Olufela Anikulapo Kuti (born October 15, 1938 – August 2, 1997), popularly known as Fela Kuti, is considered to be the King Of Afrobeats.
Although he’s late, his influence in the African music industry continues to transcend from generation to generation.
In his lifetime, he was a music composer, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader and political activist who held Pan-African views.
Starting out as a Jazz musician, Fela Kuti pioneered Afrobeat by combining traditional Yoruba percussion with American funk and jazz.
He is the father of musicians, Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Yeni Kuti, Kunle Anikulapo Kuti, Omosalewa Anikulapo Kuti, Sola Kuti, Motunrayo Anikulapo Kuti, and grandfather of Made Kuti, Rolari Segun, and Ayomide Kuti.
|Fela Kuti: History, Bio, Photo|
|Full Name:||Olufela Anikulapo Kuti|
|Stage Name:||Fela Kuti|
|Born:||October 15, 1938 (age 58 years old)|
|Died:||2 August 1997, Lagos|
|Place of Birth:||Abeokuta, Ogun, Nigeria|
|State Of Origin:||Ogun State|
|Parents:||Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti|
|Children:||Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Yeni Kuti, Kunle Anikulapo Kuti, Omosalewa Anikulapo Kuti, Sola Kuti, Motunrayo Anikulapo Kuti|
|Siblings:||Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, Beko Ransome-Kuti, Dolupo Ransome-Kuti|
|Wives • Spouses:||Kikelomo Oseyni (m. 1978–1986), Sewaa Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Folake Oladejo (m. 1978–1986), Fehintola Anikulapo Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Omolara Shosanya (m. 1978–1986), Aduni Idowu (m. 1978–1986), Shade Shodeinde (m. 1978–1986), Alake Anikulapo Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Adeola Williams (m. 1978–1986), Bose Anikulapo Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Kevwe Oghomienor (m. 1978–1986), Funmi Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Lara Anikulapo Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Suru Eriomola (m. 1978–1986), Ihase Anikulapo Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Najite Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Omolola Osaeti (m. 1978–1986), Emaruagheru Osawe (m. 1978–1986), Tokunbo Akran (m. 1978–1986), Damiregba Anikulapo Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Laide Anikulapo-Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Adejonwo Iyabode Oguntiro (m. 1978–1986), Tejumade Adebiyi (m. 1978–1986), Ronke Edason (m. 1978–1986), Omowunmi Afesumo (m. 1978–1986), Omowunmi Oyedele (m. 1978–1986), Naa Lamiley (m. 1978–1986), Remilekun Taylor (m. 1978–1986)|
|Occupation:||Singer • Activist|
Fela Kuti was born to the family of Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti and Chief (Mrs) Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti on the 15th Of October 1938. He was birthed in the city of Abeokuta during colonial rule.
He comes from an influential upper-middle-class family. His father was a school principal, an Anglican minister, and the Nigerian Union Of Teachers pioneer president. While his mother was a strong political activist, focusing more on women’s rights. She is also credited to be the first woman to ride a car in Nigeria.
Fela Kuti‘s older brother was a renowned medical doctor and former minister of health, Chief (Dr) Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, while his younger brother was Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, also a medical doctor. Fela Kuti is the first cousin of Nobel Laurette and writer, Wole Soyinka. Wole Soyinka ‘s mother is the younger sister of Fela Kuti‘s dad, Rev. Ransome-Kuti.
Fela Kuti spent his early years living with his family in Abeokuta before moving to England to pursue a university education. He decided to change his surname from Ransome Kuti to Anikulapo Kuti because he considered the former a slave name.
Fela Kuti completed his secondary school education in Abeokuta Grammar School. Although he was sent to London to study medicine, he opted to study music instead.
He enrolled at Trinity College Of Music, picking up interest in the trumpet and graduated after three years of study.
While in England, Fela Kuti formed a band called Koola Lobitos that played a fusion of jazz and highlife in clubs in London.
He moved back to Nigeria in 1963, where he reformed the Koola Lobitos. Also, he joined Victor Olaiya‘s band for a while before seeking a new creative direction. It was during this period that he founded the Afrobeat genre and renamed his band, African 70. After that, he established the Kalakuta Republic that served as a commune, recording studio and home for most of his band members.
Fela Kuti also set up a nightclub in Empire Hotel, which he named Afro-Spot before renaming it to New Afrika Shrine. Fela Kuti sang in Pidgin English, making it possible for his music to be understood and enjoyed by the multi-lingual Nigerian community. Pidgin English was a common language in the country.
Fela Kuti and his band released the album, Zombie in 1977, whose message was targeted at the present-day military government. The album was a commercial success selling thousands of copies.
