Just when Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode unveiled Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s statue, tongues have started wagging on why the statue is headless, which according to them depict the real Fela.
Quick to defend the artist (Abolore Sobayo), who designed the monument, Fela’s daughter, Yeni Kuti , explained that the artiste had to right to make the sculpture based on how he felt about Fela.
According to her; Before people on social media will start to say the Fela has no head or it has no hand and so on, it is art and before you abuse us, let me answer quickly. It is art. How an artist feels is how he feels because if he had put a head and the head did not look like Fela, everybody will say the head did not look like Fela so now you cannot abuse the head because it is not even there.
The artist, Abolore Sobayo, had a chance to speak for himself saying art should generate discuss, art should ask question and art should provoke our thoughts.
For me as an artist, art transcends beyond beauty or aesthetics. For me, art should generate discuss; art should ask question and art should provoke our thoughts. For me, the creation of the Liberation Statue is to represent the essence of Fela by using his costume. For me, I believe that this should serve as a conscious to our subconscious that twenty years after Fela’s demise, most of the things he talked about are still happening. For me, this work should come to us not just as a beautiful work, but it should come to us as something that will ginger us to look at the positivity in our lives; positivity in the values of his music; for us to start to emancipate our people positively. Going forward, I have been able to use symbolism as a medium to represent Fela through his costume and to represent his essence,’ Sobayo said.