In a momentous celebration of culture and achievement, the New Afrika Shrine played host to a remarkable homecoming as Giannis Antetokounmpo, fondly known as the “Greek Freak,” returned to his Nigerian roots.
The renowned Milwaukee Bucks basketball player, who is a member of the National Basketball Association, NBA, with Greek-Nigerian heritage, graced the iconic venue in Lagos, Nigeria, amidst great fanfare.
The New Afrika Shrine, an open-air entertainment center, was deeply intertwined with the legacy of the Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
Femi Kuti, the legendary saxophonist and son of Fela, had earlier disclosed the extraordinary challenges faced in rebuilding the shrine, a task that involved overcoming police harassment and the menace of thugs.
During a heart-to-heart conversation with his son, Made, Femi shared the arduous journey of resurrecting the Shrine after its original incarnation was destroyed, allegedly due to the singer’s critique of the then-military government.
Acquiring the land for the New Afrika Shrine proved to be no easy feat, as they had to resort to a clever strategy to secure it, he explained.
According to him, with over eight months of dedicated efforts, the new venue gradually took shape, adding that it quickly became a haven for celebrating the legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
However, in welcoming Giannis Antetokounmpo, the New Afrika Shrine once again proved to be a symbol of cultural pride and a testament to the indomitable spirit that fuels the spirit of Africa and its diaspora.
The convergence of basketball and music has marked an unforgettable moment in history, etching the New Afrika Shrine’s name even deeper in the hearts of people across continents.
Antetokounmpo’s presence at the New Afrika Shrine added a new chapter to the venue’s rich history.