HomeArchiveFela Anikulapo Kuti Drove This Battered Volkswagen Beetle To Protest FESTAC 77

Fela Anikulapo Kuti Drove This Battered Volkswagen Beetle To Protest FESTAC 77

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Festac ’77, also known as the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, was held in Lagos in 1977.

Cost of the event which came in at $400m ($1.95b in today’s money) and the ways the funds were used, led to disagreement.

To highlight the plight of the masses, Fela, as a way of protest, drove around in a battered VW Beetle during the event.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti Drove This Battered Volkswagen Beetle To Protest FESTAC 77 - autojosh

Fela Anikulapo Kuti Drove This Battered Volkswagen Beetle To Protest FESTAC 77 - autojosh

Nigeria was placed at the height of international reckoning, following the successfully hosting of the Festac ’77, also known as the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture.

About 16,000 participants, representing 56 African nations and countries of the African Diaspora, performed at the international festival held in Lagos, from 15 January 1977 to 12 February 1977.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti Drove This Battered Volkswagen Beetle To Protest FESTAC 77 - autojosh

Fela Anikulapo Kuti Drove This Battered Volkswagen Beetle To Protest FESTAC 77 - autojosh

12 years of planning for the event saw the development of a specially designed 5,000 capacity National Theatre, 5,000 high-end apartments, two luxury hotels, and a network of highways created to avoid Lagos’s legendary traffic congestion.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti Drove This Battered Volkswagen Beetle To Protest FESTAC 77 - autojosh

Fela Anikulapo Kuti Drove This Battered Volkswagen Beetle To Protest FESTAC 77 - autojosh

But FESTAC ’77 was not all smooth sailing as there was disagreement as to the cost of the event which came in at $400 Million (or $1.95 billion in today’s money) and the ways the funds were used.

To highlight the plight of the masses, Afrobeat legend and political activist, Fela Aníkúlápó Kuti, also known as Abami Eda, as a way of protest, drove around in a battered Volkswagen Beetle during the Festac 77.

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