Here are things you may not know about the Africa legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
How well do you know the father of Afrobeat Fela Anikulapo Kuti?
Arguably one of the greatest musician in Africa, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, even after his death, remains an inspiration for musician in Africa and beyond. Here are some facts you may not know about him.
1. Fela Kuti, born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti; was born on 15 October 1938 in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
2. He modified his name to Fela Anikulapo Kuti, expunging his English name.
3. He was multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre, human rights activist, and political maverick.
4. His mother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, was a feminist activist in the anti-colonial movement; his father, Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, a Protestant minister and school principal, was the first president of the Nigeria Union of Teachers.
5. His brothers, Beko Ransome-Kuti and Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, both medical doctors, are well known in Nigeria.
6. Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, is Fela’s cosuin
7. Fela was sent to London in 1958 to study medicine but decided to study music instead at the Trinity College of Music, the trumpet being his preferred instrument.
8. In 1960, Fela married his first wife, Remilekun (Remi) Taylor, with whom he would have three children (Femi, Yeni, and Sola).
9. He was a torn on the flesh of military governments in Nigeria and was jailed on several occasions.
10. On 3 August 1997, Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, already a prominent AIDS activist and former Minister of Health, stunned the nation by announcing his younger brother’s death a day earlier from Kaposi’s sarcoma which was brought on by AIDS. More than a million people attended Fela’s funeral at the site of the old Shrine compound. A new Africa Shrine has opened since Fela’s death in a different section of Lagos under the supervision of his son Femi Kuti.
Felabration week has commenced in Lagos in commemoration of the life and contributions of Fela in music, politics and social welfare in Nigeria and Africa at large.