In this extremely detailed piece that documents the last days of ‘Abami Eda’. The story of his last days come to bare and details of how Fela refused western medicine till it was too late.
The spiritual connotation for 1997 was more than the 20th anniversary of the Kalakuta raid or the 10th anniversary of the death of Fela’s close friend President Thomas Sankara (who through undeniable spiritual fate, died on Fela’s birth day). 1997 was also the beginning of the manifestation of the cycle: Fela’s rejuvenation. Though strong for important days, Fela was already a shadow of his former self in February.
His body was too thin for his head, his skin dry, spotty, like they’d been s*cked from within. Loads of white hair on his head. In March, Fela had his most expensive show ever. 3,000 Naira (about $27 dollars then. $27 dollars today is almost 10 thousand). “Fela at the Muson” was a huge success. As rich people and foreigners came to watch Fela. Fela was warned prior, that no marijuana smoking should be done on stage, no provocative dances either. Fela would break those rules barely 5 mins in. Fela, by one of his boys side stage, had been provided with a big blunt.
The music was however enthralling especially for the bass-filled rendition of ‘Clear Road for Jaga Jaga’. By the time Fela got to ‘Condom Scallawag and Scatter’, the provocative dances came. Fela began to grab at the backside of his dancers, making different cex poses as he danced with them. An act which shocked those who were seeing him for the first time. The music was bubbling as the chorus “Baba Obo” rang through. The crowd was well pleased with Fela’s performance giving him a wonderful applause at the end. Similar to his Yabbis Night speeches, Fela during the course of the show had complained of the country’s situation, sighting that the country was actually getting worse.