Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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News Desk

Band A: “We don’t want 24 hours electricity anymore,” Obawole residents lament to NERC, EKEDC

"The increase is too much. They should take us back to Band B. We were not complaining," Mrs. Victor lamented to The Record.

What did Prince Harry and Megan Markle do in Lagos?

The couple visited Kaduna and, of course, ended their visit with a trip to Lagos, the centre of excellence, on Sunday, May 12.

Akanmu, UNILAG’s Best Graduating Student, named 2024 Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University

He is one of five Africans, and the only one from an African-based tertiary institution, to join the 2024 cohort.

Workers protest ‘unlawful sack’ of 391 Lagos Water Corporation staff

Members of the Amalgamated Unions of Public Corporations Civil...

LASEPA vows to improve air quality in Lagos

The Lagos State Environmental Monitoring Research Protection Agency on...

Annals Of Legislation

One year after: Key decisions taken by 10th Lagos State House of Assembly

The 10th Lagos House of Assembly was inaugurated on...

Land ownership issues: Lagos Assembly steps in with new bill

The Lagos House of Assembly is considering a Lagos...

State police: Lagos Assembly rejects IGP Egbetokun’s position

The Lagos State House of Assembly has kicked against...

Lagos Assembly to hold stakeholders’ meeting on Land grabbing

According to the resolution, the planned meeting would involve the state government, the police, the judiciary, traditional rulers and others.

Navigating Lagos

Nine highest-paying occupations in Lagos state

According to data from the Lagos government in 2021,...

Preserving Nigeria’s Legacy: Inside the National Museum in Onikan, Lagos

The National Museum Lagos boasts an extensive collection estimated at 47,000 objects, crafted from various materials including wood, ivory, metal, and terracotta.

Road rage: 342 accidents claim 22 lives in Lagos in first two months of 2024

Road rage: 342 accidents claim 22 lives in Lagos...

From ruins to restoration: Discovering the treasures in Freedom Park Lagos

I discovered that the park, located on a prime location in Lagos Island, had a historical past—it used to be a prison during Nigeria's colonial era.

Where to find co-working spaces in Lagos Mainland

As remote work continues to shape contemporary work culture, these spaces provide valuable solutions for those seeking flexibility, connectivity, and a dynamic work experience in Lagos.

Eko Lifestyle

Discover seven alternative Lagos beaches to Landmark, Oniru, others

Despite these alterations to the landscape of Lagos' coastal attractions, the state still boasts a plethora of breathtaking beaches waiting to be explored. At Ikeja Record, we have compiled a list of viable alternatives for you.

From ruins to restoration: Discovering the treasures in Freedom Park Lagos

I discovered that the park, located on a prime location in Lagos Island, had a historical past—it used to be a prison during Nigeria's colonial era.

Top 5 budget smartphones, as recommended by Computer Village vendors

  From communication and entertainment to productivity at work and...

Top exotic Spas for self-care in Ikeja

Spa treatments is a form of self-care which offer relaxation, stress relief, and physical rejuvenation, all of which contribute to overall well-being.

Best spot to eat authentic pounded yam in Lagos

The culinary gem nestled in the heart of Lagos not only offers meticulously prepared pounded yam but also embraces the rich tapestry of Yoruba culture in its aesthetics and ambiance.

The Political Scene

One year after: Key decisions taken by 10th Lagos State House of Assembly

The 10th Lagos House of Assembly was inaugurated on...

Is the storm over between Sanwo-Olu and Obasa? 

Is this renewed joviality in the best interest of Lagosians?

Lagos is spending big on infrastructure. But choking on debt.

As of December 2022, Lagos was the state with the highest debt stock across the Nigerian federation.

Three reasons why Lagos House of Assembly rejected Sanwo-Olu’s 17 commissioner-nominees

Beyond geographical and religious factors, the possibility of pending disagreements can not be ruled out.

What Ojodu residents want from LCDA Chairman Segun Odunmbaku

The residents made the requests following celebrations marking Segun Odunmbaku’s two years in office as Executive Chairman of Ojodu LCDA.

Persons Of Interest

Living with Lupus in Lagos: Misturah Owolabi shares her inspiring journey

“ Lupus is not a death sentence, it is a very manageable condition. Do not believe that Lupus is going to hinder you from achieving your goals.”

