FELA LIVES ON!
HISTORY was made penultimate Friday when all the compositions of the Late Abami Eda, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, were released to the public on 40 compact discs.
Tagged Lifetimes Treasure Case, it was put together by Evergreen Musical Company by the authority of Fela Estate.
In renascence, like a child who wants to run before walking, Fela formed his first band, Koola Lobito,even when he was yet to graduate from Trinity College Of Music. The band was made up of West Indians and his Nigerian friends.
Reflecting on his days at Trinity College and in England, Fela had this to say, “When I had learnt my trumpet for a year and half during my college days, I thought I was great because I could play some of Duke Ellington's solo lyrics. I decided to go to a place called Marque where I saw some young white boys playing trumpet and I wanted to play with them because I thought I could play better, but they didn't allow me, instead, they gave me the address of a heavier place where professional people used to play.
So, I carried my trumpet along with Wole Bucknor and we set out to trace this address. When we arrived there, I was not allowed to play until after about four members had played.
"When I set out to play, the audience, moved in front of me. Earlier, they were all dancing and enjoying the music. But when I got my chance to blow, nobody seemed to dance, instead, they stood watching as I blew my trumpet. It got to a point when I realized they were making fun of me. This was bad because I kept blowing nonsense and I couldn't stop again, I mean very bad because I kept blowing nonsense from my trumpet and I did not even know how to stop.
"Suddenly, I heard an alto-sax sound from another corner near me, This made me stop blowing nonsense from my trumpet. The man who took over from me was Harriot (one of the England's best alto saxophonist then). He did not allow the audience to laugh at me with the way he came to my rescue with his fantastic solo work”.
After this experience, Fela did not go out to play the trumpet again for one year, for fear of being jeered and laughed at. Instead, he began to practice more and more at home to achieve perfection.
No doubt Fela Anikulapo Kuti has left an indelible mark in the Nigeria music industry, as the 157 songs-Highlife Era inclusive recently released continue to make waves in the market.