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ZIMBABWEANS / AFRICANS rep at FELA! Opening with Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith & Jay Z!

I think 2010 is the year for Africans!

Y’all are just repping hard – working hard under the radar. I see you & I salute y’all!

This past weekend the cast and crew of Fela!, held a small cocktail party to welcome celebrity Executive Producers Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith to the team [Jay Z is also Excutive Producer]. Fela! is an amazing musical & dance extravaganza that celebrates & salutes the life of Nigeria’s revolutionary singer, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, creator of Afro-Beat.

Tony Award winner winner Director& Choreographer Bill T. Jones co-conceived the musical Fela!, which he also directed and choreographed. The musical stage-play stars Sahr Ngaujah [first generation Sierra Leonean] and Kevin Mambo, who alternate in the title role.

From l to r – Kevin, Bill T & Sahr

Cast members repping Zimbabwe include…

Kevin Mambo – Fela Anikulapo-Kuti

my namesake, Farai Malianga – Musician

with Rujeko Sarah Dumbutshena – Ensemble

The star-studded opening was held last year on November 23rd at the Eugene O’Neill Theater. I covered the red carpet and after party for the opening![BANANAS!] Peep the video from Fela!

Flicks of  fab Africans making it happen on New York City’s Broadway…

with one of Fela’s sons [dude in the middle]

with Sahr Ngaujah (Sierra Leone) – Fela Anikulapo-Kuti

with Saycon Sengbloh – Sandra Isadore

with actor, Jeffrey Wright – married to Carmen Ejogo [her dad is Nigerian & her mom is Scottish]

with actor, Roger Guenveur Smith

Fun times!

Please, please, please support & continue to support Fela! by going out to see it! Buy tickets & check ’em out at the Eugene O’Neill Theater. It is out of this world! It is a cultural but informative experience of Africa…

As usual, please leave your thoughts, comments….below! Heart ya for it!


farai – who has written posts on Farai Today.

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  • kudzi Zinzombe

    This is exciting! Hopefully can get to see it in the UK soon. I have not seen any publicity for it here yet. 2010 is the year!

  • Farai M. Malianga

    Thanks Farai, for repping Zimbabwe and the African Diaspora as a whole. Artists/The People without Press is like an M.C. without a microphone…..They know we’re here they’re just not listening! (Yet)

  • Bukky Are

    I saw the play and here are my thoughts!
    I just think that this was the time for Nigerians to show the world and tell our own story.I could not help but wonder why great Nigerian Acts like D’banj ,Omawunmi and Dede were not casted for the Play.O and also why was Wole Soyinka a Nobel Prize Winner not the Director of the Play?

    Not to take credit from the production …it was entertaining
    but i know what it could have been.

    There is always room for “Fela: The Original”

  • Suzgo

    This is what we love to see and you know what no offence to anyone but it just rocks being black gorgeous and proud full of rich, textured, diverse culture do thats what i love about who we are and what we represent, will be looking out for this show. Keep pressing on Black Diamonds.

  • farai

    Hi Kudzi,

    How fun would it be if FELA! came to England! London has an amazing theater culture, so I know support for this amazing portrayal of Fela would be great!

    There is a play “CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF” currently on in London’s West End at the Novello Theatre. The play has an amazing cast led by JAMES EARL JONES, PHYLICIA RASHAD, yummy British actor ADRIAN LESTER and the fab chic, SANAA LATHAN.

    CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF is directed by renowned Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning actor, director and choreographer DEBBIE ALLEN, who is best known for playing Lydia Grant in the original film and television series of “Fame”.

    Go here for more info – Let me know how the play is, if you do go!


  • farai

    Hi Suzgo,

    Aaahhh, that resonated so well within my Spirit “Keep pressing on Black Diamonds.” –

    Aluta continua…


  • Zanele Ndlovu

    Is it coming to T.O? Would love to see it!

  • LED TV

    Your blog is so informative … keep up the good work!!!!

  • Allegro D

    Big ups to Africa…love the pics