Everybody Say Yeah, Yeah!

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Nseobong Okon-Ekong

With clenched fists and hands raised straight above his head, he would bounce up the stage, bow in salute to the four corners of the earth and then utter what has become one of his most famous phrases, ‘Everybody Say Yeah, Yeah!’ Of course, the crowd (yes, a crowd), it wasn’t possible to see Fela Anikulapo-Kuti without a crowd around him. He was not nicknamed ‘eleniyan’ (Yoruba for one thrives in a crowd) for nothing. They responded with similar enthusiasm every time. The response always came like a thunder, ‘Yeah, Yeah’.

‘Everybody Say Yeah Yeah’ was the theme for Felabration 2016, the annual cocktail of activities in honour of Fela’s memory. ‘Everybody Say Yeah Yeah’ was a rallying cry. It was like saying, ‘people get ready’. It was the last minute call for preparation before the marksman fired his gun to start a race-it was an ‘on-your-marks, get set…’.

‘Everybody Say Yeah Yeah’ was a cue for Fela, for the band and the audience. It was important to him to have undivided attention of all the participants that would guarantee a wonderful show. If his charismatic entry on stage did not grab your attention, the rallying call of ‘Everybody Say Yeah Yeah’ would definitely do. Coming from Fela, ‘Everybody Say Yeah Yeah’ was the final check. He was saying to the band and the audience, ‘I am ready. Tell me if you are’. The call was to everybody including members of his band.

The choice of ‘Everybody Say Yeah Yeah’ as the broad theme for Felabration 2016 was instructive coming at the end of the first decade and just before the beginning of the second decade of his passage. For his daughter, Yeni who conceptualised Felabration, her siblings, Chairman of the Felabration committee, Theo Lawson and his team, it is time to echo that all important clarion call, ‘Everybody Say Yeah Yeah’ to be sure that everybody who should be on the train is carried along as Felabration enters a new decade in 2017.

Each activity on the Felabration calendar is increasingly finding its own steam as the years go by. The symposium attracts an intellectual crowd of idealists and theorists, the carnival feeds on energy from the street, the senior secondary school debate ensures that teenagers know what Fela and other great African revolutionaries stood for and the week-long music concert is fast becoming a reference point and an endorsement platform for both established and emerging artistes.

From one venue, Felabration has grown into a multi-venue event with the different items on the agenda taking place at different spots. However, a special note must be taken of Freedom Park which has cultivated and sustained its own Felabration activities and followers. A good number of revelers are just happy to catch the Felabration fever at Freedom Park.

But that is talking about Felabration in Nigeria (and Lagos), Felabration has hit a global mark with similar activities in honour of Fela taking place simultaneously in major cities of the world. This, undoubtedly, points to the increasing popularity of the Afrobeat genre in the world music space.
‘Everybody Say Yeah Yeah’

IBE-JII REAWAKENS OLD SOUNDS IN AYANFE
The recently released single ‘Ayanfe’ from Ibe-Jii is his first gift to the 00s of edifying verse, a world of chivalry and character – a beautiful, beautiful place.

Known for his familiar Yoruba vernacular, Ibe-Jii, the eclectic African storyteller, delivers his sensual tale of love and longing with musical verve, energy and sensitivity; using his musical journey to tell melodic tales of love, life and wonderment. With Ayanfe, Ibe-Jii is set to reawaken old sounds, old values and old loves.

Rooted solidly in the western Nigeria culture renowned for its high incidence of twins and musical giants, Ibe-Jii wears his unusual birth marking and musical roots as ‘authenticity’ – an embodiment of sweet sound, great soul, warmth and sensitivity.

His journey is a subtle blend of the Taiye and the Kehinde, the seen and the undisclosed, the old and the new, African vibes and international sounds. His is a genre of storytelling.
Ayanfe is released from Ibe-Jii’s hugely acclaimed body of musical works, GreenWhiteDope and is a joint collaboration of Bee Entertainment, Stargaze Management and Ibejii Music.

BONANG MATHEBA, AHMED SOULTAN, IKA JONG , HAUWA ALLHBURA TO HOST AFRIMA
As the three-day All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA climaxes today with the awards at the Eko Convention Centre, the organizers have unveiled comperes drawn from the three majorly spoken languages in Africa— English, French and Arabic. They are Ahmed Soultan (Morocco); Bonang Matheba (South Africa and Ika Jang (Congo).

