This is the biography of Nigerian music legend, Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti who was to be known as Fela Anikulapo Kuti. He was a well-known artist and a political activist. Fela spearheaded the music genre known as Afrobeat and he was over and over captured and beaten for writing and singing songs that scrutinised the Nigerian military government.
Fela Kuti was born on October 15, 1938, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital. He was the child of Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, a Protestant Minister, School principal and the primary President of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, and Mrs. Francis Abigail Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti, a political extremist.
Fela learnt to play the piano and drums as a kid and he led his school choir. In the 1950s, Fela told his folks that he was moving to London, England, to study medicine, yet wound up going to the Trinity College of Music. While at Trinity, Fela studied classical music and built up an attention to American jazz.
In 1963, Fela formed a band called Koola Lobitos. He would later change the band’s name to Afrika 70, and again to Egypt 80. Starting in the 1960s, Fela spearheaded and advanced his own particular interesting style of music called “Afrobeat”. Afrobeat is a mix of funk, jazz, salsa, Calypso and customary Nigerian Yoruba music.
Notwithstanding their unmistakable blended type style, Fela’s tunes were viewed as one of a kind in contrast with all the more well-known melodies because of their length—going somewhere in the range of 15 minutes to an hour long. Fela sang in a blend of Pidgin English and Yoruba.
In the 1970s and ’80s, Fela’s defiant song verses gave him a reputation as a political dissenter. Therefore, Afrobeat has come to be related to putting forth political, social and cultural expressions about covetousness and corruption. One of Fela’s melodies, “Zombie,” questions Nigerian soldiers’ visually impaired submission to do orders. Another, “V.I.P. (Drifters in Power),” looks to engage the disappointed masses to rise up against the government.
In 1989, three years in the wake of touring the United States, Fela released an album called Beasts of No Nation. The collection cover depicts world pioneers Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan (among others) as cartoon vampires exposing ridiculous teeth.
Defying abusive administrations through his music came at an overwhelming expense to Fela, who was captured by the Nigerian government 200 times, and was liable to various beatings that left him with long lasting scars. Instead of forsaking his motivation, in any case, Fela utilised these encounters as motivation to compose more verses. He delivered approximately 50 albums through the span of his music career, including tunes for Les Negresses under the alias in 1992.
Fela Kuti was a polygamist. A lady named Remi was the first of Fela’s spouses. In 1978, Fela wedded 27 more ladies in a solitary wedding function. He would, in the end, separate with them all. Fela’s children with Remi included a son, Femi, and girls Yeni and Sola. Sola died of cancer not long after her dad’s passing in 1997. Each of the three children were individuals from the Positive Force, a band they established in the 1980s.
Fela Kuti kicked the bucket of AIDS-related illnesses on August 2, 1997, at 58 years old, in Lagos, Nigeria. Approximately 1 million individuals went to his burial service parade, which started at Tafawa Balewa Square and finished at Fela’s home, Kalakuta, in Ikeja, Nigeria, where he was buried in the front yard.