Why I’m visiting Fela’s Afrika Shrine – Emmanuel Macron

Presidents Muhammadu Buhar and Emmanuel Macron exchanging pleasantries

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, has said he decided to visit Afrika Shrine, founded by late music legend, Fela Kuti, in Lagos because he has fond memories of the place.

Mr Macron said he has been looking for an opportunity to visit the shrine because, “I know the place and I have some memories.”

The French leader, who was speaking during a press conference alongside his host, President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja, travelled to Lagos after the briefing.

He told journalists that he hopes his return to the shrine as a serving president “will not spoil the party.”

He said the shrine were Fela’s son, Femi, and other musicians, perform live music “is such an iconic place for a lot of African people and African culture.”

The French president, who was once a junior diplomat in Nigeria, lauded the historic and cultural significance of the shrine. He said people like Fela and his sons, Femi and Seun, “are obviously very famous in France and Europe.”

“I mean they are big successes but the shrine is a cultural hub, an iconic hub and is very important for me first on a personal level, and that is why I want to say with a lot of humility that I recognise the importance of this place, I recognise the place of culture in this current environment.”

Mr Macron is being hosted by the Lagos government at the shrine amidst musical performances by Femi and other singers.