Boston City Councilor Charles Yancey Welcomes Tony Award-Winning ‘Fela’ to the City


Boston City Councillor Charles C. Yancey has welcomed the critically acclaimed, Tony Award-winning musical, FELA!, to the City of Boston.

FELA! is a musical, which tells the important story of legendary Nigerian musician, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Fela was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, a musician and composer, the pioneer of Afrobeat music, human rights activist, and a political maverick, who defied Nigeria’s corrupt and oppressive military governments and devoted his life and music to the struggle for freedom and human dignity. His staunch defiance toward corrupt administrations consequently led to over 200 arrests and numerous severe beatings that left scars all over his body.

Councillor Yancey called the musical in honour of FELA “an incredible demonstration of one man’s sacrifice to improve the political environment and human rights conditions in Nigeria” The Boston City Councilor added that…“The music, the dance, the costumes, and the extraordinary talent made FELA! one of the best musicals I’ve ever seen”.

Fela recorded nearly 50 albums portraying his message of transparency, honest government, and justice for all. He died in August of 1997, officially of complication from AIDS, although unofficially, friends of Fela believe he died of injuries from one beating too many. His musical legacy is available globally through Knitting Factory Records.

FELA! (the musical) which has received 11 Tony nominations and three Tony Awards for Best Choreography, Best Costumes and Best Sound, is a collaboration between Steve and Ruth Hendel, Jim Lewis, and Bill T. Jones, with support from Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Will & Jada Pinkett-Smith.

Councillor Yancey urged all Bostonians to come out and enjoy the phenomenal performance of FELA! by adding that…“It’s a breathtaking musical that will leave you enthusiastic about life.”