Lagos-based startup, Midddleman, is bridging trust and logistics gaps in the e-commerce world

Additionally, the co-founder shared that e-commerce companies can now send Yuan/CNY/RMB to their Chinese suppliers through Middleman.

‘I left Ibadan for Lagos to grow my career in tech and now I love the lifestyle offerings’ – Tech Sis

One year after this decision, she found it to be one of the best choices she has ever made. It opened more doors of opportunities that were unavailable to her in Ibadan.

Behind the Wheel: Pelumi Nubi opens up about London to Lagos solo drive

“ I wanted to inspire more women to step out of their comfort zone and do challenging stuff.”

Meet the man who swam across Third Mainland Bridge to raise awareness on silent killer among Lagosians

During his first year at the university, he stumbled upon the swim team one evening and decided to join. It was there that he discovered his love for swimming and the fulfilment it brought into his life.

News Desk

Band A: “We don’t want 24 hours electricity anymore,” Obawole residents lament to NERC, EKEDC

"The increase is too much. They should take us back to Band B. We were not complaining," Mrs. Victor lamented to The Record.

What did Prince Harry and Megan Markle do in Lagos?

The couple visited Kaduna and, of course, ended their visit with a trip to Lagos, the centre of excellence, on Sunday, May 12.

Akanmu, UNILAG’s Best Graduating Student, named 2024 Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University

He is one of five Africans, and the only one from an African-based tertiary institution, to join the 2024 cohort.

Workers protest ‘unlawful sack’ of 391 Lagos Water Corporation staff

Members of the Amalgamated Unions of Public Corporations Civil...

LASEPA vows to improve air quality in Lagos

The Lagos State Environmental Monitoring Research Protection Agency on...

Annals Of Legislation

One year after: Key decisions taken by 10th Lagos State House of Assembly

The 10th Lagos House of Assembly was inaugurated on...

Land ownership issues: Lagos Assembly steps in with new bill

The Lagos House of Assembly is considering a Lagos...

State police: Lagos Assembly rejects IGP Egbetokun’s position

The Lagos State House of Assembly has kicked against...

Lagos Assembly to hold stakeholders’ meeting on Land grabbing

According to the resolution, the planned meeting would involve the state government, the police, the judiciary, traditional rulers and others.

Navigating Lagos

Nine highest-paying occupations in Lagos state

According to data from the Lagos government in 2021,...

Preserving Nigeria’s Legacy: Inside the National Museum in Onikan, Lagos

The National Museum Lagos boasts an extensive collection estimated at 47,000 objects, crafted from various materials including wood, ivory, metal, and terracotta.

Road rage: 342 accidents claim 22 lives in Lagos in first two months of 2024

Road rage: 342 accidents claim 22 lives in Lagos...

From ruins to restoration: Discovering the treasures in Freedom Park Lagos

I discovered that the park, located on a prime location in Lagos Island, had a historical past—it used to be a prison during Nigeria's colonial era.

Where to find co-working spaces in Lagos Mainland

As remote work continues to shape contemporary work culture, these spaces provide valuable solutions for those seeking flexibility, connectivity, and a dynamic work experience in Lagos.

Eko Lifestyle

Discover seven alternative Lagos beaches to Landmark, Oniru, others

Despite these alterations to the landscape of Lagos' coastal attractions, the state still boasts a plethora of breathtaking beaches waiting to be explored. At Ikeja Record, we have compiled a list of viable alternatives for you.

From ruins to restoration: Discovering the treasures in Freedom Park Lagos

I discovered that the park, located on a prime location in Lagos Island, had a historical past—it used to be a prison during Nigeria's colonial era.

Top 5 budget smartphones, as recommended by Computer Village vendors

  From communication and entertainment to productivity at work and...

Top exotic Spas for self-care in Ikeja

Spa treatments is a form of self-care which offer relaxation, stress relief, and physical rejuvenation, all of which contribute to overall well-being.

Best spot to eat authentic pounded yam in Lagos

The culinary gem nestled in the heart of Lagos not only offers meticulously prepared pounded yam but also embraces the rich tapestry of Yoruba culture in its aesthetics and ambiance.

The Political Scene

One year after: Key decisions taken by 10th Lagos State House of Assembly

The 10th Lagos House of Assembly was inaugurated on...

