fela! on broadway//lagos 2011


fela! on broadway comes to nigeria on the heels of a $5M lawsuit by fela friend/historian dr. carlos moore. the suit claims that portions of the show were lifted from moore's biography, this bitch of a life, netting producers over $30 million in profits. (get the biography now from cassava republic press.) having spoken with sources close to dr. moore, it sounds legit. and having spoken with sources close to the musical regarding the piecemeal/convoluted writing process, it sounds doubly legit. at any rate, money talks, and the show's coming to lagos.

i am eating my words. figured the musical, which plays like a history lesson with dance interludes, would never sell to an audience who knew the man so well. but nigerians will likely eat it up all the same--at least femi is, and that's half the battle. but what's really interesting is the phenomenon of white appropriation of an african story, repackaged and resold to an african audience at cost. i hardly know whether to laugh or cry or shout arararara. everybody say yeah yeah.

find out more about the lawsuit here. find out more about the show at the new afrika shrine on facebook. find out more about and sign cassava republic's declaration in support of the lawsuit here. --AL.

"The point is that the lawsuit Carlos Moore filed on November 8th, 2010 sets a precedent, one that is long overdue; too many creative spirits, born in poverty-striken communities and/or countries, have had to watch impotently as their intellectual production is violated with impunity."
--Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Cassava Republic Press

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