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‘I Believe Fela Should Have Done Things Differently’

Lemi is a self-taught artist who met Fela at the age of 18. In all, he designed 26 album covers for the Afrobeat legend.

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Behind the Artwork of Fela Kuti

Everybody Say “Yeah Yeah” 😍 During ADE, #felabration2018, life and music of Fela Kuti hosts a lively discussion between DJ and scholar @richmedina Rich and legendary Nigerian afro, popart artist, illustrator and designer, Lemi Ghariokwu who is most renowned for providing many of the #original #cover #images for the recordings of #afrobeat founder Fela Kuti.

Rich and Lemi will talk about Lemi’s relationship with Fela Kuti, his process in the creation of his iconic album artwork that adorns Fela’s first 27 LPs, and the impact of Fela’s method of anti-colonial and governmental protest on the world.

The art and music of these two unforgettable human beings go far beyond dancing and celebration. The art and music invoke depictions of life under colonial rule in Lagos, Nigeria, and the entire colonized world for that matter. Fela’s decision-making process in remaining in Lagos with his people after traveling the world via his music, combined with Lemi’s amazing ability to interpret those visions with such power and consistency remains an unsung dialogue on speaking truth to power and standing up against fascism and the greed of colonial rule.

We will #explore that #discussion in a manner never heard before in The Netherlands. Both Rich and Lemi have carried on this tradition in full spectrum in their own relative ways. We thought it only right to bring together the artist who interpreted Fela’s vision with an American DJ and scholar who fundamentally introduced Fela’s music to New York City in the 1990s, to hold such an important forum during Fela’s birthday month.
Felabration at the Paradiso Noord concert hall.
Saturday 20th of October
Paradiso Noord, Tuinzaal
More information and tickets: https://www.instagram.com/mano_a_mano_lda/

Abami Eda – Felabration

Chai! Abami Eda! If to say you stay, you for see everything wey you talk! 80 years strong! You will always be our Black President.

Photo: @notonseat

I Was Heartbroken The First Time Fela Complained About My Work

Lemi Ghariokwu is a veteran graphic artist who has designed album covers for iconic musicians such as Afrobeat Legend Fela, Bob Marley, Lucky Dube, Miriam Makeba, 2Baba, Sound Sultan, Kenny St. Brown, and many others.

In an exclusive interview with NET TV caught up with, Lemi reveals how he met and designed 26 album covers for the late Afrobeat legend while he was alive and 3 more after he died.

He also spoke about the first time Fela complained about an album cover he made. It was for the song titled ‘JJD’ meaning Johnny Just Drop, a title which stemmed from the ‘fake’ accent and attitude Nigerians imbibe when they return to the country from overseas. Lemi confessed that he felt irritated and saddened because that was the first time Fela would suggest what he should do.

Watch here: https://youtu.be/mEyVska3_xw

Divine Collaboration: on Lemi Ghariokwu, Fela Kuti and tumultuous, creative love

“You know I told you – when we talk, I can talk,” Lemi Ghariokwu said, laughing. “I learnt that from Kalakuta, from Fela.” Ghariokwu is a visual artist most famous for his work with Fela Kuti, the iconic Nigerian Afrobeat singer. Ghariokwu designed the cover art for 29 out of Kuti’s 56 albums; the musician and the painter worked closely—artistically, ideologically, and in their activism—for four years in Lagos before they splintered. It was not a romantic relationship, although it had all the trying tempests, emotional investment, and eventual heartache of one. Their meeting, Ghariokwu said, “was pre-ordained, it wasn’t by accident, so our destinies had to cross at that juncture.” When they broke up, Ghariokwu was devastated, “I was so shocked, I just started crying, that was my natural reaction. It was like a lover breaking your heart in shreds.” Later years were peppered with tinged encounters, brief run-ins followed by nostalgia and resolute distance. Cover deals were formalized, invitations sent on letterhead. But they kept tabs on each other from a distance, and Ghariokwu still speaks to Kuti now — “I looked in the sky and said ‘Fela come and see now, you see.’”

Read here: https://www.itsnicethat.com/features/lemi-ghariokwu-fela-kuti-lagos-art-070918


I remember the first time I met Lemi Ghariokwu. I was in high school, way back in 1997, and my dad had helped me publish my first comic book called – Panther Assault (I was a teenager that watched too many macho Van Damme and Stallone movies. Now, picture the comic :)). Read More


My friend shared this and it told my story well, a summary but a great story by Mallam Okweshime: Read More


The celebration was beyond words, so we shared pictures. Read More





Lemi has told us about his life and how he met Fela in the first part of the Interview. In this second part, Lemi tells us more about his artistic movement and all that makes him Lemi. Let the video speak: