FELA’S MUSIC STILL RELEVANT 20 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH – SEGUN ARINZE

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Abuja –Popular TV personality and Nollywood actor, Segun Arinze, popularly called ‘Black Arrow’, says that Afro-beat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, is still relevant 20 years after his death.

Fela’s elder brother, Prof. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, a former Minister of Health, announced his death from complications related to HIV/AIDS on Aug. 2, 1997.

Arinze said in a telephone interview with pressmen in Abuja on Wednesday that the issues Fela addressed in his works were still relevant.

“He is a great icon and till date, his music still stands relevant. Most of those things he said in all his songs are prevalent till date.

“He was like a prophet but as the saying goes, a ‘prophet is not respected in his home town’, which is exactly what played out in his life.

“We still keep hope that the society will continue to imbibe the messages he left behind for the much needed change to come,’’ Arinze said.

Arinze described Fela as a great artiste, who understood how to use music to pass on messages.

He said Fela started passing messages before other activists started using music to propagate worthy and good causes.

“And of course, he was being recognised by the government, people and the society; Fela was great, we can never forget him in Nigeria, Africa and the world stage.”

Focusonabuja.info recalls that on this day 20 years ago Ebami Eda as he was popularly called died in government custody.

Fela’s elder brother, Prof. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, a former Minister of Health, announced his death from complications related to HIV/AIDS.

Fela was infamously known as a connoisseur of the herb popularly known as marijuana. You don’t have to go to the New Afrika Shrine to see young people indulging in weed. The weed culture is strong among young Nigerians than ever before as pop culture tilts toward a rebellious and counter-cultural lifestyle never seen before.

Disenchanted by Nigerian politics and mainstream culture, millions of youths have carved out a lifestyle that more or less reflects Fela’s attitude towards life.

To say Fela was an icon is an understatement. He is a cultural colossus, a demi-god who still baffles, inspires and amazes millions of people till today.

He is respected by JAY-Z and Will Smith. Wizkid has a tattoo of him on his arm and calls himself Young Fela. Latino bands cover his classics. The stage play about his life held Broadway spellbound. Alicia Keys vibes out to his records on her lazy weekends.

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