This year’s annual musical concert celebrating the life and times of Afrobeat King, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, tagged ‘Felabration’ came to a memorable close last Sunday, with Jamaican legendary reggae artiste, Don Carlos lighting the stage on fire.
The sweet-voiced reggae star and composer who was performing in Nigeria for the first time, was this year’s festival special guest artiste. He mounted the stage at exactly 12.45 a m. and got a standing ovation from thousands of fun seekers who thronged the New Afrika Shrine venue of the annual festival, in Ikeja, Lagos.
The 62-year old reggae star, who had his greatest success singing with Black Uhuru, the reggae trio he formed in 1974 with two friends- Rudolph Dennis and Derrick “Duckie” Simpson- from the “Waterhouse” district in Kingston was excited to be in Nigeria as well as be a part of the celebration of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. “It is an honour to be in Lagos, Nigeria to celebrate Fela, a true African champion and Afrobeat King. Fela was a prophet and a legend of our time. He was like Bob Marley,” he remarked.
Carlos performed alongside fellow reggae star from Dominica, Raymond ‘Aima’ Moses. The energetic reggae star opened the gig for legendary artiste,who later launched into his repertoire. Backed by Femi Kuti’s Positive Force Band, Carlos reeled out some of his evergreen songs, leaving fun seekers with memories of time past. For 40 minutes, the legendary reggae star kept the audience on their feet dancing to his roots rock reggae music.
Rendering songs such as “Spread Out”, “Harvest Time” and “Day to Day Living”, Carlos made a triumphant appearance at this year’s festival. Roots reggae with passion and strength was his gift to the audience at the event. He was exciting and inspirational, while Femi’s band kept a steady ‘riddim’.
Nigerian artistes that shared the stage with him were Weird MC, Kcee, Femi Kuti, Styl Plus; Olaitan Adeniji and his Heavywindz Band; Eda O tan Band; Orezi; Isla Kauche (Olumide Bamigboye), Oritsefemi and Harrysong.