The much anticipated 2017 edition of the annual musical concert, Felabration, has come and gone. However, the lasting memories and impact on lives will be felt for years to come.
The weeklong event was put together by the family of late afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti to celebrate the life and struggles of the late revolutionary African musician.
This year’s event which held between Monday 9 and 15 October, 2017, with some of the finest Nigerian and international acts such as such as Femi Kuti, Wizkid, Sauti Sol, Burna Boy, Lagbaja, Dice Ailes, Sound Sultan, Seun Kuti, and Omawumi and many others thrilling guests and other attendees to breathtaking performances.
However, the event did not only afford music lovers and other enthusiasts the opportunity to observe their music idols in close quarters. It also afforded petty traders, small business owners inclusive of security guards to make quick cash.
During the weeklong event, security guards saddled with the responsibility of guarding apartments, work offices and other properties used the premises for profit reasons. Due to the number of attendees who drove down to the New Afrika Shrine, the security situation at the location and the unavailability of adequate parking lots, the guards swiftly opened their gates for willing ‘customers’ to park for a fee.
As a result of the event running late into the wee hours of the night, the security guards gladly watch over the cars – since it was park in their facility – while also keeping watch of the property they were employed to guard.
Speaking to InsideMainland, an attendee of Felabration, Uchendu, said the drivers charge between N200 and N500 depending on the hours you leave your car in their care. “if you are worried about your car been damaged or stolen, just drive to any of the gates located on the Shrine street, you will get security guards calling you to come use their facility to park.,” he said.
“The guards charge N200 the first time I left my car with them. I didn’t spend up to three hours before I left. The next time I allowed my car spend the night there, I was charged N500 for parking. I didn’t bulge because I knew my car was safe and the guard won’t allow anyone vandalise my car since I left it under his watch.” Uchendu added.
Another source told InsideMainland that the guards usually leave an instruction that drivers who park in their vicinity return before dawn to remove their vehicles. InsideMainland gathered this was a ploy used to avoid their employers knowing about their business during the night.
Similarly, petty traders, food vendors and small business owners made a fortune during the event.
At night, food vendors are seen lined up at the surroundings of the New Afrika shrine with attendees patronizing them to have a bite of what they sell. A plate of noodles garnish with carrots and egg sold for N500 while a cup of coffee was as high as N300.
In addition, a piece of menthol sweet which usually sells for N10 was sold at three for N50 naira during the weeklong event while drinks in pet bottles were sold as high as N200.
Commenting on this, a food vendor, Mrs Ilesanmi said “we can only take advantage of the event to make small profit. People usually complain in the first few days but they get accustomed to it after a while.”
“They can’t complain much because they need the drinks and it is even lesser compared to the amount they pay in clubs or joints,” she added.