Classics, Entertainment

CELEBRATING FELA 20 YEARS AFTER: Fela’s heroes

Fela 3

MANY people adopted the music genius as their hero, but the colossus himself had a lot of renowned achievers as models.

Fela’s mother, Olufunmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti occupied an important place in his heart. The composer considered his mother, a crusader and a leading light in the pre-independence years, as one of his heroes. The forthright woman who stood by her second son throughout his traFvails in the hands of the Obasanjo Regime fought injustice till she died.

Rev. Israel Ransome-Kuti, his father, was also so much respected by the maverick musician. Once he commented that his family had a long history of achievements. That they translated some of the songs of praises to Yoruba, and composed the anthem of the Egbas.

The controversial African America Muslim leader, Malcom X had a great impact on him. His books and teaching made Fela more conscious of his roots.

The propagator of African unity, Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah was held in high esteem. So were Marcus Garvey, Sekou Toare. The musicians, Charlie Parker (bebop exponent and tenor saxophonist) and Beethoven (classical music composer), were two of his favourites.

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