Why Fela’s Statue at Allen Round-About is Headless

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By Eric Elezuo

As the yearly Felabration festival which is in its 19th edition winds down this weekend, facts have emerged as to why one of the statues erected to celebrate 20 years of Fela Anikulakpo-Kuti’s death at the Allen Roundabout area of Lagos remains headless.

Speaking to a prominent family member of the Fela household at the day one of the Felabration activities, TheBoss learnt that there was no mistake in leaving the statue headless as most people have erroneously believed.

According to the unblemished source, the headless statue is intentional and by specification as it suggests what Fela has fought for all his life, and that is ‘liberation’.

“The statue is made to specification, and the sculptor, one Ore, will explain more. There is no mistake whatsoever as that is the way it’s supposed to be. It suggest liberation; a liberation from the head; a liberation that suggest that every colonial mentality which has overtaken the African begins from the head, and the way he thinks.

“Fela became an African again once he lost his head, and that’s when he began thinking Africa again. The lost of the head includes his changing his western name Ransome to Anikulakpo among others.

“The message is simple, Africans must figuratively lose their heads before they can be extricated from colonial mentality,” the source said.

The yellow statue, decorated with paraphernalia only known to Fela, is in the heart of the Allen Garden, and is billed to be unveiled on Sunday as part of the events marking the anniversary of the death of Fela, as well as the yearly Felabration events.

Fela died in 2007 from complications of the dreaded Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

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