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Posts tagged "fela kuti"

On My Radar: Three African stories told through film at Sundance.


Seen from the perspective of a young female protagonist, Difret tells the story of young 14-year-old girl abducted into marriage who, in an effort to escape, ends up killing her kidnapper and would-be husband. Following this incident, a trial ensues as the fate of Hirut hangs in the balance.

The feature debut of Ethiopian filmmaker Zeresenay Berhane Mehari, the film is based on a true story that occurred in 1996.

Watch: An excerpt from Difret.

Fishing Without Nets

The topic of Somali piracy has been a hotly reported topic in Western media over the past few years. But as with most stories about Africa, the perspective from which it’s been told is often distorted, painting the pirates as scattered collectives of nonsensical rebels without a cause, leaving out much of the complexity of the situation. 

Watch an excerpt/short version of the film.

Finding Fela

If there’s one Nigerian artist whose consciousness has managed to transcend both time and culture, permeating the minds of Nigerians, Africans and the world at large, it is the man who claimed to not fear death - the iconic Fela Anikulapo Kuti. 

In Finding Fela, Academy Award-winningfilmmaker Alex Gabney tackles and dissects the professional career and personal life of the Afrobeat legend, bringing to life the controversial and contradictory life story of Nigeria’s most well-known musician.

Watch: Finding Fela at Sundance.

Hopefully these films will be made accessible to those of us on the continent!

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All Africa, All the time.

The 15th October marked the anniversary of one of Nigeria’s greatest musicians, the ever-iconic force that was (and still is) the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti. In celebration of the aptly-titled day known as a ‘Felabration’, merging it with this month’s theme of highlighting African art, artists and art inspired by Africa/Africans, here are a few of my favourite pieces of art inspired by Fela.

But of course, the greatest artist to ever create images influenced by the life of Fela was the equally legendary Lemi Ghariokwu.

Click on the images for details and sources.

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

Looking at it holistically, do you feel comfortable that a Nigerian who has practically lived abroad all his life is playing the role of Fela?

I’m sure if they do a movie, it will be great. Now, let us look at the broadway show. Critics say that it was too Americanised. They did not want to show Fela’s story from the Nigerian perspective. They wanted the American and the international market to understand the Fela story. See how Fela was misunderstood even when he went to the United States. It was after his death that people started evaluating his music. What he was doing? He married 27 wives in his lifetime, how dare he? This man was against feminism.? They gave him different kind of names. He was completely misunderstood because he wore pants, he smoked marijuana. He had issues. He had serious issues whether we liked it or not. At his death, people were celebrating him but in his lifetime, he was broke before he died.

What they did was to tell the Fela story for the average international market to watch and understand it. If you did watch them, you would notice that the dancers could not dance the Afrobeat music. For you, the man was speaking American English. But you would have every reason to believe that the Fela you know was not being acted but if you look at it from the neutral perspective like you didn’t know Fela, you would understand the story and even weep for him.

The day I watched it, I cried. I cried because I knew where they were coming from and I saw the audience. Probably, they have not heard about Fela, the Americans were saying, it made them want to listen to his music to know more about Africa. It opened their minds to so many issues. Now, they are studying Afrobeat in many of the schools and universities in America, Germany, France, Sweden, Australia, everywhere. There are over 20 American bands playing Afrobeat at the moment.

Over the years and given what is happening in the country today, will you say your father has been vindicated or misunderstood while he lived?

I will answer in the affirmative. He was grossly misunderstood for a purpose because he saw corruption and he knew what corruption was going to do to the country; those involved in corruption wanted to get away with dictatorship and corruption which was what he was against. And because he used his own unconventional way of protesting, it didn’t go down well with the authorities.

Then the authorities controlled the media up to a point until after Daily Times, when other media houses started springing up because we have to remember that it was only government newspapers and TVs that we had then. So, the story was told from the government’s perspective until The Punch, Vanguard and other magazines were established. Fela’s story could be seen from another point of view.

We have to understand where Fela was coming from in the 60s. Where did the problem start? What was the cause of his problem? And maybe, because he was already a stubborn character, he was going to make matters worse and that was his character and that is the character that people now love. What kind of man was he, that many people ran away from him, or even compromised him. But he didn’t have to go through all those beatings? So, I think, he was purposely misunderstood but yes, he has been vindicated.

Son of the late Nigerian Afrobeat music pioneer and controversial political activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Femi Kuti speaks about the currently in the works and much talked about biopic based on the life of his father as well as Fela’s posthumous legacy, and more, in this interview.

MORNING SONG: Afrikan Boy - Hit ‘Em Up

Scenes of Lagos and London living, footage of Fela and the Kalakuta queens and a sample of Kuti’s 1965 release ‘Wa dele wa royin’ are all featured in London-based Afrikan Boy’s horn-heavy banger of a track.

As great of a Fela tribute that this video is, it still doesn’t top my favourite Afrikan Boy song ‘Take You There’.

4,193 plays
Fela Kuti,
The Best Of The Black President

Fela Kuti - Lady

If you call am woman African woman no go ‘gree

She go say, she go say, “I be lady, oh”

She go say, “I be lady, oh”

She go say, “I be lady”

She go say, “I no be woman”

She go say, “Market woman na woman”

She go say, “I be lady”


Inspired in Fela Kuti’s Queens, know as the creator of Afro-beat who married 27 wives.

by sofia maldonado


Yvonne “Vixen” Ekwere models as Fela Kuti’s fire dancer, Rashida in Zebra Living 

photography by Obi Somoto

Fela Kuti, live in 1978

(via move-or-be-moved-deactivated201)

"Fela’s beautie’s doing it their own way in the swimming pool"

"Sunday Tide," September 19, 1976


Asker rhyythms Asks:
I'm pretty sure my dad was being too harsh but according to him (and he was at a lot of Fela's concerts) the kalakuta queens were ladies who didn't want to conform to their parent's expectations of them or who didnt have a formal education so they either ran away from home or one thing or the other. So they just joined Fela's band i'm guessing? He called them "awon omo'ta" (bad connotation) But again im sure he was exaggerating. If you do find any information on them, let us know o!
dynamicafrica dynamicafrica Said:

there are all sorts of stories concerning who these women were, where they came from and whatever their purpose for being a part of the compound were.

what we do know is that Nigerians love to talk, so I’m never quite sure what to believe especially seeing as there seems to be no thoroughly investigated and well compiled information source that details the lives of these women before, during and after they became a part of the K Republic/compound.

I’ll be back in Lagos in a few months and I’m destined to do a little hunting when I get back home so god willing something concrete will materialize.

My dad visited the compound occasionally when he was a younger and has said similar things too but I don’t know for if that’s firsthand knowledge or grapevine talk.

I’ll let you know sha!

And if anyone has sources or receipts, abeg, share them with us.


Fela by Kalkidan Assefa

DYNAMIC AFRICA HOLIDAY GIFT LIST ITEM #5: Merchandise from the OkayAfrica Store

The OKA store is periodically stocked with some of the kiffest articles of clothing and accessories that are both essential and exclusive. From accessories to apparel, Fela necklaces to ranges of Dutch Wax totes and Kikoi scarves, finding gifts for friends, family or even yourself is not hard to do at the store- especially with their affordable prices.


Nigerian singer FELA at home with his wives.


© Abbas/Magnum Photos