Is the storm over between Sanwo-Olu and Obasa? 

Is this renewed joviality in the best interest of Lagosians?

Lagos is spending big on infrastructure. But choking on debt.

As of December 2022, Lagos was the state with the highest debt stock across the Nigerian federation.

Three reasons why Lagos House of Assembly rejected Sanwo-Olu’s 17 commissioner-nominees

Beyond geographical and religious factors, the possibility of pending disagreements can not be ruled out.

What Ojodu residents want from LCDA Chairman Segun Odunmbaku

The residents made the requests following celebrations marking Segun Odunmbaku’s two years in office as Executive Chairman of Ojodu LCDA.

Persons Of Interest

Living with Lupus in Lagos: Misturah Owolabi shares her inspiring journey

“ Lupus is not a death sentence, it is a very manageable condition. Do not believe that Lupus is going to hinder you from achieving your goals.”

Lagos-based startup, Midddleman, is bridging trust and logistics gaps in the e-commerce world

Additionally, the co-founder shared that e-commerce companies can now send Yuan/CNY/RMB to their Chinese suppliers through Middleman.

‘I left Ibadan for Lagos to grow my career in tech and now I love the lifestyle offerings’ – Tech Sis

One year after this decision, she found it to be one of the best choices she has ever made. It opened more doors of opportunities that were unavailable to her in Ibadan.

Behind the Wheel: Pelumi Nubi opens up about London to Lagos solo drive

“ I wanted to inspire more women to step out of their comfort zone and do challenging stuff.”

Meet the man who swam across Third Mainland Bridge to raise awareness on silent killer among Lagosians

During his first year at the university, he stumbled upon the swim team one evening and decided to join. It was there that he discovered his love for swimming and the fulfilment it brought into his life.

The enigmatic lure of New Afrika Shrine, Its People and Lifestyle

A photo collage picture of the interior and exterior of the New Afrika Shrine, Lagos. Credit: Omon Okhuevbie/The Record.

For many, the New Afrika Shrine may seem forbidden, but for Made Kuti, also known as Omorinmade Anikulapo-Kuti, it’s not just a place; it’s a home that significantly influenced his life. 

As a child, he watched his father, Femi Kuti, perform on the stage and absorbed stories about African freedom fighters, gaining early awareness of life’s realities.

“I would always ask, who is this guy on the poster? My father would say Sankara and would explain who Sankara was to me. That level of information, I never got it anywhere else. It was only in the Shrine I could learn about history,” Made shared with The Record.

An exclusive interview with Made Kuti.

Rebecca Ajao, the lead dancer of Made Kuti’s band, lives by the motto “don’t judge a book by its cover without reading the book.” 

This is why she embraced the opportunity to work at the Shrine, despite hearing negative tales about the club.

“I heard things like they rape, smoke and that it’s not safe. They said you can’t hang around the Shrine; you can’t stay for too long at the Shrine. You know I am a dancer, so I heard a lot. They said as a dancer to work with the Kuti’s is difficult; you have to be very spiritual, you have to be this and that,” Ajao cited some of the rumours she heard.

Ajao described her two-year journey with the Kuti family as an amazing period filled with challenges that enriched her professional dancing experience.

Similar to Ajao, many viewed the New Afrika Shrine with skepticism, hearing stories portraying it as a haven for questionable individuals or a dimly lit place clouded with marijuana smoke.

A sign post which says ‘Shrine does not support hard drugs’ placed on the fence of the Afrika Shrine, Lagos. Credit: Omon Okhuevbie/The Record.

Inedoye Anikulapo-Kuti, a fashion entrepreneur and Made’s wife, echoed these sentiments, recalling her initial hesitancy during her first visit to the Shrine with a friend. Overcoming her fears, she revisited the Shrine in 2017 with Made, attending the Sunday Jump performance where Femi Kuti took the stage.

“Femi Kuti was on stage, it was one of the best nights of my life. Since then, I kept coming back,” Nedo said.

The New Afrika Shrine

The original Afrika Shrine, established in the 1970s by the late Afrobeats Legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, served as his home until a few weeks before his passing in 1997. 

Following Fela’s death, the Shrine fell into disrepair. In 2000, his children, led by his eldest daughter, Yeni and his eldest son, Femi, reopened a new version, known as the New Afrika Shrine.

