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REMEMBER ABURO FLEET MILITANT

Moyosore Sehubo Akojenu aka Fleet Militant was shot and murdered on February 1, 2007 in his hometown Isolo, Lagos in what is believed to have been a robbery. Fleet was my aburo (younger brother). He called me egbon (older brother). He honored me with the name Omowale Adewale sealing my journey back home. Words cannot convey my true profound sadness for this tragic death of my comrade and revolutionary of Africa. He made G.A.ME international. What he contributed to Hip-Hop in Nigeria and Africa and the upliftment of African people and humanity will never be forgotten. (Detailed reports of death will be withheld to focus on his powerful legacy.)

People will ask and they shall discover what kind of comrade was Fleet. He was unlike any other I'd known. Fleet was the Director of G.A.ME-Nigeria. The man of Yoruba people was an emcee, producer, international organizer, and philosopher. During the fall of 2006 Fleet visited Nairobi, Kenya and launched a G.A.ME branch. Before he left he appeared on the radio expanding the movement of African people and Hip-Hop culture. His goal was to organize throughout Africa.

The young man of meager means attended Lagos State University with a focus on history and international relations. Under intense pressure Fleet organized artists, doctors, and people on the ground in Lagos. Fleet orchestrated large events at the famous African Shrine through a solid relationship with Femi Kuti, son of Fela Kuti (Black President). He continued recruiting G.A.ME organizers while undergoing intense financial difficulties. Young Africans are often allowed no voice in politics. However, Fleet was determined to use Hip-Hop for the good of his people. Fleet turned relationships into benefits for the movement! G.A.ME grew a voice in Nigeria because of his on the ground leadership. I wanted to bring Fleet to the U.S., so that the poor and struggling could be motivated to stand up proudly --so that people could meet a revolutionary from the continent who was doing more with less. It would have been a critical visit on January 29, 2007. Fleet would have been in the U.S. from January 29 to February 20, 2007, but his visa application was denied. The U.S. embassy thought the documents I had supplied him with were false, so they denied him access. Little did I know when he had told me this news on Tuesday that it would alter both our lives.

When I visited Lagos in December of 2005, I found the work that Fleet had accomplished to be truly magnificent and well beyond my expectations. He had developed alliances with Hip-Hop organizations and with administrators and media that progressed beyond the culture of Hip-Hop. One night in Lagos we visited several doctors that would agree to assist us in meeting our health assistance goals. Even on days that I made myself busy in Lagos with other brothers and sisters in Lagos, this 24-year-old Nigerian was using his own money to travel from one location to another in search of connecting the medicine from the US with the people in need. Yet, researchers conclude that Nigeria is ranked the most corrupt country in the world.

My comrade was brave. Whether it was trying to protect me from the military police at several road stops, club bouncers, or other forms of confrontation, he was always shielding me from potential conflict. He stood up for everyone, that's what comrades do! He was a real defender of the people. Fleet unfazed by bodies in bigger stature, he stood up to men three times his size, and there wasn't a twinkle of fear in his eyes, ever. Even when the military police accused him of being a spy due to his association with me using a camera in the poor area of Isolo. A couple of police squads with two patty-wagons tried to throw him in one truck. The comrade was unwavering. You never saw the absence of fear like that worn on this brother. Fleet didn't even want me anywhere near the situation, let alone talk to explain the situation. Fortunately, he was well loved, as the people of his Isolo estate rose in large numbers and forced the police to leave without him.

The comrade had nerve and integrity. He challenged my leadership whenever necessary, absorbed information like a sponge and taught others just as hastily. Fleet commanded and earned my respect 10 times over. Once, in a small meeting at the African Shrine with Femi Kuti, in the best of manners Fleet Militant requested for Femi to work more with young Hip-Hop artists in the studio. It would build numerous bridges and strengthen youth participation. Femi Kuti, due to a bad relationship with an artist (non-Hip-Hop) from the western world took offense to the request and responded harshly. Fleet held his ground but extended his hand to Femi towards continuing their work together for Nigerians and African people.

Moyosore was always concerned about the people, often times ignoring his own monetary issues. Brothers in the U.S. and London told me of times he would ask if they needed resources. While I visiting the continent he would always offer me whatever he had and ask how people in the states were doing. As tough as he was, Fleet was incredibly kindhearted and affectionate. I had not understood African culture as much as I had wanted. So I was surprised one night while walking with him and his brother Sanew down a dirt road when my young comrade gently grabbed my hand –lacing my fingers with his. Suffice it to say, I was startled, and a little worried by this activity. He seemed to love women. We were having a great time, however, this was weird for me. Having never been to America, Moyosore and his brother laughed when I told them that two men, especially three men holding hands in the street ( any street) was perceived in the U.S. as homosexual behavior. He brought my real culture and history to me in the most interesting and exemplary fashions –taking it out of Europe. After our discussion or my lesson on the customs of exhibiting friendship my mind grew out of an old box. Odd, only when a heterosexual man's male friend dies are men finally no longer afraid to hold and kiss them in public. Moyosore was conveying love, admiration and comradeship. My wife Neneh of Sierra Leone background later explained that the custom was quite usual throughout Africa – holding hands is not necessarily sexual.

Fleet was by far the best organizer I had ever known, and I have worked with some dedicated folks. I am known in G.A.ME by some for admitting his great leadership. It almost seemed that he was always prepared to place the entire burden on his back and run up the mountain towards freedom. Grassroots Artists MovEment ( G.A.ME) will definitely feel the loss of this great organizer. He often placed the movement and the people before himself. In 2003, when Moyo had been given the authority to become lead organizer in Nigeria after a series of emails, I remember thinking that 'this brother will require way too much assistance' –financial, on the ground leadership, and information. That was because; I had not internalized true resourcefulness or witnessed the next level of will and determination.

After Fleet and G.A.ME-Nigeria organized the "Knowledge" event, I began thinking to myself, how is he organizing this forum on Hip-Hop? As a founder I had been very protective of G.A.ME message. When I finally observed for myself his organizing methods and met him as a brother and comrade in struggle I finally put my ignorant skepticism and ideas of human limitations in the trash. I had never seen a mission transferred through words alone and manifested with far less. He was doing more with less. After witnessing real dedication and a radiant love for the people I simply could never look at another leader or organizer the same way that I did. It was impossible to hear excuses regarding lack of time or lack of resources. I began to think that "Fleet Militant would have already put down several chapters, provided healthcare to tens of thousands, and would have educated several communities on self-determination with a tenth of your resources." He was the reason I believed that Africa would begin to lead the Hip-Hop movement and use its true potential.

I wept for this young great revolutionary who was my brother. It was an opportunity for my wife of five years to finally see me weep –only for my beautiful comrade. I love you my selfless brother and I will make your name live on forever.


MOYOSORE SEHUBO AKOJENU aka FLEET MILITANT

June 22, 1981 - February 1, 2007

Hip-Hop music is a revolutionary music that helps the youth to determine their future
-Fleet Militant

http://www.myspace.com/fleetmilitant (Fleet's myspace)


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