Fela is Nigeria’s most celebrated music icon, he was well known of his afrobeat style of music, regarded as Nigeria’s king of Afro-Beat music.
Born on 15th of October 1938, and passed away on 2nd August, 1992. Fela’s elder brother, Prof. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, a former Minister of Health, confirmed the late icon’s death from complications related to HIV and AIDS
Today marks exactly 20years after his demise and many Nigerians and celebrities share their thoughts about him after these years.
Segun Arinze (Nollywood veteran Actor) express his feelings; he took to his social media handle to share this:
He is a great icon and till date, his music still stands relevant. Most of those things he said in all his songs are prevalent till date.
“He was like a prophet but as the saying goes, a ‘prophet is not respected in his home town. That played out in his life.
“We still hope the society would continue to imbibe the messages he left behind for the much needed change to come,’’
“Fela started passing messages before other activists started using music to propagate worthy and good causes.
“And of course, he was recognised by the government, people and the society. Fela was great, we can never forget him in Nigeria, Africa and the world stage,”
The news came on my portable radio and it sounded so strange, a floating contradiction that was at once detached from, yet infused with the world from which I had myself just earned a lover’s rebuff. My young cousin, the ‘ abàmì èdá ‘ that the world knew as Fela, was dead. He had not yet attained his sixtieth year.
A naked torso over spangled pants, over which a saxophone or microphone would oscillate on stage, receiving guests or journalists in underpants while running down a tune from his head, in the open courtyard at rehearsals or in any space where he held court – all constituted the trademark of his unyielding non-conformism.
Far more revealing than such skimpy attire, however, was his skin-taut skull and bulging eyes, permanently bloodshot from an indifferent sleeping routine and a dense smoke diffusion. His singing voice was raspy, not intended to entice but arrest with trenchant messages. Sparse and lithe, Fela leaped about the stage like a brown, scalded cat, whose miaow was a rustle of riffs eased from a saxophone that often seemed better maintained than his own body.
Fela loved to buck the system. His music, too many was both salvation and echo of their anguish, frustrations and suppressed aggression.
The black race was the beginning and end of knowledge and wisdom, his life mission, to effect a mental and physical liberation of the race. It struck me as a kind of portent – that it was while visiting this distant outpost of my home, Abéòkúta, in Westmoreland, propelled – but quite soberly, objectively – by thoughts of death of that other musician member of my family – the irrepressible maverick, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.”