As a writer, you should know by now that I can’t keep quiet. Even when I do, my fingers won’t stay still. My skill compels me.
That’s why I’ve written an Open Letter to Fela. Not Durotoye.
I know he isn’t alive, but pardon me, these issues I have brimming in my mind are matters of death and life. You get?
So, Dear Fela,
I hope you’re resting in peace, as they call it? Preparations are kicking off over here for the Felabration event, you know.
Excuse me, I didn’t introduce myself. My name is Demilade. I blog, write and teach people how to write, when I’m not at my 9-5 Editorial Assistant job at Farafina.
I accept that there might be a lot about that I do not know, probably because I was quite the young child when you were the rave in Nigeria…
But there are things I know.
I know that you were a political revolutionary. Probably Nigeria’s very own Mandela (I don’t mean to compare, at all). I heard you got arrested times and I wonder how you were able to stand your ground all through that time.
I know that you faced opposition from he military a lot and experienced loss of properties countless times because of US. We Nigerians.
For that, I doff my hat. You thought it worth it to die for rights. Our rights. You are in our thoughts as we sing ‘the labour of our heroes past’.
You must be.
I also know the 25 wives in one day part.
Hear me out first…
I wonder what made you do that. Was it a weakness you couldn’t control? Or were you just wondering what it must have felt to be King Solomon?
I know that you smoked and drank…a lot. And I wonder, did you ever look back in retrospect and wish you hadn’t?
I ask because, over here on this end, your people are going crazy.
Codeine, Shisha, Weed…They are smoking every single thing they find.
Was it a means of escape for you, Fela? Did it take the pain away, or make you so high you floated above Nigeria’s troubles?
Anyway, I know something else. That I won’t be going for this year’s Felabration.
This is why: Three days ago, in a commercial tricycle, I found myself discussing about the event and attending (I mean, Adekunle Gold will be there!) when I was stopped in my tracks.
‘Its not for the uninitiated…
‘If you’re going, take like 50 people with you…
‘Plenty cultists will be there…
Fela, I was shook.
Is this how you’re remembered?
With smokes? And violence?
Why are people bent on copying probable weaknesses you had, instead of your strengths. Instead of your revolutionary mind and mouth.
Are they ‘Zombies’?
Or being taught by history teachers who teach nonsense?
Are they blind to those still in power who Chop and Clean Mouth?
Or the different Kalakuta wey dey show up and down this Nigeria?
I’m not going for this year’s Felabration.
If this is how they choose to remember you.
P.S Share with that friend that would love to read this!