‘Afrobeat Music Has Recorded Appreciable Progress Globally’

Ugo Aliogo 

US-based singer and songwriter, Somi Pakoma, has revealed that Afrobeat music has recorded appreciable progress globally, adding that the music genre has taken a life of its own.

 She also noted that truth would always find its way.

Pakoma, who disclosed this in Lagos, during the unveiling of the ‘Fabric of Courage’ exhibition, said the event was aimed at celebrating the memory of FESTAC 1977, and the archive of the event.

 She further explained that Nigeria was a cultural giant on the global stage, adding that this was evident across various spheres of life such as music, literature, fashion, and visual arts.

She stated: “I have lived in Lagos over the last 10 years, and one of the things that I always find challenging is realising that despite so much art making and cultural production, there are these sacred spaces like where we are standing right now. “Nigeria has always been in a position to be able to inspire, guide, encourage other people, other, not only Nigerians, but across the continent and the world to continue to do this type of work.

“I have always been interested in going across the continent and taking historic cultural sites of cultural production and reactivating them.”

 Speaking on the focus of the event, Pakoma stated that it was a multidisciplinary exhibition aimed at celebrating the memory of FESTAC 77, and the archive of FESTAC, adding that she was invited by an American photographer by the name of Marilyn Neves, who documented the American delegation and all artistes at FESTAC in 1977.

She added: “I think that those women who were at FESTAC were already doing big things. They influenced us now, regardless of whether they were at FESTAC or not.”

 Earlier in her remarks, the US-based Photographer, Marilyn Nuance, said the event represents a gathering of Africa people both old and young joining together to appreciate the beauty culture of Africa.

 She expressed delight to participate at the event, noting that this was her first time back in Nigeria since the FESTAC 1977.

“The interesting thing about attending the FESTAC 77 is that I have been steeped in pan-African Ideology political training before coming to Nigeria. So, when I came to Nigeria, I am already an African and I met other Africans too.

“Today, people are using photography to tell the story of Africa to the outside world because African is talked about the impression that is created in the minds of people is an ancient African, they don’t think about the young people of the continent who are breaking new grounds in different spheres of life,” she added.

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