25 Years After Afro-Beat King Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s Death, His Presence Is Still Strong
Yesterday marks 25 years since the demise of popular Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikunlapo Kuti. His family on Tuesday marked the 25th anniversary of late Afrobeat legend who died on August 2, 1997, two years before Nigeria returned to civilian government.
Remembering Fela reminds us of one of Nigeria legacies when it comes to music industry, “Afrobeat Music” a dance-protest music was inspired as a form of resistances against military dictatorship in Nigeria in the 1970s. A look into his life will give us a clear insight on how he metamorphosed Afrobeat music from a national based music to a global stage.
By calling his music “Afro-Beat,” a contraction of “African” and “Beat,” Fela was expressing his commitment to a pan-Africanist musical discourse. The music genre instills in us a sense of cultural pride, not just to Nigerians, but to the generality of Africans, and “the black race.” Even after his death in 1997, his legacy still continues, as we can see today some African artistes like his former drummer, Tony Allen, Femi Kuti and Seun Kuti. The music genre preached cultural pride and Afrocentrism.