(en) Long-time musician and Nigerian regime's bugbear Fela dead

Lyn Gerry (redlyn@loop.com)
Sat, 2 Aug 1997 17:07:58 +0000

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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Sat, 2 Aug 1997 17:07:56 -0700 (PDT) From: MichaelP <papadop@peak.org> Subject: Fela dies in sleep


Those of you who have heard his music, were impressed with its vitality, and knew of the times Fela Kuti was confined to prison in Nigeria as an opponent of the various authorities, will be surprised to learn he died in his sleep, at home, and not at the hands of the present Nigerian authorities.

if you havn't heard his music, go out and find some, NOW.


=========================================================== Long-time musician and Nigerian regime's bugbear Fela dead Augusr 2 1997 Agence France-Presse LAGOS (August 2, 1997 6:04 p.m. EDT) - Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the popular musician who died Saturday, was also a political activist, would-be president, advocate of marijuana, and a long-standing thorn in the flesh of the Nigerian authorities. Fela, 58, who died peacefully in his sleep according to his brother Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, had been arrested, detained and imprisoned more than a dozen times in the past 20 years because of his criticism of the authorities. Only last April he was arrested and formally charged with possession of drugs. He was granted bail after two weeks in detention, and the charge was dropped last month. Fela's many feats include marrying a total of 27 wives on the same day in 1978, most of whom were dancers and singers in his band, which he formed in London in 1959. His first brush with the law dates back to 1974 when he released his famous album "Zombie," generally considered by the military authorities in power as a diatribe levelled at them. Nursing presidential ambitions, Fela launched a political association, the Movement of the People, after a ban on political activities was lifted in 1978. He envisaged standing for presidential elections in 1979 but failed to win approval from the authorities. In 1984, he was arrested and charged with currency trafficking and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. He was released two years later following reports that the judge who sentenced him apologised when he visited the musician in prison.

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