France’s President, Emmanuel Macron has visited a nightclub founded by Nigerian legendary musician, Fela Kuti.
The French President traveled to Lagos on Tuesday to visit the New Afrika Shrine after meeting Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
Macron is on a two-day visit to Africa’s most populous nation.
The New Afrika Shrine is notoriously known for music, podium dancers and the stench of marijuana smoke.
The current version of the nightclub replaces the original setting created by Fela only to be burnt down in 1977.
The nightclub is now managed by the Fela Kuti’s sons Femi and Seun who are also into music.
Macron told the audience at the nightclub that “Fela was not just a musician. He was a politician who wanted to change society.
“So if I have one message for young people, it’s this: ‘Yes, politics is important; yes, be involved.”
The Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Steve Ayorinde says “It’s a pleasant surprise that Macron chose to celebrate the cultural scene in Lagos”.
Ayorinde added that “It didn’t come as a shock, knowing that France is a very cultural country and knowing that Macron is a young president.”
Emmanuel Macron becomes the first President to visit the nightclub, returning to the country after working there over a decade ago.
The French President spent six months in Abuja as an intern at the French embassy in 2002.
He says France will be launching a season of events to be “the face of African culture in Europe”.
“It will be about a new generation of African artists – for them by them,” he added.
This is African energy. The one I discovered here in Lagos when I was 23. The one I am glad to see is still thriving several years later. The one I hope many Europeans will get to know. The one that is far from the African prejudice of misery. pic.twitter.com/HqFxmJn0c1
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) July 4, 2018
Fela Kuti was a singer, composer and saxophonist. He pioneered the Afrobeat sound, combining organ riffs with drumming and brass instruments.
He was also known for smoking and clashing on several occasions with Nigeria’s military regime.
Fela was jailed on many occasions by Nigeria’s military regimes in the 1970s and 1980s.