Kudos must be given first to Fela Kuti for living such an epic life that even in death his relevance supersedes some still in the land of the living and secondly to his offspring for keeping his legacy alive!
Fela and Son, Seun Kuti
Can you believe that TWENTY years has passed since Fela Kuti died?
For those who don't know (a little presumptuous because it's FELA) but Fela Anikulapo Kuti was a Nigerian who was musically multi-talented and pioneered the now famed Afro-beat genre.
His music is controversially known for it's reference to the poor state of the nation and the Government's hand in it, which ironically is still relevant TWENTY years later.
Fela in NYC 1986
Globally celebrated for his music, Fela is known for his charisma, flamboyant performances, pot smoking and women loving ways! Fela toured the world with his band Afrika 70', bringing global sonic attention to the now celebrated Afrobeat genre, Fela fused Jazz, Ghana-Nigerian inspired Highlife and psychedelic rock with a lot of chant that was inspired by the suffering of the Nigerian people.
Known for his activism which added to the music makes him one of the most loved artists out of Nigeria. Fela stood for something beyond the music, Fela stood for the people! This love came with consequences as he continued to speak on the political corruptness of Nigeria, he endangered his life and his family.
In 1977, his home which doubled as a studio and community for his band and family was burnt down by soldiers who threw his mum out of the window, she died in a coma eight weeks after. 1984, Fela spent a year and eight months in prison under Mohammed Buhari's government.
“It was when I was in a police cell at the C.I.D. (Central Intelligence Division) headquarters in Lagos; the cell I was in named “The Kalakuta Republic” by the prisoners. I found out when I went to East Africa that “Kalakuta” is a Swahili word that means “rascal.” So if rascality is going to get us what we want, we will use it; because we are dealing with corrupt people, we have to be rascally with them.”― Fela Anikulapo Kuti
Fela with over 50 songs and 24 albums, Fela Kuti introduced the world to a type of music that was not only sonic-ally relevant and influential, he made politically sensitive music that touched Africa in a way no else has been able to. Twenty years later Fela lives on not only because of the boldness of his life but the collective effort of his family and friends to keep his legacy alive.
Things to do this weekend in Lagos #AfroBeatPArty2017 #RememberingFela
Through activities like Felabration and this weekend with the #AfroBeatParty2017 all aimed at celebrating and #RememberingFela among documentaries, books and re-releases of his music, Fela Kuti remains a legend and an Icon even from the after life.
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