Posted by News Express | 1 April 2022 | 446 times
By TAIYE OLAYEMI
Mr Sunday Essien, Manager, New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja, Lagos, on Wednesday said that fetish activities were not conducted in the shrine as most tourists insinuated.
Essien disclosed this during the “bestoflagosfamtour22”, organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
The tour was organised to familiarise Nigerians with the tourism assets of the state in a bid to attract local and International tourists.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the New Afrika Shrine is an open air entertainment centre, which serves as the host location of the annual Felabration music festival.
It is the replacement of the old shrine, which was created in 1970 by afrobeat originator and legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Following his death in 1997, his eldest children, Femi and Yeni, built the New Afrika Shrine in his honour.
Essien said that people held that belief because the tourism site was named as a shrine.
“The shrine is only a preservation of the site where late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti communicated with his ancestor.
“It was only in the past that fetish activities were conducted at the shrine, but nothing like that takes place again,” he said.
He noted that due to this belief, major companies and corporate organisations did not support events organised by the shrine.
He, however, called on Nigerians and tourists generally to be conscious of the fact that nothing fetish happens at the shrine, as drugs were not also allowed there.
“People believe that this is a shrine and lots of fetish things happen here, that is not true, that was during Fela’s times.
“We want tourists to come with an open mind to the shrine, they should not say what they don’t know, we don’t also allow drugs here,” he said.
According to Essien, lots of tourists visit the shrine for religious tourism purposes, as they come to pray for specific requests which they usually attest to the fact that those prayers are answered.
“People come here to pray at the shrine, depending on their needs, people come from different countries of the world, including the diasporians.
“This was the place where late Fela comes to pray whenever he wants to travel, he comes here to pray for journey mercies and when he returns, he comes here to thank his ancestors,” he said.
NAN reports that the shrine houses five entertainment floors used for different purposes like dance, music, comedy and more.
There are display of pictorial materials of significant events around late Fela while he was alive, which includes his dancers, his marriage, his extended family, event of when soldiers attacked the then Kalakuta Republic
Some of the dignitaries on the tour were: Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture; Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tourism, Mr Solomon Bonu; Mr Fatai Oluwa, Chairman House Committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture; and Mr Ikechi Uko, Organiser, AKWAABA Africa Travel and Tourism Market. (NAN)
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