The Caban Bamboo Ruins
It is ironic that the year we are about to commemorate 50 years of professional popular musicianship in Nigeria, fascilitated by the late Bobby Benson, the CABAN BAMBOO ruins lies crumbled desolate on Ikorodu Road, and remains an eye sore to the world. The sight of that ruins, once the beehive of musical activities in Nigeria and home to the father ofpopular musicianship in Nigerian speaks volumes of the nation's lack of devotion and appreciation of the heroes and music, in Nigeria.
I imagined and tried to put Fela and Paul McCartney, (remember he came to see Fela in 1973 or so in Lagos to forge a musical relation) on a 24 years scale. Span, and measure the difference in comparative terms of thier growth and advancement in society. While McCartney rose to be knighted by the Queen of England to become Sir McCartney. The home from which the Beatle grew has been acquired by Liverpool local council and made into a national museum for the public.
Fela on the other spectrum, victimised constantly, harassed and beaten up in police raids to his residence. Locked up, his house burnt when finally he succumbed to the inevitable and transited, Government refused to speak out and acknowledge his contribution to the elevation of Nigerian music globally. Government is sending out the idioms impression as if to say "Fela never existed as far as they are concerned whereas, the whole world knows Fela existed and , even larger than life today.
Worst still the shrine which is the home and embodiment of afrobeat, Felas creation, is no more. The Fela Foundation offered the BENETI family millions of Naira to preserve the shrine as a land mark. But they stonily refused inspite of the pleadings by concerned Nigerians and world opinion, insisted, "we went back the land and nothing more the sacred monument for tourism the land had become -mean nothing to them. Yet this is a well established and rich family. They have everything and can do, easily without that piece of land, five times over, decided to kill the shrine .
How the young and creative artistes in Nigeria can be inspired to serve this obviously nihilistic nation, is rather difficult to expect. We must point out. This I am alright Jack, the people can not if they so please attitude of those in power in Nigeria must redress itself. They should take a look inward and focus on the people. What ever the political and economic pursuit of a society any where on earth, the interest of the people is supreme. Because if the people are left undeveloped and uncared for, society itself will suffer under development and its aims defeated.
This victimization of musicians and the denial of their collective right has gone on too long, and now demands justice.