Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Friday night Ikeja dash

At the tail end of my whirlwind Nigerian trip I arrived back from Abuja to the Lagos hotel on Friday at around 4pm wondering what to do with my free time before flying back to London on Saturday morning. I mentioned the location of a record store I wanted to visit to my work colleague who advised me that it would take far too long to get to Ikeja and that it would be unsafe. I knew about the traffic out of VI to Ikeja but wasn't about to give up a chance to go to the original location of Fela Kuti's Kalakuta Republic and the Fela Music Library. Consulting with the hotel staff about the location and with drivers proved less than promising before I negotiated a deal with one of the drivers who was confident that staff at the Sheraton in Ikeja would know. There were some lost in translation moments..."The Fela Store" becoming "Fela's compund" and similar but eventually after 3 hours from VI to Ikeja we located the TriAngle chicken restaurant and then moved slowly towards the Ikeja bus-stop asking as we drove. The driver was worried about his taxi and I was insistent about not turning back after having come this far. Eventually we located a shoe repairman who confirmed the alley where the store was and with success in front of us we headed off down a dark alleyway. Then we found the store. Mr T wasn't in and his generator wasn't working but plenty of original Fela LPs on sale in various conditions.

Thursday night in Abuja at the Hilton, hotel band playing covers and this and that...took a request from me for Sweet Mother, good to see it liven up the area...then later Don Bruce (Abuja's self styled James Brown) took us through the Staple SIngers "I'll take you there", James Brown's "Licking Stick" and then some dodgy versions of Rivers of Babylon and No Woman No Cry...by then time to bail out.

1 comment:

TALL JAMAL said...

sounds wild, man. Somewhat tangential, but I was playing Ebenezer Obey in my old classroom in Brooklyn and this substitute teacher comes in to ask me something and stops and say, "that´s Obey!!!" Then starts swayin around and tellin me that she used to go to Fela´s compound back in the day before moving to the states.

That´s the closest I´ve been and I´m totally jealous!!