Per Montgomery County: Fela Kuti was the biggest Afro Beat star out of Africa. Olney Theatre currently has a production about his life. From 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 11, there will be a free special event primarily featuring the music and dance of Fela Kuti. The event, at Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring, will have the additional components of yoga, arts and crafts, a fashion show and even Nollywood stars–all from the Nigerian community.
The celebration of the music of Fela Kuti will be presented by Silver Spring Town Center, Inc., in collaboration with the Nigerians in Diaspora Organization Americas, D.C. Chapter (NIDOADC) and Olney Theatre Center. This celebration coincides with the opening of Olney Theattre’s production “Fela!”
The activities lineup for July 11, which will be hosted by local Nollywood Award-winning film artist Wale Adebayo (a.k.a. Sango), will include:
- Dance Naija: demonstration of Nigerian party dance and competition.
- Yoga geared toward Fela Kuti and his message by Design Peace.
- Fashion show featuring the work of multi-award-winning Tanzanian designer Asya Khamsin (IG: @AsyaKhamsin).
- Performance by local Nigerian Diaspora artists Dreadcity and Naturechord.
- Organic ethnic gardening: table and demonstration by Mercies Home to Home and master gardener Issa Bayor.
- Nollywood guest artists.
- Arts and crafts.
Fela Kuti was an empowered activist and musician who used his voice to speak up against the injustices against Nigerians. To speak up for oneself and their community in such an authentically profound and remarkable way, one must be in integrity with himself and the universal Soul that connects all.
This 45-minute yoga class will embrace “Soul” (Kriya) Yoga using the poses, movement, attention and breath as connections. Participants are asked to bring yoga mats. All are welcome and Kriya yoga is accessible to all.
Olney Theatre Center production of Fela! Is running now through Aug. 13. The music and lyrics are by Fela Kuti. The production is based on a book by Bill T. Jones and Jim Lewis. The Olney Theatre Center is located at 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. in Olney.
The production starts in 1978 with a meeting of musician, activist,and global superstar Fela Anikulapo Kuti at his farewell show at the Afrika Shrine nightclub in Lagos, Nigeria. After losing his own mother in a dictator’s violent attack, Fela’s final act in Nigeria is to use his iconic music—a spirited blend of traditional African drumming, jazz, and funk—to tell his story of survival and global revolution through Afrobeat and floor-shaking dance.
The New York Times said: The Tony Award-winning and Grammy-nominated musical “captures the spirit of rebellion . . . that dwells within all of us” in the inspiring true story of one man’s fight against corruption and oppression.
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