Even I had to admit, as fascinated as I was about Africa, that I feared it more and had no urgent desire to visit the land in which society tells me I am a descendent of. Fear of the unknown had wiped away any desire in me that might have been fostered.
The release of Alex Gibney's new documentary on the late Nigerian pop star Fela Kuti spurred me to sift through my own personal journalistic archives to find an audiotaped interview I conducted with Fela in 1986. And here it is.
I have always had somewhat Catholic tastes that encompassed Pete Seeger to Pete Townshend, the Sex Pistols to Sunny Ade. I used to have to explain this, but now it seems expected of me. Then and now, all of this is bound together.
Music has a funny way of imprinting a time period in the listener's head. And maybe that's why we like it. As a work of both art and performance, listening to music becomes more than a passive experience.
Fela Anikulapo-Kuti's legacy is one that is greater than the sum of its parts. Domestic violence and flagrant devaluation of women are just as much telltale signs of his character as his love for his people.
With governments still largely in control of the streets and able to monitor or block access to sites like YouTube, Myspace and Facebook, what technologies are left to overcome connect people in meaningful ways?