africa / African Art / Entertainment / Perfmorming Arts / Society / Uncategorized

What is an Original African Man?

by Eva

I recently learned that late last year, FELA! was on Broadway. It is a shame that I did not learn about the show while it was still on Broadway. That would have been a musical I would have loved to see. Hopefully the show’s producers will decide to take the musical on tour, broadcast the musical on TV and or sell it on DVD. Nevertheless, I still think that there is a lot to be learned from the actors that participated in this innovative project by watching the videos that are posted on the show’s site.

FELA! is a “lyrical” depiction of Fela Kuti. The Broadway musical, directed by Bill T. Jones, tries to highlight Fela’s “struggle for authenticity” and seeks, among other things,  to answer the question, “What is an Original African Man?” Mr. Jones goes on to define his version of an Original African Man (watch the attached video to see what his answer to this question is). Despite his answer, Mr. Jones seems to think that the question should be posed to anthropologists, but considering I like getting my answers straight from the source, I will do better, by posing the question to my fellow MinneAfricans.

So, dear MinneAfricans, “What is an Original African Man?” Do you agree or disagree with Mr. Jones’ definition?


4 thoughts on “What is an Original African Man?

  1. I do believe he has touched on some facets that are prevalant even in today’s African man. The ego, misogyny (deliberate or otherwise) but on the other hand Africa is multi cultural so one definition doesnt cover all.

  2. The original African man is extinct! let me point out, to define the ORIGINAL AFRICAN MAN, Fela used a multitude of ways including music and art because it is combination of things otherwise we would be talking about the TYPICAL AFRICAN MAN. y`know, a couple of wives here and there, some land with a cow, a goat and a few chicken ..etc. Speaking as an African Mandingo,,,-) we all cant be original like Fela, especially not in the suppressing environment like MN or the Diaspora as a whole because being an ORIGINAL AFRICAN MAN is all about the freedom of expression, African men need to feel free! Give me Free!

  3. Well, very hard to define, because of the complexity and diversity Africa offers. i suppose enormous strength, it take killing a lion in some cultures to be defined as a Man.

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