The New Afrika Shrine which is also known as Fela Shrine is a tourist attraction in Lagos. The Afrika Shrine is one of the popular entertainment and tourist centres in Lagos. It is an open-air music and entertainment centre which was built to honour late Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Fela Shrine also hosts the yearly Felabration. Felabration is a yearly music festival in honour of the late king of Afro music Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
Why The name Africa Shrine?
Fela was fond of calling his performance ground a Shrine. He often makes some ritual to the deities and some of the greatest black men that have ever lived. He starts by asking the crowd for a minute of silence. The name was however adopted for all his music performance venue.
About Fela Kuti
Fela Anikulapo Kuti is a renowned Nigerian Afro musician who rose to fame around the ’70s with his style of music. He is known as the father of Afro music. Afro music is an Africa inspired music rich in culture, rhythm and sound.
Fela was born into a Christian family he gave up his religion to indigenous religion. His father was a prominent teacher and the head of the Teachers Union. His mother, on the other hand, was a prominent activist.
He was sent to the UK to study law, Fela fell in love with music and decided to study music instead of law.
He was a freedom fighter, a politician, a human right activist and a multi-talented musician.
History of the Afrika Shrine
It all started from the Afro Spot in Alagomeji Yaba. This was the first location of Fela shrine. The Old Afrika Shrine evolved around the 1970s. Fela Shrine as it was often called was invaded by the military government due to his resistance against the military rule and their abuse of the fundamental human right.
He then moved to another the Empire Hotel in Mushin. Due to frequent raids, by the Nigerian military. Fela Shrine also known as the Afrika Shrine or Kalakuta republic was burnt to the ground in 1977. That was the first Afrika Shrine
The second Afrika Shrine by Fela was located at Pepple Street in Ikeja, the capital of Lagos. The building however was taken over by the owners after the lease expired.
The new Afrika
Fela Shrine is currently managed by the first son of Fela known as Femi Kuti. The new shrine was built after the death of Fela and it was unveiled on October 2000. It has since served as the host for Felabration. The New Afrika Shrine is now wearing a new look. It is bigger and better than the other two shrines. The new Afrika shrine was opened to the public on 15th October 2000.
If you want to get a taste of afro music, you can make it a date on Thursday where Femi Kuti cheers the crowd with offers a free Afro music show.
However, in October 2000, the new building was unveiled by Femi Kuti to celebrate Felabration that year.
Over the years, the New Afrika Shrine has become one of the top tourist attractions in Nigeria and it has witnessed visits from president, governors, vice presidents, commissioners, politicians, celebrities and tourist from all over the world.
The venue is called shrine for so many reasons because before every of his show, he asks for a minute of silence to pay homage to his ancestors and the gods.
Performance at The New Afrika Shrine
Femi Kuti performs every Thursday while Seun Kuti does his performance on Saturdays
The new Afrika Shrine – Fela Shrine
Seun Kuti plays last Saturday of the month
Fela Shrine – The Home of Felabration
The New Afrika Shrine is the venue of Felabration. Felabration is a yearly event to mark the life and music of Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The event was started by Yeni Kuti. Yeni is Fela’s eldest daughter.
Also Read About : Freedom Park – Another venue for Felabration
Things to Do at Fela Shrine
- Visit the mini-museum
- Browse through the photo gallery
- Enjoy the music
- Attend Felabration
- Attend the evening shows
- Learn About Fela
- Get souvenirs from the gift shop
The shrine opens seven days a week. You need to take notes of the event and the show dates. The hall opens from 9 am to late in the night. On weekends it opens till dawn.
Thursdays evening is Femi Kuti’s music performance
Saturdays – Seun Kuti music performance
Best time to Visit Fela Shrine
The best time to visit the New Afrika Shrine depends on the purpose of your visit. If you want to learn about the life of Fela. The best time to visit is during the day, it is often less rowdy. If you are a lover of afrobeat music, you may want to pay a visit in the evening on Thursdays or weekend. Thursday, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are the best days to visit the shrine.
However, if you will like to attend the Felabration. Check the calendar at the official Felabration website. Felabration holds every October of every year. The one-week music event is usually celebrated on the week of his posthumous birthday.
Also Read: All The Beautiful Resorts In Lagos
Events at Fela Shrine
Free performance by Femi Kuti every Thursday
Performance by Seun Kuti on some Saturday
The New Afrika Shrine Address
The New Afrika Shrine is located at No 1 NERDC Road, Agidingbi, Alausa, Ikeja Lagos
Gate fee to Fela Shrine
The gate fee is 500 Naira per person.
9 am to 5 pm for touring
6 pm to 1 pm for shows and entertainment
On 3rd July 2018, the French President Emmanuel Macron made history as the first president in history to visit the Fela Shrine. The shrine has also welcomed notable politicians and celebrities from across the world.
Other Fela Inspired Tourist Attractions
Kalakuta Museum, Lagos
The Kuti Heritage Museum Abeokuta