Fela Kuti biography


Fela Kuti biography

Fela Kuti was a Nigeria-based musician and activist who pioneered a modern genre of music called Afro-beat. He used to fuse it with jazz, blues, and funk together with traditional Yoruba music. He was born on 15th October 1938 in Abeokuta. It is the current capital of the Ogun state in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Many referred to him as a singer, superstar, musician, polygamist, pan-Africanist mystic and a legend. He often got hails as Africa’s most” challenging and charismatic music performer.”

Apart from performing his music, Fela Kuti became a renowned civil right.he also became a political force in Nigeria and even beyond. He has spoken his views more on corruption and after-effects of colonialism.” black Panther Party” politics profoundly influenced Fela Kuti. His music would then grow increasingly. He would then transit to pidgin English where he increased his African pan appeal. 

Nigerian government reaction to Kuti.

However, the Nigerian government did not take the criticizes lightly, and that led to his arrest for over two hundred times. That was not enough with the government as it went to the extent of harassing his friends and family repeatedly. 

About his marriage life, Kuti had married several wives. Together with his first wife, they got with three children. He had five other children.


Kuti is known as a showman in terms of excellence, unredeemable sexist, inventor of afro-beat, and a moody megalomaniac. He died on 3rd august 1997 due to AIDs complications. His demise affected the fans and fellow musicians at local and international levels. His music and sociopolitical voice matched that of Bob Marley. United Democratic Front of Nigeria, in their press release regarding his death, noted that,

” Those who knew you well were insistent that you could never compromise with the evil you had fought all your life. Even though made weak by time and fate, you remained strong in will and never abandoned your goal of a free, democratic, socialist Africa.”

Awards and Honor

Fela got a nomination on 4th May 2010 for the 11 Tony Awards. It included Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical for Bill T.Jones, Best Book of a Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Lilias White, and Best Leading Actor in a Musical for Sahr Ngaujah, London production of Fela was making a film in the year 2011. Fela returns to Broadway for thirty-two performances announcement was done on 11th June 2012.

They will remember Fela Kuti as an influential icon that was brave enough to speak his mind on issues that affected Nigeria through his music. Felabration, they hold an annual festival every year to celebrate his birthdaandas his music life.

Fela’s strong sense of sharing activist and humanist ideas through his music came out of the environment he lived in. With an interview in Faces of Africa on CGTN Africa, Fela talked about the comparison of his music and English love songs.



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