French President Emmanel; Macron has explained why he visited the Fela Shrine last night as part of his offica trip to the country.
President Macron, who worked at the French Embassy in Nigeria in 2004, told reoporters during a joint briefing with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja: “First, because I wanted to find a good occasion to come back there. I know the place and I have some memories, I have to confess at a time that there was no President around; I hope I will not spoil the party.
“I think that is such an iconic place for a lot of African people and African culture. And I think very often when you speak of the African culture in Europe, those who succeed in Europe and in France, which is different most of the times, are not dramatically very famous in Nigeria or in Africa.
“And there is a bias because you know people are absolutely not the same. I mean Fela, Femi, Seun Kuti are obviously very famous in France and Europe, I mean they are big successes but the Shrine is a cultural hub, an iconic hub and it is very important for me on a personal level, and that is why I want to say with a lot of humility that I recognise the importance of this place, I recognise the place of culture in this current environment,” he said.
The President added: “When you speak about new equilibriums about potential conflicts between cultures but ability to build a common project among different cultures, about migration and counter-terrorism, relaunching agriculture, you speak about Nigeria. And that is a sort of a small Africa.