Facts About Fela Anikulapo Kuti You Probably Didn’t Know

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1. Fela’s mother’s name was Funmilayo Ransome Kuti. A political and Women’s Right Activist. She was the first woman to drive a car in Nigeria and the first black woman to visit Communist China.

2. The person that introduced Fela to smoking was a lady, Eunice by name. In 1966.

3. Fela coined the name Afrobeat.

4. Sandra, a lady Fela met in the U.S. in the 60s was the one that AFRICANIZED Fela. Sandra made Fela to begin to value been black, and to begin to inculcate Africa into his music. Fela said his life wouldn’t have been complete without this lady Sandra.

5. The biography of Malcolm X, which Sandra forced Fela to read while still in her house inspired him a great deal. This book coupled with Sandra’s participation in the black movements then against white oppression, brought out the “activist” in Fela. He would later return to Nigeria to become a political/human rights activist.

6. My lady’s frustration: the first African tune Fela made. It was inspired by Sandra.

7. He saw first hand the racial discrimination and injustice perpetrated against blacks in the U.S. when he came back to Nigeria, he thought of a communal place, which will be free of oppression and a safe haven for the oppressed. This gave birth to Kalakuta Republic. Which he declared independent of the Nigerian state.

8. Fela’s family expected him to return from Europe a medical doctor, but he returned a musician. This infuriated the family.

9. Fela was arrested 200 times and appeared in court 356 times in 25years.

10. Fela is a first cousin to the Nigerian writer and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka.

Fela was Afrocentric, fiercely proud and celebratory of his ancestral heritage.


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