Ahmed Soultan is a Moroccan music star, who is also an AFRIMA double award winner. He is a leader of the Moroccan Group, Nayda. Soultan is a multilingual artiste and celebrity, who speaks English, French, Portuguese and Arabic fluently.
Bonang Matheba, is a versatile South African media personality, who anchors the popular SABC 1 Music Live Show. She is also a winner of the International Golden Horn Award for Best TV Presenter.

Ika Jong is a multi-talented bilingual Congolese TV Broadcaster and celebrity.
However, the red carpet hosts are Denola Grey, Denrele Edun, Hauwa AllahBura; and Pam Happi. Denola is a style blogger, model, fashion enthusiast, broadcaster on Ebonylife TV, Nigeria.

Pam Happi, who is fondly called Miss P is a bilinguist and a household name in Cameroon. She is the renowned hostess of Miss P Show.
Hauwa Allahbura is a Nigerian model, actress and a TV personality whose rise to fame came when she won the Miss FCT pageant some years ago.

Adenrele Oluwafemi Edun, popularly known as Denrele Edun was one of the red carpet hosts of AFRIMA 2015. He is known for his unique fashion style and personality.
Over 154 nominees are campaigning for votes from the public for the various categories of awards.

IBE-JII REAWAKENS OLD SOUNDS IN AYANFE
The recently released single ‘Ayanfe’ from Ibe-Jii is his first gift to the 00s of edifying verse, a world of chivalry and character – a beautiful, beautiful place.
Known for his familiar Yoruba vernacular, Ibe-Jii, the eclectic African storyteller, delivers his sensual tale of love and longing with musical verve, energy and sensitivity; using his musical journey to tell melodic tales of love, life and wonderment. With Ayanfe, Ibe-Jii is set to reawaken old sounds, old values and old loves.

Rooted solidly in the western Nigeria culture renowned for its high incidence of twins and musical giants, Ibe-Jii wears his unusual birth marking and musical roots as ‘authenticity’ – an embodiment of sweet sound, great soul, warmth and sensitivity.

His journey is a subtle blend of the Taiye and the Kehinde, the seen and the undisclosed, the old and the new, African vibes and international sounds. His is a genre of storytelling.
Ayanfe is released from Ibe-Jii’s hugely acclaimed body of musical works, GreenWhiteDope and is a joint collaboration of Bee Entertainment, Stargaze Management and Ibejii Music.

BONANG MATHEBA, AHMED SOULTAN, IKA JONG , HAUWA ALLHBURA TO HOST AFRIMA
As the three-day All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA climaxes today with the awards at the Eko Convention Centre, the organizers have unveiled comperes drawn from the three majorly spoken languages in Africa— English, French and Arabic. They are Ahmed Soultan (Morocco); Bonang Matheba (South Africa and Ika Jang (Congo).

Ahmed Soultan is a Moroccan music star, who is also an AFRIMA double award winner. He is a leader of the Moroccan Group, Nayda. Soultan is a multilingual artiste and celebrity, who speaks English, French, Portuguese and Arabic fluently.
Bonang Matheba, is a versatile South African media personality, who anchors the popular SABC 1 Music Live Show. She is also a winner of the International Golden Horn Award for Best TV Presenter.

Ika Jong is a multi-talented bilingual Congolese TV Broadcaster and celebrity.
However, the red carpet hosts are Denola Grey, Denrele Edun, Hauwa AllahBura; and Pam Happi. Denola is a style blogger, model, fashion enthusiast, broadcaster on Ebonylife TV, Nigeria.

Pam Happi, who is fondly called Miss P is a bilinguist and a household name in Cameroon. She is the renowned hostess of Miss P Show.
Hauwa Allahbura is a Nigerian model, actress and a TV personality whose rise to fame came when she won the Miss FCT pageant some years ago.

Adenrele Oluwafemi Edun, popularly known as Denrele Edun was one of the red carpet hosts of AFRIMA 2015. He is known for his unique fashion style and personality.
Over 154 nominees are campaigning for votes from the public for the various categories of awards.