Known for creating conscious political music, Fela Kuti was famous all over Africa. He also travelled down to Europe on tours, performing at different shows. One of Fela Kuti‘s music peculiarities is that his songs are very long: 25-30 mins. This is because he uses a lot of instrumentals in his songs, and his music lyrics are known for their call and response feel.
In 1979, Fela Kuti formed a political party, Movement Of The People (MOP) and intended to run for president, but the government prevented him from congestion. By 1980, he decided to create a new band called Egypt 80. He released the album, Beasts Of No Nation in 1989.
Some of Fela Kuti‘s other notable works are Why Black Men Dey Suffer, Live!, Open & Close, Shakara, Roforofo Fight, Gentleman, Expensive Shit, Confusion, Water No Get Enemy, J.J.D (Johnny Just Drop), Sorrows, Tears and Blood, Black President, Original Sufferhead, Unknown Soldier, Army Arrangement, Confusion Breaks Bones, Shuffering and Shmilling, Stalemate and Lady.
A Pan-Africanist, Fela Kuti was imprisoned by the Buhari regime in 1984 because he was a vocal critic of the government. After spending twenty months in jail, he was released when Gen. Ibrahim Babangida came to power. By the 1990s, Fela Kuti had reduced the number of albums he released and no longer went on tours in Europe.
In 1960, Fela Kuti got married to his first wife, Remilekun Taylor, who birthed three children for him: Yeni Kuti, Femi Kuti and Sola Kuti. Yeni Kuti is his first child and eldest daughter, while Femi Kuti is his first son. His youngest son is Seun Kuti, who is the one in charge of the Egypt 80 Band.
Fela Kuti made news in the 1970s when he married 27 women on the same day. However, he divorced most of them prior to his death.
Fela Kuti passed on after a prolonged illness on the 2nd Of August 1997. His elder brother, Olikoye Kuti, revealed that Fela Kuti had died as a result of AIDs related complications. However, his immediate family members denied the claim.
In 1977, his home, Kalakuta Republic, was invaded by 1000 soldiers, who burnt and destroyed his properties. He and his band members also suffered physical assault from the soldiers. The attack had responded to his recently released album, Zombie, which the government found offensive.
All Fela Kuti’s wives are Kikelomo Oseyni (m. 1978–1986), Sewaa Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Folake Oladejo (m. 1978–1986), Fehintola Anikulapo Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Omolara Shosanya (m. 1978–1986), Aduni Idowu (m. 1978–1986), Shade Shodeinde (m. 1978–1986), Alake Anikulapo Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Adeola Williams (m. 1978–1986), Bose Anikulapo Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Kevwe Oghomienor (m. 1978–1986), Funmi Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Lara Anikulapo Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Suru Eriomola (m. 1978–1986), Ihase Anikulapo Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Najite Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Omolola Osaeti (m. 1978–1986), Emaruagheru Osawe (m. 1978–1986), Tokunbo Akran (m. 1978–1986), Damiregba Anikulapo Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Laide Anikulapo-Kuti (m. 1978–1986), Adejonwo Iyabode Oguntiro (m. 1978–1986), Tejumade Adebiyi (m. 1978–1986), Ronke Edason (m. 1978–1986), Omowunmi Afesumo (m. 1978–1986), Omowunmi Oyedele (m. 1978–1986), Naa Lamiley (m. 1978–1986), and Remilekun Taylor (m. 1978–1986).
During his lifetime, Fela Kuti made his wealth from the sales of his records, music tours and shows. He lived a simple but comfortable life.
Fela Kuti was able to amass a small fortune which is estimated to be net worth of $200,000-300,000.
