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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/

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


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:


I met Lemi Ghariokwu during an interview, organized by Nubia Africa at Kalakuta Republic. I’d put the interview after the post. It was amazing.

I had heard of all the things Lemi had done and I expected to see a different man, anything else but the man I saw. He was humble, playful and above all, a storyteller. He reminded me of Nike Okundaye. That woman is amazing. Lemi smiled and laughed effortlessly. He spoke with passion and enthusiasm. He told me many stories about his life. The particular story that stood out for me is the one I am about to share. Read more


Lemi Ghariokwu is one of the proponents of the Pan-African course. A soldier of the art and the man behind the Art covers of the Afrobeat Legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Lemi has also done cover art for various iconic musicians all over the world like Micheal Jackson, Bob Marley, Mariah Carey, Lucky Dube, Tuface Idibia, Edrees Abdulkareem and a very long list of others. In this exclusive interview, Lemi tells us about himself, his art, his relationship with Fela and his view on Africa. Lemi is an Afropolitan you want to listen to.More on Lemi Ghariokwu


August 2 is remembered annually as the day the great Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, died.  His ideological influence in world music and visual art was at the core of a two-hour chat with renowned artist, Lemi Ghariokwu. Yinka Olatunbosun reports

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Back in 1973, Lemi Ghariokwu was straight out of secondary school, spending his ample free time giving himself drawing assignments and making portraits for people in his neighborhood. Martial arts action film “Enter the Dragon,” starring Bruce Lee, was a big hit at the time, and Ghariokwu was asked by a local bar owner to draw a poster of the movie for his pub.

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