Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tourist Attractions of Lagos, part 3: The New Africa Shrine

So let me just preface this post by explaining that my camera isn't really set up to do low light photography, much less low light+fast action so apologies in advance that these pictures are a bit grainy.
With that said, welcome na de shrine! (welcome to the shrine).
The New Africa Shrine has been designated the spiritual home of Afrobeat by Lonely Planet. The original shrine was established by the very famous Nigerian singer Fela Kuti back in the 1970's. It was a space used to create and enjoy music but it was also an important vehicle for Kuti's political views.  (The Wikipedia page linked above is certainly worth a read, Kuti was a fascinating figure.)The original shrine is now gone but a new one has been built and is run by his son, Femi.
The consulate staff got a backstage tour, photos with Femi, and VIP seating. But even without all those perks the concert would have been excellent. Particularly for sheltered expats this is a great place to hang with a predominately Nigerian crowd and enjoy some distinctly Nigerian music. The music is always loud, the suya (meat on a stick) is always spicy, and the musicians are always incredibly energetic. They danced and sang pretty much non-stop for several hours and had the crowd all up dancing too by the end of the night. There were even some pyrotechnics which went over well.
I highly recommend a night here to anyone who has time (and RSO permission of course).

He was poorly lit. I swear this is the best I could do.

I love the face painting. Each dancer had a different design and they all looked gorgeous.

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