Classics, Entertainment

CELEBRATING FELA 20 YEARS AFTER: ‘Fela promised he’d not die,’ says daughter

SHALEWA Anikulapo-Kuti is yet to come to terms with the shocking death of her dad via AIDS. “I can’t believe he’s dead!” she repeated times without number during our exclusive interview with her. “It’s a lie. He told me he would not die the last time I saw him. He promised he’d live,” she sobbed.

“I’ll miss a lot of things about him: His fatherly advice, encouraging words. He taught me how to play saxophone and many other things.

“I can never forget our last discussion. I had gone to him to collect my school fees. That was soon after his arrest and release by Major General Musa Bamaiyi. He said to me: ‘Look, I don’t have money. Bamaiyi has ruined my business (African Shrine).'”

And because of this, the pretty girl who said she was shocked when she heard about her father’s death insisted that: “I will never forgive Bamaiyi. Fela may have died of AIDS but Bamaiyi has a hand in his death. If he had not arrested him, his health may not have worsened. I doubt if I will ever forget that day when soldiers invaded our home and arrested him.”

Shalewa will still want to come back as Fela’s daughter and has no regret whatsoever being a member of the Anikulapo-Kuti family. “I’m proud of Fela and will always be no matter what,” she maintained.

The dark-complexioned lady revealed to NATIONAL ENCOMIUM that a lot of people do not know much about her father. “He was very kind and loving … very supportive of my schooling. Honestly, I still can’t believe he is gone and gone forever.”

On how she intends to pursue her education, since the breadwinner of the family is gone, Shalewa hinted that breadwinner  of the family members would take up the responsibility. “Uncle Koye and others are there. I am very sure they would be more than willing to offer me assistance any time I seek for it.”

For now, Shalewa’s only fear is that she would not-be in the right frame of mind to prepare for her exams coming up in two weeks time.

“I just pray I don’t fail”, she concluded amidst stream of tears still conspicuously forming in her eyeballs.



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