Femi Kuti is a rare breed. No, we’re not just talking about his family pedigree that includes his father Fela, his grandmother Mrs Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti or even his great-grandfather Daniel Thomas, the son of a slave who traced his way back home.
Femi himself, by himself, is a phenomenon. It was going to be hard, almost impossible step out from his iconic father’s shadow. Not only did Femi learn from his father, he made his own music so distinct that despite the fact that it is Afrobeat (which Fela of course invented), you can tell Femi’s music from the sound alone. It’s like magic.
He was born in the UK and could have traded everything in when the going got tough. The British society has shown that it would absorb doctors and nurses; you think they would think twice if a legend like Femi Kuti asked to become a British citizen?
But he did none of that. He’s Nigerian through and through, and like his ancestors before him, sings for the common man who often is trampled upon by the ruling class.
Here’s another fun fact: a Femi Kuti concert in Nigeria is another rarity. This September, he would be hosting an exclusive concert at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos in collaboration with Chocolate City. It’s a rare opportunity to see the man in concert, especially off the heels of a world tour to perform his recent album One People One World. He would be singing from that project on September 22, in addition to his cache of classics.
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