Why Fela Married 27 Women In One Day, Seun Kuti Opens Up

Afrobeat musician and entertainer, Seun Kuti has revealed how and why his late father and the pioneer of Afrobeats, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, married 27 women in one day.

Africa Today News, New York recalls that in 1978, Fela married 27 women in one day in what was seen as a very daring move.

Appearing on the ‘Fresh Off The Boat’ podcast via Skype, Seun Kuti explained that his father married 27 women in one day in a bid to preserve their honor and dignity as the media was already tagging his female dancers and band members living with him as “prostitutes.”

He said: “My father was under immense media propaganda. He was very scrutinised. And most of it were directed to the women that were in his life; his female back-up singers, dancers. They all lived together with my dad but the media started calling them prostitutes.

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“So my dad, in order to preserve their honor and dignity, asked them if they would choose to be his brides so nobody would call them names anymore and they all agreed. That was how the marriage happened.”

He also disclosed that Fela’s biopic is already in the works.

Born October 15, 1938, in Abeokuta, Fela died on the 2nd of August 2, 1997 in Lagos.

He was a Nigerian musician and activist who launched a modern style of music called Afro-beat, which fused American blues, jazz, and funk with traditional Yoruba music.

Kuti was the son of feminist and labour activist Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. As a youth he took lessons in piano and percussion before studying (1959) classical music at Trinity College London. While in London, he encountered various musical styles by playing piano in jazz and rock bands.

He exhorted social change in such songs as “Zombie,” “Monkey Banana,” “Beasts of No Nation,” and “Upside Down.” Fela (as he was popularly known) and his band, which was known variously as the Nigeria 70, Africa 70, and later the Egypt 80, performed for packed houses at the early-morning concerts that they staged at Fela’s often-raided nightclub in Lagos.

Africa Today News, New York

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