Nigerian Authorities Shut Down Femi Kuti's Nightclub

BY David DacksPublished Jun 1, 2009

The Shrine, Femi Kuti's nightclub in Lagos, has been closed down. This past Monday, unspecified Nigerian authorities issued a letter stating that the facility breached the country's environmental laws by creating or encouraging "noise nuisance, illegal street trading, indiscriminate parking, blocking of access roads and obstruction of traffic," according to a report from Agence France-Presse. Although the letter gave Kuti and his older sister, Yeni, 48 hours to "abate the nuisance and restore the land to a conducive environment," authorities closed the club at 9 a.m. the following morning.

This is not the same facility that Femi's father, Fela, presided over for two years. The former Shrine was a dilapidated facility that had a bohemian reputation consistent with the elder Kuti. BBC News described the previous club as dingy and choked with clouds of ganja smoke. Its second edition, as witnessed in Femi's 2005 DVD Live at the Shrine, appeared to be a much more professionally run facility, with a broader mandate of supporting all the performing arts.

Yeni was quoted as feeling "shocked, indignant." She admitted that the club was surrounded by street trading but added, "The Temple is closed, but these boys [the vendors] remain around."

The club is located near a government building for the state of Lagos.

Femi, who released his first studio album in eight years, Day By Day, this past January, is about to embark on a North American tour that brings him to Canada this summer and includes stops in Toronto (June 9 and July 4), Montreal (June 10 and July 5) and Ottawa (July 11).

To view the full list of dates you can click here

Latest Coverage