However, they couldn’t reopen the original Shrine as it was on leased land for the duration of Fela’s life. The current 23-year-old New Afrika Shrine, located at NERDC road, Agindingbi, Ikeja, is four times the size of the original club.

The New Afrika Shrine is a roofed, two-story building featuring an open space for the audience to sit and enjoy live performances on the stage. There are bars on the ground floor and the first floor for guests who prefer a top-down view.

Within the club, amenities include a small library, merchandise stores, a restaurant, pool tables, and designated chill-out areas. Additionally, several food stalls on the premises offer a variety of meals, from instant noodles to Nigerian home-cooked dishes, snacks, ice cream, grilled fish, and Suya meat.

“We have everything you need here. This is why we don’t allow guests or visitors to bring in food or drinks,” the guard at the reception informed our correspondent. 

According to the manager, Mr. Sunday Essien, the club is available for rental at affordable rates, catering to events such as birthday celebrations, parties, and other small gatherings.

Regarding the club’s drug policy, Essien clarified that hard drugs are strictly prohibited at the Shrine, but smoking is allowed. 

He emphasized that the sale of drugs, including weed, is not permitted, and they have a legal vape shop on the premises.

The club is open to all from Monday to Saturday for free, except on show days when tickets, still affordable, are required. 

Made Kuti explained to The Record that the free entry and cheap show tickets reflect their focus on providing the best possible venue and creative space for people rather than pursuing financial gains.

“It is not a business that I know we have approached with a financial gain in mind,” he expressed.

The New Afrika Shrine’s primary goal is to honour and preserve Fela’s contributions to the local community and the broader evolution of post-colonial Africa. Femi Kuti, describing the Shrine as a united place for everyone, irrespective of gender, social class, or race, emphasized its inclusive nature.

“The Shrine for me is all about positive revolution. The poor people sit with the rich people, the white people sit with the black people, and nobody feels different,” He said.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the New Afrika Shrine hosted shows almost every night of the week.

Jazz night was on Mondays, Reggae music on Tuesdays, ladies night on Wednesdays, Femi’s rehearsals on Thursdays, disco night on Fridays, DJ party fest on Saturdays, and Seun Kuti performed on the last Saturday of the month. Sundays featured Femi’s live band.

Currently, shows are held only on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sundays. 

“Monday and Tuesday is our rest days,” the tour guide at the Shrine told The Record. 

Inside the club, a small shrine altar exists, devoid of religious or traditional ties to any gods. This shrine serves as a place where visitors can pay homage to the spirits of freedom activists who fought for African rights. The altar is adorned with name tags of traditional Yoruba gods and pictures of African freedom fighters and activists, including Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Funmilayo Anikulapo Kuti, and others.

Nightlife at the Shrine

Night time at the New Afrika Shrine is truly when the club comes alive, especially on Sundays with Femi Kuti and the Positive Force.

Attending the Sunday Jump, as the show with Femi Kuti is popularly known, on December 17 requires a gate fee of N2000, which is remarkably affordable for an elite performance.

The show commences at 7 pm, with the Positive Force starting the performance. The band captivates the audience with songs from various legendary Nigerian musicians, ranging from Christy Essien-Igbokwe to Fatai Rolling Dollar, and setting the atmosphere with Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s iconic tunes.

Femi, on this day,  showcases his new offerings, which include new songs with dance steps that often betray his age.

An overview of the Shrine’s interior setup at night. Credit: Omon Okhuevbie/The Record.

People start entering the club around 8:30 pm.  Not just Nigerians but also foreigners. The dance floor is open for all. Guests not interested in dancing gather at the snooker pool area can engage in games with others.

By 9pm, the hall would be nearly full, and waiters would have to bring out more chairs and tables for the late arrivals.

Indeed, the Shrine is a cool place to be, whether during the day or at night. The ultimate experience, however, is on days featuring special live band shows by either Made Kuti and the Movement or Femi Kuti and the Positive Force.

It stands out as the most affordable spot for a delightful night on the mainland, providing an opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich culture of Lagos and Nigeria as a whole. This cultural richness and vibrant entertainment lifestyle are likely what attract foreigners to the Shrine.

Omon Okhuevbie
Omon is a staff reporter at the Ikeja Record.

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