Fela Kuti Biography: Spouse, Albums, Age, Songs, Net Worth, Children, Mother, Quotes, Wikipedia, Death, Awards? ›
1. Fela: This Bitch if a Life by Carlos Moore. Carlos Moore's unique biography, based on hours of conversation and told in Fela's first-person vernacular, reveals the icon's complex personality and tumultuous existence. Moore includes interviews with fifteen of his queens (wives); photos; and an updated discography.What is the best Fela biography? ›
1. Fela: This Bitch if a Life by Carlos Moore. Carlos Moore's unique biography, based on hours of conversation and told in Fela's first-person vernacular, reveals the icon's complex personality and tumultuous existence. Moore includes interviews with fifteen of his queens (wives); photos; and an updated discography.How old is Fela Kuti now? ›
|Died||2 August 1997 (aged 58) Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria|
|Occupation(s)||Musician bandleader activist|
|Instrument(s)||Saxophone vocals keyboards trumpet guitar drums|
In 1978, the pioneer of Afrobeats, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, married 27 women in one day. This should not be strange to those who know the life and style of the Nigerian music legend nicknamed Abami Eda (strange creature).What are the achievements of Mrs Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti? ›
Ransome-Kuti became the first president of the AWU (1946) and headed its successor organizations until her death. Under her leadership the AWU became a national organization, renaming itself the Nigerian Women's Union (NWU) in 1949 and the Federation of Nigerian Women's Societies (FNWS) in 1953.What is Portable's net worth? ›
Portable net worth in dollars is $400,000 in naira is [ 280,000,000] he made his money from various businesses, investments and even endorsement that he gets from different companies . one of his major endorsements is from Odogwu bitters a company owned by a Nigerian business mogul obi Cubana.Who is Fela best friend? ›
Afro-beat legend Fela Kuti with his best friend and confidant J.K Braimah. Sadly, Braimah passed away yesterday in London after a protracted illness. Jimoh Kombi(J.K) Braimah was born in Lagos in 1935. He met Fela in Lagos in 1954 while he was a guitarist for the legendary Victor Olaiya's Cool Cats Band.Where is Fela buried? ›
Answer and Explanation: Fela Kuti, the Nigerian musician, composer and political activist who invented Afrobeat, is buried in the Kalakuta Cemetery in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.How many children did Fela give birth to? ›
Fela Kuti had eight children although only three of them were with his first wife, Remi Taylor. Kuti's children with Taylor were Femi and Yeni, born in England, and Sola, born in Lagos. In 1978, Kuti took on an additional 27 wives and had an additional five children.Is Fela Kuti in the Hall of Fame? ›
It's something the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's nominating committee recognizes, having placed Kuti on the ballot the last two years. Kuti received an overwhelming amount of support globally during last year's Fan Vote but failed to earn induction.
The Kalakuta Museum in Ikeja, Lagos derives much of its authenticity from being located in the actual three-storey house where Fela lived in Kalakuta Republic, the fabled compound which, in defiance of Nigeria's military dictatorship, he declared was an independent, self-governing state.What did Fela died of? ›
Fela was jailed again in 1993 for murder, but the charges were eventually dropped. He died as a result of complications from AIDS.Who owns Fela? ›
Fela, co-founded by veteran Director X and long time manager and business partner Taj Critchlow is a lifestyle brand that celebrates inclusion and diversity. A production company that specializes in making cutting edge content in the realm of music videos, commercials, documentaries and films.Who is the first female driver in Africa? ›
Ransome-Kuti was the first woman in Abeokuta to drive a car. Ransome-Kuti and her husband had four children: a daughter named Dolupo (1926) and sons Olikoye "Koye" (1927), Olufela "Fela" (1938), and Bekololari "Beko" (1940).Who is the first woman to drive a car in West Africa? ›
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, a Nigerian activist, feminist, and the first woman in Abeokuta to drive a car. She is recognized as the first female Nigerian political activist. She is lovingly called as “The Mother of Africa.” Her full name is Francis Abigail Olufunmilayo Thomas.Who was the first woman to ride in Nigeria? ›
The first female driver in Nigeria was Fumilayo Ransome-Kuti. She was born in 1900 in Abeokuta and was the mother of the Afro-beat music legend, Fela Kuti. She was women's right activist.How rich is Broda Shaggi? ›
Brother Shaggi has an estimated net worth of $200, 000.Did Portable buy a car? ›
Habeeb Okikiola, the controversial singer better known as Portable, has acquired a brand-new car. Portable took to his Instagram page on Tuesday to share a video of himself inside the new white-coloured Range Rover. “I'm so glad today, thank God today I acquired a new whip for myself.Who is Fela Kuti manager? ›
Rikki Stein managed Fela Kuti from 1983 until Kuti's death in 1997. Stein, a British music executive, developed a close friendship with Kuti, and still promotes his legacy today.Who is Fela biological father? ›
In 1925 in London, Fela's grandfather, the Reverend J.J. Ransome-Kuti, recorded a collection of hymns for the Zonophone label. Fela's father, the Reverend Israel Ransome-Kuti, was an accomplished pianist and encouraged Fela to learn music as a child (though he wanted him ultimately to become a doctor).
