In ‘Overtake Don Overtake Overtake’, Fela sings about the effects of usurpation of power and the degradation of fledgling African democracies. His grievance is that, in saner climes, the duty of the armed forces is to defend and support the civil government; not to overthrow it or usurp the duties of any branch of government. To do the contrary is to ‘Overtake-overtake’. Any vision of a prosperous and tranquil country with the military at the helm of power is nothing but an illusion.
The year is 2018. Persistent scandals and corruption at the highest level of power – a hallmark of successive regimes since 1960 – helps in putting Fela’s disillusionment with the military in perspective. Several civilian administrations have come and gone, yet a similar thread still runs through the fabric of the nation – overtake still dey overtake overtake. Therefore, as we celebrate Fela Anikulakpo Kuti posthumously at 80, we seek to empower the people through art, dance, music and intellectual discourse with the belief that together we shall succeed in ‘ Overtaking Overtake’ . Welcome to Felabration 2018!