Femi Kuti, Afrobeat musician and son of music legend Fela, alongside dance hall singer Yemi Alade thrilled French President Emmanuel Macron and guests at the New Afrika Shrine on Tuesday.
Macron, who visited the Shrine to inaugurate the African Cultural Season to be hosted in France in 2020, is believed to be the first head of state to enter the music club.
The event, tagged ‘Celebration of African Culture’ and which witnessed a massive turnout of artistes across the entertainer industry, is being interpreted by analysts because of its political undertones.
Macron stated that he was not a stranger to the club, having been an intern at the French embassy in Lagos fifteen years ago, adding that he recognised the Shrine as an importance place for lovers of African culture.
Beyond culture, the French leader said Fela was not only a musician but also an activist who advocated for change in society, calling on young people not only to be interested in culture but also politics.
This is why analysts say Macron chose to visit the Shrine to challenge young Africans to become more active in politics to create the countries in which they would like to live.
Against the background of the irregular migration crisis in Europe and the seeming lack of effective policies to solve the problem, Macron is throwing the ball into the court of young Africans to take charge of the fate of the continent.
The French remarked that the problems of Africa would be solved by its people.
The New Afrika Shrine serves as the host location of the annual Felabration music festival and is currently managed by Fela’s children Femi Kuti and Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti.
It is the replacement of the old Afrika Shrine created in 1970 by Fela Kuti until it was burnt down in 1977 and showcases photo galleries of Fela’s life and musical performances.