“Its been been 15 years since you started your peaceful journey Black President, Omo Iya Aje, Stubborn boy, Oko gbogbo Omoge, Roforofo fight – Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Anikulapo-Kuti 15 October 1938 — 2 August 1997 son of the soil gone but never ever forgotten…..E’erbody say yeah yeaahhh! RIP.” – Tunde Jinadu
This man of men must continue to be remembered for all that he offered both the world and African people. Fela’s music lives on in multiple genres of today’s music, on Broadway and in our hearts. Many Americans called him the James Brown of Africa. I call him a kindred spirit to the Godfather of Soul. Because he too was an African man and it showed whenever James Brown sang and was on stage. Kindred spirits is what they were and they are both no longer with us.
Music brings the world together. It tells the stories of a people and Fela knew how to tell a story that would sting the faint of heart. Because he called out the injustices of his home country of Nigeria. he spoke of the corruption, lack of leadership and the negative influences of foreign religious, i.e., Western Christianity and Eastern Islam.
Until this day many sing his songs, dance to them but seemingly still don’t understand what he was really talking about. 15 years ago the ravages of AIDS took him from us. AIDS a disease that kills millions throughout Africa and certainly if he were alive today he would be speaking out about AIDS as well. Remembering Fela is bittersweet but also it’s wonderful because his music means so much to so many.
As is said in Yoruba, “E mi omo n’ile” and he was truly a son of his father’s land. We miss you Fela but know you are with the ancestors and therefore continues to be with us.