erected at Allen Roundabout in Ikeja in honour of the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
While unveiling the statue during an event earlier today, the governor described Fela as an enigmatic artiste who used the platform of his art to agitate for social and human rights by challenging government and people to explore development through social and economic activities that are rooted in African values.
Ambode also said the unveiling of the effigy was part of activities marking his 79th posthumous birthday and the 20th anniversary of his demise.
He added that aside challenging people to free their minds of all inhibitions and actualise their true potentials, the late music icon also voluntarily turned his back on a life of comfort and privilege, and took up his saxophone as a weapon to fight for the liberation of the people from neo-colonialism and bad governance.
Stressing that the spirit of Fela was still alive as a movement of social consciousness and justice against oppression, the Governor said the late legend made the world sit up and take notice of the energy of African art and music, adding that he will forever be accorded his position in the global hall of fame of artistes.
Ambode said: “The phenomenon that the world knows as “Fela” was deeply rooted in the evolution of Lagos State. The story of music, art, entertainment and tourism in Lagos and Nigeria cannot be told without an eloquent mention of the “Abami eda”.
“On this day, October 15th, which would have been Fela’s 79th birthday, the government and people of Lagos State celebrate ‘’Fela’’ with the unveiling of this Liberation Statue. It has been 20 years since he passed on but the memories he left us with remain evergreen. Today we celebrate a man who voluntarily turned his back on a life of comfort and privilege, and took up his saxophone as a weapon to fight for the liberation of our people from neo-colonialism and bad governance.
“This “Liberation” statue is not an image of Fela but a symbol of Fela’s philosophy. This artwork was created as a form of respect and remembrance to this legend; what he stood for and fought for with his music; his mythology; struggle for freedom; fight for human dignity; social consciousness; courage and Pan-Africanism.”