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27 Facts About Fela Anikulapo Kuti

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Today marks 19 years since the demise of Africa’s Afrobeat pioneer, social maverick, and pan-Africanist Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti also known as Abami Eda. INFORMATION NIGERIA in this light brings you 27 things you probably didn’t know about him.

Fela was born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti on 15 October 1938 inAbeokuta, Ogun State,

His mother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, was a feminist activist in the anti-colonial movement

His father, Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, an Anglican minister, and school principal was the first president of the Nigeria Union of Teachers.

Fela is a first cousin to the Nigerian writer and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

He was arrested 200 times and endured numerous beatings, but continued to write political lyrics, producing albums before he died on August 2, 1997, in Lagos.

He attended the Abeokuta Grammar School in Abeokuta and later he was sent to London in 1958 to study medicine but decided to study music instead at the Trinity College of Music.

The trumpet was his preferred instrument

Fela married his first wife, Remilekun Taylor, with whom he had three children (Femi, Yeni, and Sola).

In 1963, Fela moved back to Nigeria and trained as a radio producer for the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation.

In 1967, he went to Ghana to think up a new musical direction

He first called his music Afrobeat In 1969.

He then formed the Kalakuta Republic, a commune, a recording studio, and a home for the many people connected to the band that he later declared independent from the Nigerian state.

Fela set up a nightclub in the Empire Hotel, first named the Afro-Spot and then the Afrika Shrine, where he both performed regularly and officiated at personalized Yoruba traditional ceremonies in honour of his nation’s ancestral faith.

He changed his middle name to Anikulapo (meaning “He who carries death in his pouch”, with the interpretation: “I will be the master of my own destiny and will decide when it is time for death to take me”).

He said  that his original middle name of Ransome was a slave name.

He made the decision to sing in Pidgin English so that his music could be enjoyed by individuals all over Africa, where the local languages were spoken are very diverse and numerous.

In 1977, Fela and the Afrika ’70 released the album Zombie, a scathing attack on Nigerian soldiers using the zombie metaphor to describe the methods of the Nigerian military. The album was a smash hit and infuriated the government, setting off a vicious attack against the Kalakuta Republic, during which one thousand soldiers attacked the commune. Fela was severely beaten, and his elderly mother (whose house was located opposite the commune) was thrown from a window, causing fatal injuries.

Fela’s response to the attack was to deliver his mother’s coffin to the Dodan Barracks in Lagos, General Olusegun Obasanjo’s residence, and to write two songs, “Coffin for Head of State” and “Unknown Soldier”,

Fela and his band then took residence in Crossroads Hotel, as the Shrine had been destroyed along with his commune.

In 1978, Fela married 27 women, many of whom were his dancers, composers, and singers to mark the anniversary of the attack on the Kalakuta Republic.

Fela did not perform songs again after he had already recorded them

In 1979, he put himself forward for President in Nigeria’s first elections for more than a decade, but his candidature was refused.

In 1984, Muhammadu Buhari’s government, of which Kuti was a vocal opponent, jailed him on a charge of currency smuggling which Amnesty International and others denounced as politically motivated

Amnesty International designated him a prisoner of conscience and his case was also taken up by other human rights groups.

He was released from prison by General Ibrahim Babangida after 20 months,

On his release he divorced his 12 remaining wives, saying that “marriage brings jealousy and selfishness”

In 1989, Fela and Egypt ’80 released the anti-apartheid Beasts of No Nation that depicts on its cover U.S. President Ronald Reagan, UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and South African State President Pieter Willem Botha,

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Olu

    July 25, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Fela! Great man!!!

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Shehu Sani Mocks FG Poverty Alleviation Scheme

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Shehu Sani Mocks FG Poverty Alleviation Scheme
Shehu Sani Mocks FG Poverty Alleviation Scheme

Shehu Sani

Civil Rights activist and former Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial district, Shehu Sani has mocked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration plan to lift Nigerians out of poverty.

Recall that President Buhari administration has constantly reiterated plans to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

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However, the last few days have seen Nigerians discover warehouses where COVID-19 palliatives are stored by state governments which have led to the raiding of the warehouses by Nigerians.

Reacting to the development, the former lawmaker described the move to be the consequence of Nigerians being tired of having to wait for 10 years to be lifted out of poverty.

See his tweet below:

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Nigerians React As Festus Keyamo Shades Youths Over #EndSARS Protests

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Festus Keyamo
Festus Keyamo

Festus Keyamo

Nigerians have expressed their distaste for the tweet posted by Festus Keyamo over the #EndSARS protests that has led to lives and property being destroyed by hoodlums.

The Minister of State, Labour & Employment took to his Twitter page on Friday morning to post a tweet that reads thus:

“This morning, I woke up and remembered the African proverb: WHAT AN OLD MAN CAN SEE SITTING DOWN, A YOUNG MAN CAN’T SEE EVEN IF HE CLIMBS THE HIGHEST IROKO TREE. Good morning, Lagos. Good morning, Nigeria.”

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A Twitter user identified as Adesina Oluwafemi berates the SAN for being a part of bad governance. “Mr. Keyamo. I am astonished at your statement. I am equally as old as you are if not older and I feel the pain of this our youth. I even have classmates that I can’t boast of. All these is because of bad governance which u are a part of“, he wrote.

See tweets below:

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Nigerians React As Army Says Videos Of Lekki Shooting Are Photoshopped, Fake

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Nigerians React As Army Says Videos Of Lekki Shooting Are Photoshopped, Fake
Nigerians React To Defence Spokesperson's Statement That Videos Of Lekki Shooting Were Photoshopped

John Eneche

Nigerians have reacted to the video of Nigeria’s defence spokesman, John Eneche, saying that the videos of the Lekki Tollgate shooting were photoshopped. In the video, he said it was analysed and the analyst concluded that they were all doctored.

His statement has generated reactions from Nigerians. Taking to Twitter, many Nigerian users on the micro-blogging platform have dismissed his statement as false because it is impossible to photoshop a live video on Instagram.

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Information Nigeria recalls DJ Switch was hailed by Nigerians for her bravery as she waited at the scene of the incident to give everyone a live footage via her Instagram page.

A user identified as Tolani tweeted:

“Dear generation old Nigeria… you cannot photoshop Instagram live. Your ‘analyst’ has 419’d you sir.”

See tweets below:

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