Sun. Oct. 20, 2019

Femi Kuti: (Solutions For) A Better World!

“Should technology allow us to address ourselves to a person livin’ on the other side of the globe, it doesn’t allow you to address yourself to the masses. Technology on top of that is one of the most powerful symbols of selfishness.”

Femi KutiQuite ironical to not try anymore to understand the reputedly simplest things, when makin’ use of an evermore sophisticated technology…
“Coz’ we’re goin’ the wrong way. Should technology allow us to address ourselves to a person livin’ on the other side of the globe, it doesn’t allow you to address yourself to the masses. Technology on top of that is one of the most powerful symbols of selfishness.”

It’s also obviously the case, speaking of contemporary production whereas the home studio allows you to do music on your own…
“Money, money, money!”

That’s nevertheless what makes the world go round in a part of the globe, what ever can we do about it, as a simple citizen?
“This is first and foremost the concern of the governments. The C.I.A. doesn’t exactly knows what’s happening in Nigeria for instance, but what does on do? Whenever we want, we can. Drug traffic, credit card theft. The Americans know about it, but what do they offer in return???”

Do you think like people in the streets really want to have a listen to what you (not as Femi Kuti, but more widely as among those depicting the current state of our word) are sayin’?
“This is not the matter. Once again, I believe in what I’m doin’, and I do what I believe to be necessary to be done. Should we keep on not takin’ in consideration what’s happenin’ in Africa, then we’ll end up being caught up by reality one day or another. Look at Somalia, South Africa… One has kept on willing to do business with these countries, so we closed our eyes, until the moment when the situation had to be changed. In not willing to read between the lines, then chaos and anarchy will prevail one day. What ever can we dream of in these countries where we’re left with nothing?”

Do you feel like you have the necessary exposure to spread your word?
“We’ll never talk enough about this matter, but it’s not an obsession for me. I don’t have the power to change things; I’m just acting from my humble level, while focusing on my art…”

I have to admit how it’s hard for me to understand how the leaders can be so disconnected from the reality. How can we ever forget the most elementary things as far as reputedly good sense is concerned? How can we escape from what’s comin’ from the others? Just as if we were sure to be right whatever may occur… 
“I’m not responsible for this. I’m acting in conscience, in the skin of an artist hailing from Lagos and I’m just tryin’ to do my best…”

Your obvious generosity on stage is the proof of that. And also quite an appealing tool to touch people who, for most of them, only have an abstract idea as to what’s goin’ on at your place. In Africa…
“How can we ever ask anybody to feel concerned when the major media don’t care? This is why I’m doin’ whatever I can to be as explicit as possible in my songs. Did you know that we’re barely built one school in Lagos along these last years? What does this mean? Everybody shut their mouths in Nigeria. Most likely because they’re afraid of not havin’ anything left to eat anymore! So we go to church.

My country is probably the only one in the word where they are open 24 hours a day. We’re left on our own, with no support. We have nothing apart from misery and diseases. No nightclubs, no cinemas, only the black out at nights! If ever the West was acting everywhere in a proper way, while contributing to putting an end to corruption, while building schools and hospitals, establishing social justice for everybody, then all the conflicts around would no more have reasons to live.

The people, the mineral resources, we have everything. We just need the know how!”

Chosen few
Shoki Shoki (Sound Of Barclay) – Femi Kuti
Africa Shrine (MK2 Music) – Femi Kuti
Live At The Shrine (MK2 Music, DVD) – Femi Kuti
The Definitive Collection (Wrasse Records) – Femi Kuti
Africa For Africa (Wrasse Records) – Femi Kuti
No Place For My Dream (Wrasse Records / Knitting Factory) – Femi Kuti

Interview: Femi Kuti

You might also like…
(Finding Fela: Fela Forever!)
Fela: The Tree Of Life (by Joe Claussell)
Tony Allen: Afrobeat Pulsations
Dele Sosimi: Afrobeat Rising!

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Story teller, record pusher, compiler & web designer...
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