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The Political Journey of Fela Kuti

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  1. Introduction
  2. The lyrics from Fela's song 'International Thief Thief'
  3. Fela belief that music was highly spiritual
  4. His charity and political influences
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

Fela Anikulapo Kuti was a famous Nigerian musician. He was a founder of Afrobeat music which involves the fusion of jazz and elements of West African music. Fela was also an important political figure on the music scene. His music is a prime example of using media to distribute his messages internationally. Many of his songs incorporate his political views and motives. He was well known for utilizing his music to express his political views with most songs ranging from anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes. His main outrage was at the military corruption that occurred frequently in Nigeria.

[...] Fela uses this method of repetition with several of his songs as it is an effective way of enforcing his political view. Many foreign companies dey Africa carry all our money go (CHORUS) SAY AM, SAY AM [AFTER EACH LINE] Many foreign companies dey Africa carry all our money go Dem go write big English for newspaper, Dabaru we Africans Dem go write big English for newspaper, Dabaru we Africans I read about one of them inside book like that- Them call him name na I.T.T I read about one of them inside book like that- Them call him name na I.T.T In this section of the same song, Fela attacks the foreign companies. [...]


[...] This shows the ruthless behaviour of the Nigerian government to which Fela was alerting the population. Fela responded to this attack by sending his mother's coffin to an army barracks and writing the song ?Coffin for Head of State'. This had become a ruthless contest between Fela and the Nigerian Government. Fela Kuti established his own political party in an attempt to overthrow the Nigerian Government and if the contest had occurred fairly then his party would have undoubtedly won this contest. Fela's party, Movement of the People, was established in the late 70's. [...]

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