CELEBRATING FELA 20 YEARS AFTER: He proved soothsayers wrong


TWICE before his death, Afrobeat music legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti fell sick. Rumoured dead, he later recovered and came out stronger. This, to many, is proof of his “Abami Eda” myth.

During this time, many of his admirers had agreed too, that he cannot die. His last sickness again saw some renowned soothsayers and spiritualists insisting that he had power over death while his illness lasted.

Reports indicated that the likes of Primate Theopilus Olabayo had said at a time, that, the music maestro was at a point in trance and coma. That he saw Fela confessing Christ in private, while he claimed the Afrobeat king was in an hospital in Lagos.

Olabayo told a Sunday paper last week: “And because Fela now knows Christ, he (Fela) is going to come back fully, but his come-back is going to be gradual. If he’s prayerful, he would come back, but not immediately.”

Dr. Gabriel Okonzua, a parapsychologist said Fela was in Abeokuta; and seriously sick, that he was being treated through traditional healing.

The mental art philosopher in his own vision said the “Baba 70” was recuperating; no more in his lively mood. “Death is not ready to take him. Death says it has no joy in taking him”, Okonzua had stated.

Although, he was said to have hinted that the late musician was really an Abami Eda” who cannot die, “he still has the whole of this year to operate”. He said that he doesn’t see Fela operating in 1998. “It is a year he had to look after himself very well health-wise … I can’t see him operating in January 1999.”

These and more were the words of the parapsychologist, whose gaze at his star couldn’t reveal to him that Fela would die this year. In fact, in August.

Okonzua has described the 59-year old musician as an ‘elemental being” from the element earth. “Death does not rush to take the lives of such creatures.”

Wrong! For Okonzua, Olabayo and their likes, death, once again shattered their belief in the power of their trade.



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