By Bartholomew Madukwe,
Like Nigeria’s Afro music legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, once said, “I must identify myself with Africa. Then I will have an identity,” so has the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, shown as he arrived at the iconic Afrika Shrine in Ikeja, Lagos, in a casual white shirt, with sleeves rolled up.
He danced on stage and saluted the boundless energy of Nigerian youths as they rejoiced over his visit to the Afrika Shrine.
Macron, who was seen at the balcony of Fela’s Afrika Shrine acknowledging cheers from a large crowd of Nollywood actors, actresses and entertainers, spoke pidgin English flawlessly.
He said: “My name na Emmanuel Macron. Na me be di President of France and I dey kampe for Lagos today”.
As if that was not enough, the French President, like other African artists, performed at the Afrika Shrine, beating a talking drum.
African artists seen with Macron at the Afrika Shrine on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 included Femi Kuti, Youssou N’Dour, Angelique Kidjo and Seun Kuti.
Macron, at the Afrika Shrine, announced the launch of the African Cultural Season which takes place in France in 2020, showcasing music, fashion, cinema and theatre.
His visit marked a milestone, as he is the first President to ever visit the new Afrika Shrine, built after the original shrine by the Nigerian Music Legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti was burnt down in 1977.
The President of France, after his discussions with Nigerian leader, Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja, headed to Lagos.
The duo discussed on plans to forge closer ties between France and Nigeria, to improve trade with French colonies and other Anglophone countries.
He arrived at the Presidential Lounge of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport exactly 9:05pm on Tuesday evening.
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, arrived at the lounge at exactly 8:10pm to receive the French president.
Also on ground to receive Macron were top echelons of the Nigeria Police Force, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Immigration Service.