FELA! On Broadway, World Tour!
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Atim Oton: Fela is Back On Broadway…and it is Fabulous

Posted on by FELANY

I was born in Nigeria in 1969 and lived through Fela’s revolutionary years. I remember 1977 like it was yesterday. There were 3 major events that year in my life: the raid on Fela’s compound, FESTAC 77 and my father’s untimely death. Each changed the way I see the world significantly.

So coming to see FELA was like going home to Nigeria. It was a reminder of why after 35 years, Fela is still very significant and why when musician Youssou N’dour decided to run for President of Senegal – last year, I was concerned. Africa is not kind to its revolutionary musicians. We make them heros and then we attack and destroy them and their lives. Can I list another? Mama Africa singer Miriam Makeba lived in exile to speak the truth. Her passport was cancelled by the South African apathied government.

The play is back on Broadway for just 32 performances. It’s not enough time, I wish the producers and the theatre will consider extending it. I will love to be there for each 32 performances, but alas, I cannot. So take my place each night and come with your dancing shoes. The clock is ticking, and make sure you do a number 12 and 6. The rhythm will get you. Maybe, a 3 and 9, instead. (You must see the play to get these references). My Nigerian self is wishing to see it yet again. It maybe long to some but I am thankful for the 2 plus hours – it is still not enough time to tell the story of FELA, just imagine – this is only a day in his life as he recounts parts of his life story to the audience. Ase..o.

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5 Responses to Atim Oton: Fela is Back On Broadway…and it is Fabulous

  1. Ochoro says:

    Excellent review. I will be going back on Saturday to watch the play for the third time. As an African, I was surprised and elated by the brilliant performance. Fela is not only an iconic and revolutionary figure; he was also a humane genius who took the issue of human rights seriously. It is wonderful to see his life remembered and celebrated.

    On a more personal note, Atim is such an East African name! Of course, we are the same people, east and west! Viva Afrika!

  2. Vainfairy says:

    Simply d most spiritual,mesmerizin,hypnotic n’ compellin eulogy of africa’s 2pac!! See FELA on broadway n’ LIVE!!! Viva Afrika!!!

  3. I heard about Fela many years ago but I did not know the significance of his life. All I knew that he was African and the play was about Africa and anything African I want to see.
    I was fortunate enough to see Fela in New York in July,2012 and as Atim stated,I wish I could have seen all 32 performances. It was awesome! The music and ohh!! the dancing.The movement and rhythm of the dance reminded me of one of New Orleans style of dance(Bounce). I couldn’t stop moving in my seat.

    I bought the CD of the music and I play it almost everyday in my car trying to re-live my experience of the play.
    Bring Fela to New Orleans. You’ll feel right at home.

  4. Vilma Wickham says:

    Your performance is sensational, your dancing reminds me of the carnival in my country which is Trinidad, West Indies

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