Twenty-three years after the death of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, eldest son of the pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre, Femi has said he will never forget the year 1997 when he lost his father.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Femi, popularly known as Femi Kuti took to Twitter on Sunday to say the thoughts of his father are always with him and that his legacies are well alive.
“‘97 I shall never forget. Our father #FELA always in our thoughts, his legacy solidly alive. RIP Baba 70#Abamieda as most call him,” Femi tweeted.
— Femi Anikulapo-Kuti (@Femiakuti) August 2, 2020
TNG reports Fela was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre and human rights activist.
At the height of his popularity, he was referred to as one of Africa’s most challenging and charismatic music performers.
Fela was a political giant in Africa from the 1970s until his death. He was outspoken; his songs spoke his inner thoughts.
His rise in popularity throughout the 1970s signaled a change in the relation between music as an art form and Nigerian socio-political discourse.
He criticized the corruption of Nigerian government officials and the mistreatment of Nigerian citizens.
In 1984, he harshly criticized and insulted President Muhammadu Buhari. One of his popular songs, “Beast Of No Nation”, refers to Buhari as an animal in a madman’s body.
He spoke of colonialism as the root of the socio-economic and political problems that plagued the African people, and also spoke against corruption.
Fela is remembered as an influential icon who was brave enough to boldly voice his opinions on matters that affected the nation through his music.
Fela’s open vocalization of the violent and oppressive regime controlling Nigeria did not come without consequence. He was arrested on over 200 different occasions and spent time in jail, including his longest stint of 20 months after his arrest in 1984.
On top of the jail time, the government would send soldiers to beat Fela, his family and friends, and destroy wherever he lived and whatever instruments or recordings he had.
In the 1970s, Fela began to run outspoken political columns in the advertising space of daily and weekly newspapers such as The Daily Times and The Punch.
Published throughout the 1970s and early 1980s under the title “Chief Priest Say”, these columns were extensions of Fela’s famous Yabi Sessions – consciousness-raising word-sound rituals, with himself as chief priest, conducted at his Lagos nightclub.
Born on 15 October 1938 in Abeokuta, Fela died on 2 August 1997. An annual festival “Felabration” held each year to celebrate the life of this music legend and his birthday.
Meanwhile, encomiums have continued to pour in to celebrate the death of the Afrobeat maestro, whom many have described as The Black President.
Remembering Abami Eda, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, who transitioned to the ancestral world on August 2nd, 1997, Coincidentally, that was the birth date of his younger brother, Revolutionary Bekololari Ransome-Kuti. These two men would have been at the forefront of #RevolutionNow today! pic.twitter.com/anzqFwCViU
— Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore) August 2, 2020
Today in History.
Fela Anikulapo-Kuti was laid to rest.
23 years ago.
Continue to rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/Rfc0U2dhaF
— Felabration (@FelabrationNG) August 2, 2020
— Streetgbedu.com (@Streetgbedu_com) August 2, 2020
August 2. Today is the 23rd anniversary of the death of Fela Kuti. His legacy and influence only gets stronger and more resonant.
— Stephen Hendel (@FelaProducer) August 2, 2020
Fela Lives On 🕊 pic.twitter.com/7h8kIlvJbY
— DJ DALEY 🇳🇬🇮🇪🏴🌍 (@DJDaley) August 2, 2020