Sunday, September 5, 2010

Real Talk.

I went to a memorial concert for a musician called Fela Kuti. He was an innovator of Nigerian music and sang to educate the people of his country about what was happening to Nigeria because of a corrupted government working with the corporations of the United States and other foreign countries. Considered a musical genius and credited for creating a new genre of music called "AfroPop" or "AfroBeat," Fela was probably the largest act to come from the continent of Africa.

The late Fela Kuti performing on stage.

The memorial concert was full of positive vibes and music. I only have some cell phone shots that really don't do justice. A couple of groups played, some girls did some traditional dances, there was also a drum circle. People were really enjoying their instruments and the scene was that of a jam circle. Pretty much the same as when you go out to ride and jam with your friends. Everybody feeding off the good energy, having fun!

We go and ride flatland at the local parks, there's water fountains, a sewage system, etc. and we don't think twice about why we are able to go to the park and enjoy riding. Parks are always around. The thought of living where you can't go to a park doesn't really enter the mind. What if the city where you lived didn't fund the construction of any of any infrastructure and in some cases, not even infrastructure for basic living like electricity and running water? What if you wanted to speak up because the money that should have been used to build up your country was being funneled out of country? Perhaps you might be thrown in jail for speaking up? Perhaps the military might burn your house down? Is there a place where this happens? Yes. Welcome to Nigeria.

Oil companies go into Nigeria and pump out crude oil. Nigeria is the 5th largest provider of oil to the USA. The wealth is being funneled back to the United States, various corporations around the world, and corrupted government officials in Nigeria. The money from the crude oil is not being allocated to the people. The people are left in poverty without any means to build any type of infrastructure, even for basic living in many cases, let alone trying to ride flatland.

Fela wanted to empower people who have been rendered powerless. As he pushed to educate the world about what was happening, the Nigerian military burned down his house. He was thrown in jail on false charges and finally killed in 1997.

Fela's message and stories not only reflect what is happening in Nigeria, but also all over the world to this day in 2010. If you want to understand more, check out the following documentary.

To all my flatland friends living in developing countries, I apologize. The american corporations are bankrupting your countries and the people of my country are being misinformed about the situation by the mainstream media owned by the same corporations.

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