Fela died on August 2, 1997
For the past 19 years since 1997, August 2 of every year is the day the world unites in celebration and honour of one man, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
The late Afrobeat king took a final bow from the Nigerian political, socio-cultural and music scene. While his death was a huge loss to the oppressed in the society, it was a huge relief for the then military government led by the late Sani Abacha.
In a 2011 interview with Thenetng, his eldest son, Femi Kuti described him as, ‘Yes, he was a great man. He is the kind of person you meet and in the few minutes you spend with him, you learn so much. You become very African conscious, you will want to know more about your people, and you’ll appreciate the culture. He had that kind of aura, this African thing about him that would surely make you proud.’
EXCLUSIVE: ‘I Wish Fela Was Still Alive’ – Femi Kuti
In his lifetime, Fela was a thorn in the flesh of then military and later civilian establishments.
Fela was meant to be a doctor, an upstanding member of Nigeria’s elite like his father, an Anglican pastor who had founded the Nigeria Union of Teachers, and his mother, an aristocrat, nationalist and feminist who won the Lenin Peace Prize. His two brothers were already committed to the medical profession.
Instead, Fela became infamous, an outlaw musician who declared himself president of his own ‘Kalakuta Republic’. He used his music to voice to the general population his opposition to political mal-governance and corruption in Nigeria.
Within a short while, he became a hero to Africa’s poor; he was repeatedly raided and he and his followers were regularly arrested and beaten.
History has it that in early 1977, the military junta had had enough of Fela; the then military establishment under General Olusegun Obasanjo led thousand soldiers to overwhelm Kalakuta, brutalising and raping as they went, then razing the compound to the ground. Fela was beaten close to death, and his elderly mother thrown from an upstairs window, afterwards dying of her injuries.
In today’s world, Fela is remembered as a legend and a hero. The annual Felabration concert started by Yemi Kuti in his honour remains one of the most anticipated in the world events calendar.
Below are tributes pouring in to our the late ‘Abami Eda’…
It’s 19 years Our Father FELA passed we LOVE U WE MISS U VERY MUCH. pic.twitter.com/xvH5YsESxz
— Femi Anikulapo -Kuti (@Femiakuti) August 2, 2016
— Bach Abioro Ibrahim (@BI_Creezy) August 2, 2016
IT has been 19 years since Our own Icon Fela Anikulapo-Kuti left the world stage. We miss him. Rest in peace Fela pic.twitter.com/sTqkSrV2Ou
— Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti (@YeniAKuti) August 2, 2016
For Ever Lives Afrika. Remembering the man,the solider, the prophet, the legend. 15 October 1938 – 2 August 1997. pic.twitter.com/lPKjQ8GHBr
— ASIRI™ (@AsiriMagazine) August 2, 2016
— Kathleen Ndongmo (@KathleenNdongmo) August 2, 2016
— Peaceful Tout (@OG_kamoru) August 2, 2016
as soon as you start listening to the song then you know Fela Kuti’s legacy didn’t die with him. it still lives on & forever will.
— Kwamz ™ (@KwameLastBaby) August 2, 2016
— Newsroom Nigeria (@NewsroomDaily) August 2, 2016
19 years later, gone but definitely not forgotten, The Black President, Abami Eda, Fela Anikulapo Kuti pic.twitter.com/gtEuCtMqfc
— Mr. Aye Dee (@MrAyeDee) August 2, 2016
Fela was more than just a freedom fighter, world-class musician, pan-Africanist or language revolutionary. #FelaLivesOn
— Aláshelà (@AjalaYemi) August 2, 2016
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