President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday night made a historic visit to the Afrika Shrine, home of the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, describing it as an iconic centre for the propagation of African culture, strength and music.
Macron, who spoke at the New Afrika Shrine in Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos, at an event tagged ‘Celebration of African Culture’ to inaugurate the African Cultural Season 2020, said he was glad to be back to the Afrika Shrine, adding that he still holds fond memories of the place since his first visit back in 2002.
“I discovered Nigeria and a lot of my friends are here. I discovered Nigeria and I discovered Lagos and I discovered the shrine.
‘’This place is an iconic place and it is a place where the best of music is given.
‘’I have to say my main memories about this place are friends, proud people, proud of their culture, proud of their art and music.
‘’I have a very different view of Africa than a lot of other people in Europe,” he said.
Macron stressed the need for Africa and Europe, especially France to build a new commonality.
He adds that “this new commonality is not based on what is important for Europeans but what is important for Africa, about their culture, how they build their culture and promote the culture and which places are important for them about their culture.
‘’Being here, I do recognize their culture and respect their views. This place is important for Africa and their culture and that is why I am here.”
He also disclosed plans to host the African Cultural Season 2020 in France, which he said, would be about promoting African culture in Europe, adding that the event was going to be for Africa and by African artistes.
“It will include people with fashion, African movies, new generation of artistes will be coming from Africa and it will be organized by them to show Europe and France” the real culture of Africa.
“The event will be financed by African leaders. It will not be sponsored by France or European businesses, but by African businesses, it is brand new.
‘’This season is a unique one and it will be the new face of Africa in Europe organize by Africans, providing what you like and what you have here,” he said.
There were also Art Exhibition, Fashion Show, display of Nollywood scenes, presentation of a painting of Fela to Macron by Governor Ambode as well as pencil frame artwork of Macron done by 11-old old Kareem Olamilekan drawn within two hours.
Highpoints of the night include sterling performances by dance group, Footprints of David, music artistes, Yemi Alade, Charlotte Dipanda from Kenya and a scintillating performance by Femi Kuti to bring the event to a close.
Below are some photographs of the French leader’s historic visit to Lagos