A visit to Atan Cemetery in Yaba, Lagos, explains that. A certain portion of the cemetery contains the largest concentration of World War II era graves in Nigeria, while the “popular side” is reserved for the poor.Who did the biggest burial in Nigeria? ›
He added that Mike Adenuga built a cathedral, and a mission house in the compound where they buried his mum and he had to exhume the corpse of his father who died in the 80s, and bury him in the same compound where the mother was buried. He wrote: “No burial can match up to Mike Adenuga mother's burial sha.Why did Fela have 27 wives? ›
The 27 women married by the music legend came from various ethnic groups in Nigeria and elsewhere. Fela married the women in order to protect them and disprove the rumour that he was abducting them. The wedding was attended by Fela's family, friends, and band members.Did Fela marry his dancers? ›
In 1978, Afrobeat musician, Fela Kuti married 27 of his backup dancers in one day. Fela had asked all the ladies in his band if they wanted to marry him and 27 of them agreed. Then on February 20, 1978, Fela called 12 traditional priests who presided over the wedding ceremony which took place at a hotel in Lagos.How much money is Seun Kuti worth? ›
Seun Kuti is well known as one of Nigeria's richest musicians, which he has been able to accumulate through his music career. His net worth is estimated at $2 million.Was musician Fela recently nominated for induction into the Rock Hall? ›
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced Afrobeat king, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, as one of its 2022 nominees, while revealing the 17 acts eligible for induction into the Rock Hall's Class of 2022. This will be the second time Fela will be nominated, having missed out on last year's induction.How much is the gate fee at Kalakuta Museum? ›
Kalakuta Museum gate fee and Location
The gate fee for entry to the museum is 1000 naira. The museum has a ground floor where you can souvenirs. Also, it has a rooftop bar where you can order food, drinks, and palm wine. In other to access the rooftop, you will pay a fee of 1000 naira.
BMG Rights Management France (BMG) has acquired music publishing business FKO Music (FKO) – including all songs by Nigerian legend Fela Kuti. Under the deal, FKO founder Fela Kertekian and BMG will work together on the development of future signings through a co-pub agreement with Kertekian's new company FKGC.What are some fun facts about Fela Kuti? ›
He played the saxophone, guitar, drums, keyboards and trumpet, and he sang. He was also a human rights activist. The American singer James Brown said that Kuti was one of the originators (starters) of the funk genre. Kuti died in 1997 of Kaposi's sarcoma, an illness caused by AIDS.
Shauntia Latrice "Tia" Norfleet (born May 1, 1986) is the first and only African American woman to hold a NASCAR driver's license.Is there a black female race car driver? ›
SPORTS: Meet Tia Norfleet, the 1st Black Female NASCAR Driver | Female race car driver, Female racers, Race cars.Who is the oldest woman driver? ›
An Italian woman has had her driving licence renewed at the age of 100, becoming at least the country's third centenarian in recent years deemed fit to get behind the wheel. Candida Uderzo was given a new licence after passing an eye test at a driving school in the northern province of Vicenza.Who was the first woman to drive a car in America? ›
1886 – 1983. Alice Huyler Ramsey was the first woman to drive an automobile across the United States and the first woman to be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.Who was the first woman to make a car? ›
She never profited from her invention. Bertha Benz is the original road tripper. Early one August morning in 1888 she set off in her husband's car, without permission, spare fuel, or a map, to make the 106km journey from Mannheim to Pforzheim in Germany. Her husband was Karl Benz, and the car was the world's first.Who is the first woman to buy car in Nigeria? ›
Madam Efunroye Tinubu was the first Nigerian woman to buy a car; she was also the first Iyalode of the Egba clan. She was born around 1805 in Abeokuta, Nigeria and was once a slave trader who traded with Europeans.Who is the richest man in Nigeria? ›
Aliko Dangote, chairman Dangote Cement
This placed Mr Dangote as the 125th richest man in the world and he is easily the largest cement producer in Africa. The businessman also has his hands in other businesses including pastries, sugar and other areas of manufacturing.
Christianity came to Nigeria in the 15th century through Augustinian and Capuchin monks from Portugal. The first mission of the Church of England was, though, only established in 1842 in Badagry by Henry Townsend.Who is the woman to drive a car in Nigeria? ›
Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a Nigerian teacher, political campaigner, women's rights activist, and traditional aristocrat. However, she is most notable as the first woman to drive a car in Nigeria. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a frequent traveler. She had visited numerous countries all over the world.What is the net worth of Fela 2? ›
Fela Kuti Net Worth.
|Net Worth:||$5 Million|
|Profession||Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Singer|
Kalakuta Republic was the name musician and political activist Fela Kuti gave to the communal compound that housed his family, band members, and recording studio. Located at 14 Agege Motor Road, Idi-Oro, Mushin, Lagos, Nigeria, it had a free health clinic, and recording facility.What is the cause of Fela mother death? ›
Fela and Bekolari were beaten and severely injured. Anikulapo-Kuti was thrown from a second-floor window. Following the attack, she was hospitalized and eventually lapsed into a coma. She died on 13 April 1978 as a result of her injuries.Who is the highest paid musician in Nigeria? ›
|1||Don Jazzy||$52 million|
Having enjoyed both critical acclaim and commercial success over the course of his career and being considered one of the continent's most influential figures, Senegal's Youssou N'Dour is the richest musician in Africa.
Top 15 Wealthiest/Richest Musicians In Nigeria 2023. 1. WizKid – Networth $21 Million: Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun AKA Wizkid was born on 16 of July 1990, he is known to be a singer and songwriter having begun his career at a very tender age.