By Niyi Tabiti
Not all children born in London are westernised.Femi Kuti is one of them. The undisputable king of afrobeat in Nigeria is 50 and many people are excited. He is well rooted in african traditional worship and you can’t catch him wearing suit,shirt or tie.
I got a phone call durning the week from a close aide of the Grammy Awards three time nominated artiste that there is a line up of activities to celebrate Femi Kuti as he turned 50 on June 16.
Femi is the first son and the second child of the late legendary King of afrobeat music, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Fela was a
revolutionary singer,he was very active in the fight against corruption using music as a tool.
Though Femi was part of the Egypt 80 band of his father, he did not show sign that he would be able to ‘speak up’ like Fela did at the initial stages of his career. Some of his albums in the early days even preached against smoking igbo (indian hemp). All that have changed.
I use to be one of the regular faces at gigs inside Femi’s New Afrikan Shrine in those days when the place first opened.Only few people were patronizing the place at that time. I remember vividly that it was the likes of Eddy Montana of Remedies group and the new crop of hip hop artistes of that period that usually lit up the place with their shows like the Afro hip hop awards.At that time, Remedies were the reigning musicians in Nigeria so many people looked up to them.
Today, the place has turned into one of the most visited spots in Africa.Those who had been yearning for the old order of Fela’s kalakuta republic got what they wanted when Femi declared a ‘free’ republic where peole can easily take their hemp,women everywhere…trust,people come from all over the world and don’t think just mere crowd, wealthy people and music lovers touch base at the New Afrikan Shrine located in the Central Business District in Ikeja. You can take the street opposite technical school or Cadbury office,Agidingbi,Ikeja.
On women, Femi has many of them. He even married 27 of them in one day. Femi didnt do that. But he also has them plenty.He is not one to be ashamed that he has children from different women. His first son, Made was born by Funke Kuti (See Funke Kuti on the red carpet with Kate Henshaw)
Femi has indeed shown that he is a true son of Abami Eda, Fela Anikulapo Kuti with his exploits in music and fight against anti-democratic forces and corrupt leaders.
Gistmaster congratulates Femi Kuti on his 50th birthday anniversary.
By Niyi Tabiti