Ogun State government, in partnership with the Federal Government has officially converted the family house of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital into a museum.
The Minister of information, culture and tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who arrived the family house located at NEPA Road in Isabo, Abeokuta with Governor Ibikunle Amosun named the house ‘Heritage Museum.’
The family house, which had been abandoned for long was wearing a new look yesterday due to the commencement of the renovation of the dilapidated twin-building.
While speaking with newsmen, the Minister, lauded the initiative with a pledge to partner with the state government in completing the project. He said the restoration and preservation of the family house was more symbolic at a time when the 20th anniversary of Fela’s death is being celebrated, adding that the project will be a model and inspiration to youths.
He said: “It is laudable in the sense that this is one of the most positive steps to actually put our rhetorics into action. We’ve always said that one of the important things we have is our cultural heritage, our history and this is a project which is going to immortalise Kuti’s family, I think it’s very laudable and admirable.
“The Kuti family, as you know, represent different things to different people, Whether you talk about education; emancipation; music; entertainment; therefore, this attempt by the government immortalising the family by preserving and restoring the ancestral home of the great family, I think it is very commendable.
“This is the period we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the death of the maestro himself and I am sure this is within a time to be commissioned very soon, probably next year or thereabout.
“The emphasis of this government, whether state or federal is that creative industry must be turned to creative economy and I think this centre is going to be a good model to encourage and inspire the youths.”
Governor Amosun while speaking promised to deliver the project soonest, noting that Fela’s family was one of the giants that laid the foundation of a greater Ogun State. The Governor promised to construct museum for other industrious sons and daughters of the state to preserve their heritage.
He said: “All our icons have special place in our administration, since these are people that define us. When we go out there and say we are Ogun State, we can’t call ourselves who we said we are without those giants that lived before us that laid the foundation that we are all building upon.
“And clearly, the Kuti family is one of those illustrious families that conquered the world, not only Ogun Sate or Abeokuta or Nigeria. Indeed, sometime when I was away in US and I took a cab, the music I was hearing was the music of great Fela himself.
“Fela was far ahead of his time, for us, it will be in our interest to let people know his origin, his root, where he was from, and somehow for the Kuti family, there’s none of them that is not a book and history on his own that people will love to read any day any time.
“We are going to have museum for all of them, it is not just the Kuti Family alone, we have several of them here; Talk about Baba Ogunde; great Ebenezer Obey, thank God he’s still here with us, this is just one of those things we are going to do and we are happy that next year, people will be using this and we will commission this.”