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Fela: Return of the Afrobeat Rebel

Randall Grass, Musician, October 1983

KANO, NIGERIA, 1974: Sitting in the midst of a spacious, immaculate patio surrounded by manicured shrubbery and the graceful curved stone-and-glass walls of a post-modern restaurant, it was easy to forget that a few feet away beggars squatted in the dust, a few blocks away women carried buckets of cistern-water on their heads through an ancient walled city, and a few miles away nomads in cloaks herded their cattle and turbanned desert-men led lines of camels. In the garden, elegant women and men — Europeans, Africans, Asians and Arabs, spiffily garbed in gowns, suits, and traditional cloaks — sipped cool drinks brought by deferential waiters.

Total word count of piece: 2635

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