Yeni Kuti, daughter of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a legend in the Afrobeat genre, has discussed why her father’s popularity expanded after his death.
Yeni asserted that she didn’t think Nigerians understood the significance of Fela until after his death in an interview with media personality Chude Jideonwo.
Although Fela was treated unfairly by the Nigerian government and its people while he was alive, according to Yeni, it wasn’t until after his passing that people realized something important had been lost.
Since Fela’s music addressed government abuse and he actively opposed it, she attributed this change in perception to that.
In the Daily Times, which subsequently became Punch, Fela used to run a weekly advertisement called “Chief Priest Says.” He would write about Nigeria and share his ideas in these advertisements.
Additionally, he established a printing press of his own where he published writings criticizing individuals in positions of authority. According to Yeni, it was Fela’s activism and music that helped Nigerians progressively realize the reality of their nation.
She added that many of the things Fela condemned began to take place after his death.
In retrospect, she mused that given the current situation of Nigeria, it might have been preferable for him to have passed away at the time he did.