Why French President Macron Is Visiting Fela’s Afrika Shrine

Emmanuel Macron, President of France, will on Tuesday visit the New Afrika Shrine founded by the family of Nigerian music icon Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
The new shrine, located in the Central Business District of Ikeja, Lagos, replaced Fela’s original club that was burnt down in 1977.
It serves as the host location of the annual Felabration music festival.
Macron, who is on a visit to the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott to attend the ongoing AU summit on Sunday, will join President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja to discuss issues on security and terrorism, after which he will head for Lagos.
In May, Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde disclosed that the state government would be playing a key role during the visit of Macron to Nigeria.
Ayorinde said his Ministry had held series of meeting with the French Ambassador as well as the representatives of the French President to facilitate the visit.
He noted that President Macron had showed interest in the African Culture as his country has released plans to dedicate the year 2020 to celebrating African Culture and Lagos had already been invited to participate actively in the pre-event activities
Macron had trained as a senior civil servant at the French embassy in Lagos in 2004.
TRACE TV and Ecobank Nigeria will be hosting a night tagged “A celebration of African Culture” on Tuesday to appreciate the uniqueness and detail of African Culture with Macron as Special Guest.
The evening will feature live performances by Femi Kuti and Yemi Alade, fashion shows by leading African designers and a meeting with stars from Nigeria’s Nollywood film industry.
“The Shrine is a must-see place,” said Olivier Laouchez, head, TRACE media and entertainment group and organiser of the event Macron will attend.
Afrika Shrine showcases photo galleries of Anikulapo-Kuti’ and features weekly shows by his son Femi Kuti, and sometimes Seun, thus making it a tourist attraction.
“There is clearly something abuzz in Lagos, with auctions mushrooming, and this will explode,” said contemporary art specialist Marie-Cecile Zinsou.
“The idea is to show the richness and diversity of African cultures. Europe does not know Africa or at least its cultural dimension,” she added.