Today, October 15, is the posthumous birthday of legendary singer and activist, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. His life and times was an interesting one as people never fail to reference him.
Fela was a singer, composer, instrumentalist, activist, and music pioneer, to name a few of his talents. Afro-beat cannot be talked about without respect being given to its pioneer, Fela. The legendary singer has his name forever in the hearts of music lovers all over the world.
The king of Afro-beat has been called many names such as a mystic, a Panafricanist, a superstar and a legend. It was no surprise that Fela took up the mantle to fight for the rights of people, his mother Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was an activist who fought for the rights of women.
Corruption was the order of the day in Nigeria and Fela openly criticised the government in the 70s through his music. He got into trouble several times for this and was arrested over 200 times but that did not stop him. His family members were not left out of the oppression as they were beaten by soldiers on several occasions.
He was also a polygamist and was said to have wedded over 20 of his dancers at the same time. After his death in 1997, his music became more popular and several Nigerian and international artistes today have started to infuse afro-beat to their style of music.