Through archival images, meetings around the world and interviews with historians, musicians or biographers, the author gives us in 90 minutes, two messages to draw from the work of Fela Kuti. The first on Africa, the second on music.

more than a tribute

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the death of the creator of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti, Romeo Sahi presents a documentary tribute to the musician: “Black to Freedom”. Note that this is not a Fela Kuti’s  biopic but rather a personal film and atypical, an inspired and inspiring work, that gives a different look at the artist. Popular in the ghettos of Lagos where he was nicknamed the Black President, Fela Kuti used music as a weapon to paint a realistic picture of social and political habits.

" Music is the weapon of the future "

Fela Anikulapo Kuti

the king of afrobeat

Fela Kuti, born October 15, 1938 and died August 2, 1997, is a Nigerian singer, saxophonist, conductor and politician. He is considered as the inventor of Afrobeat, a fusion of African-American elements of funk, jazz, West African music, traditional Nigerian music and Yoruba rhythms. Beyond Nigeria, Fela also suggested to Africans to conquer their freedom by a return to the sources that will restore their identity and their emancipation.

" With my music, I create change "

Fela Anikulapo Kuti

director

Romeo Sahi is above all an idealist and as such, he has been several times in his life brought to suffer from repeated mistakes of our societies. His statistical studies have pushed him to evolve in the field of Hedge funds until a specific question invades his mind:  what is the probability of being happy when you are born Black? 

participants

" I must identify myself with Africa "

Fela Anikulapo Kuti

AFRICA

The film is about Fela’s pan-African commitment, and it also portrays the stages which black women and men must pass through in order to free themselves from the weight of history over their daily lives. Beginning with his own birth in Africa and on his discovery of Fela Kuti, Romeo Sahi weaves links between his career and Fela’s one, both inscribed in the history that transcends them, that of the Black Man. 

music

Music is at the heart of the documentary. It is the sacred instrument of Fela to be heard across borders and times. It is of course that which brings the director to continue the mission of his mentor, through this film but also through collaborative projects inherited from the Fela’s ideals.

" Spiritualism is the understanding of the universe "

Fela Anikulapo Kuti

the souls of black folk

The word “Veil” in the subtitle “Revolution in the Veil” refers to the work of the African-American thinker W.E.B. Du Bois : “The souls of the black people”. In this writing, published in the 1910s, Du Bois discusses the difficulties experienced by African Americans in the United States. He repeatedly uses the term “Veil” to refer to the segregation that prevailed at the time in his country and prevented Blacks from being free.

veil and illusion

In “Black to Freedom”, Roméo Sahi transmits in poetry, the fact that after centuries of domination, the Black Man has seen a Veil cover his mental body. In a subtle way, this Veil keeps his own potential with the Black Man and creates an optical illusion that will deceive the Other and make him believe that he is superior. Thus the Veil, in all its extent, has the malicious consequence of hiding  the profound beauty of the whole world to everybody. 

" The secret of life is to have no fear "

Fela Anikulapo Kuti

initiative

The film must be used to connect people to each other, to create synergies, and why not, to generate personal or collective initiatives of valorization of Black Africa.

ambition

“Black to Freedom” is a cry from the heart, which seeks to appease the souls of the Black people who died without being respected, to encourage those who are still suffering today and to give strength to those who are coming and who still do not know anything about what they will have to go beyond before finding the light.

contact

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information, or if you wish to organize a film screening or discussion evening around the movie.

Copyright Akim Nonvidé - Roméo Sahi - Black to Freedom 2018