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Sola Olorunyomi


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1The early completion of this book was facilitated through an initial grant from the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA), Ibadan.

2Subsequent complementary research and travel grants were offered by the following organizations:

3Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR), Nigeria;

4The British Council, Nigeria;

5The Danish Writers Association, in conjunction with the Literature Information Center, and the Danish Center for Culture and Development (CKU).

6Too many people than can be mentioned in the world-wide Afrobeat community contributed to the realization of this work, and I’d like to mention, in particular, some of Fela’s friends: Rasheed Gbadamosi, M.D. Yusuf, Femi Falana and Jiti Ogunye (who also facilitated some of my research trips).

7For taking time off to look at drafts, at different stages of this book, I feel greatly indebted to the following friends and colleagues: Jonathan Haynes of Long Island University Southampton, New York; Akin Oyetade of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Zagba Oyortey of the Pan African Dance Ensemble, London; Odia Ofeimun—erstwhile President, Association of Nigerian Authors; and Dele Layiwola of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan. Makin Sovinka’s dispassionate criticism, far into too many London nights, sent me back to the reading table quite often; so also were the excellent editorial suggestions by Damola Ifaturoti and Bose Shaba. Yet, others like Lemi Gbolahan, Harry Garuba, Nigel Henry, Charles Ogu, Funmi Adewole, Eki Gbinigic, Ogaga Ifowodo, Simeon Berete, the late Bayo Ogunjimi and Esi Kinni-Olusanyin insisted that every claim be justified! The duo of Emevwho Biakolo and Ademola Dasylva supervised my initial effort at the subject as an undergraduate and graduate thesis, respectively and were, in this sense, the first “gate keepers”.

8A few friends did not mind hurting their good friend through candid, even if sometimes unrestrained, comments; this unruly lot includes Remi Raji, Dipo Irele, Sanya Osha, Chiedu Ezeanah, Taiwo Oloruntoba-Oju, Gbenga Aroyehun, Kim Ady Pius Omole, Lolade Bamidele, Pius Adesanmi & Doyin Odebowale. I express appreciation to the following for general support and encouragement: George Herault and Yann Lebeau (as friends and directors of IFRA), Beatrice Humarau-Lebeau, Elizabeth DeCampos, Abdul Rasheed Na Allah, Kofi Anyidoho, Pascal Ott, Jean-Michel Rousset, Reuben Abati, Taiwo Akinsetc, Lola Shoneyin, Moji Obasa, Mary Ogu, Yetunde Adelugba and mum Firinne, Simidele Awosika, Tosin Olarinmoye, Yemi Owolabi, Muyiwa Ojo, Yinka Ogunyomade, Margaret Omokeni, Chris Uroh and Segun Oladipo. Others include Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi and Kay-ode Fayemi, Atiti and Dele Sosinmi, Nike Adesuyi, Rikki Stein, Duke Anoemuah and Michele Avantario. Eugenia Abu, I got your letter from afar! So also were those of Julius Ihonvbere, Benjamin Babatunde Iyiola, Tony Allen and Lewis Olugbenga Kehinde. Deep appreciation also to Tunde Aremu, Ben Tomoloju, Sola Balogun, Jahman Anikulapo, Nduka Otiono, Babafemi Ojudu, Olayiwola Adeniji, and the trio of Dapo Adeniyi, Kunle and Toyin Tejuoso—who afforded me space to test out some of these ideas in their various media. For sparing time for my often long interview sessions, I especially wish to thank Steve Rhodes, Benson Idonije, Ike Oza, Niyi Osundare, Femi Osofisan, Abdul Okwechime, Great Acheampong, and members of the Ransome-Kuti/ Anikulapo-Kuti family.

9Afrobeat lovers dot the West African coast, and some of them have been particularly inspiring with the amount of information they shared on the subject. This is also for all the good folks in Togo, Benin, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso. The management of Hotel Cumberland at Nkrumah Circle, Accra, turned me into a family member and struggled to retrieve my stolen manuscript from a fleeing thief on that terrible night in March 1998. In that connection, this is also for you: Kwaku Duah, William Kyei-Bafow, Daniel Acheampong, Francis Kwame Onyinah and wife Gladys. At the University of Ghana, Legon, Willy Anku, John Collins and Kwesi Yankah gave freely of their time to bounce off some of these ideas, while Gerard Pescheux, Kwesi Pratt, Chido Onumah and Faisal Helwani also made insightful comments on the subject.

10In between Cardiff and Brixton, Muyiwa Adekeye and Ike Okonta provided answers to the ever shrinking living space of London. Noimot Ogundele and Dele Oluyewa served as research assistants, while Bunmi Ajibade gave me access to her husband’s library, even while he was away in General Sani Abacha’s gulag. Christopher Ola—for excellent indexing and suggestion; Gafar Ajao, Stella Fasanya and Opeyemi Olagun-ju-for design and graphics; Akin Akingbulu, Moses Ishola, Idowu Obasa, Deolu Ademoyo, Cathy Feingold, Owei Laken-fa, Baiye Malik, Ladi and Dapo Olorunyomi—I am indeed short of words to express appreciation for your continued support. Listen, too, and listen good—Wumi Raji, Shenge Rahman, Segun Jegede, Ina and Knud Vilby; Suzanne Brogger, Maria Korpe, Ole Reitov, Kitte Fennestad, Fash Shodeinde, Mik Aidt, Linda Horowitz, Gudrun Hoick, Ola Gerlach Hansen, Alfred Tamakloe and ’Vera Wetlesen—I feel greatly overwhelmed by your spirited support. And to Bola, wife-sister-prankster and recovering tomboy, your constant encouragement did the trick.

11Above all, however, three communications firms—Information Aid Network (IFAnet), Marketing Mix and Set and Sell—aided the final conclusion of this book through production assistance.

© IFRA-Nigeria, 2005

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