President Of France, Emmanuel Macron, Visits Fela Shrine, Enthralled By Diverse Show Of Art And Entertainment
President Marcron who arrived the venue with Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode was first taken on a tour of some art exhibitions of artists like Ndidi Emefiele, Victor Ehikhamenor and Abraham Onoriode Ogbobase, and just before his brief media chat on stage.
He also requested to be ushered round the Shrine, climbing to the topmost floor from where, having attained a full view of the venue, he made the Fela signature fist, earning a louder ovation across the hall.
Highlights of the entertainment at the shrine include, Footprints of David Youth Group who did the Sango dance with attendant energy. Their song eulogised Macron and Ambode, while a shimmering effect portrait of both men presented by the group sealed their show.
Also to the delight of the President, an 11 year old boy named Kazeem did a painting of the him and it was added to Macron’s souvenirs.
To this Marcon said he was touched.
In another moment of delight, Afropop queen, Yemi Alade opened the stage for musical performances on the night. While Ara came in with the talking drum and an enchanting Cameroonian singer, Charlotte Dipanda, also thrilled the audience.
On hand to give a befitting climax to the musical segment was Femi Kuti, son of the legendary Fela and his sister, Yeni Kuti with their electrifying performance.
The potpourri event was also spiced with a cultural segment including art exhibition curated by Tokini Peterside of Art X Lagos; a fashion show by Jane Michaek Ekanem; a Nollywood skit designed by Kunle Afolayan and a short video presentation by Chioma Ude, announcing Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF)’s partnership with French film school, CineFabrique.
Also speaking at the event, Governor Ambode reiterated his commitment to tourism, hospitality, entertainment and sports for excellence, as components of his T.H.E.S.E agenda, described Lagos as the fifth largest economy in Africa, and Macron’s visit as a dawn of a new era between France and Nigeria, “especially for the myriad of talents that have made Lagos their home.”
Macron in his remark said he is determined to champion a new narrative about how Africa is perceived, adding that the African Cultural Season 2020 is one of the ways to project the continent positively.
“I believe that we have to build together, a new and common narrative. And this new common narrative is not based on what is important for Europeans, but what is important for Africa about their culture – how they want to build their culture, how they want to explain their culture, how they want to promote their culture and which places are important for them for these promotions.
“European leaders are not here to lecture African leaders. African leaders are here to take care of their people. They are not there to lead the young generation to believe that their future is outside Africa. They have to build their future here in Africa, he added.