French leader Emmanuel Macron will on Tuesday visit a nightclub founded by Nigerian music legend Fela Kuti, becoming the first “real president” to enter a venue synonymous with marijuana smoke, sexy backup dancers and protest music.
The New Afrika Shrine located in the teeming Lagos district of Ikeja replaced Fela Kuti’s original club that burnt down in 1977, but for millions of fans it still represents the original Shrine built by the musical maverick.
“The Shrine is a must-see place,” said Olivier Laouchez, the head of the TRACE media and entertainment group and organiser of the event Macron will attend, adding that Lagos is “Africa’s cultural capital”.
The evening will feature concerts, fashion shows by leading African designers and a meeting with stars from Nigeria’s booming Nollywood film industry.
Lagos is also giving Johannesburg — the other African cultural hotspot — a run for its money in the art world with its annual Art X event.
“There is clearly something abuzz in Lagos, with auctions mushrooming, and this will explode,” said contemporary art specialist Marie-Cecile Zinsou, who is based in neighbouring Benin.