Fela Kuti's love and marriage life definitely influenced his children's aversion for settling down and getting married.
Apart from having Afrobeat and activism in its blood, members of the Anikulapo-Kuti (at least the popular ones) all have interesting marital lives.
Yeni Kuti, 55, was in the news this week because of her love life. In a recent interview with Encomium Magazine, the matriarch of Afrobeat music said she will be getting married in the next years from now believe it or not.
“We have fixed our wedding date. 20 years from now. If we are still alive, we will send the IV out. Saturday, May 24, 2036, if we are alive. I am serious. We discussed it yesterday. I will send you the invitation” said Yeni Kuti.
Those who know Yeni Kuti and her thoughts about marriage knows that she is joking. Yeni Kuti by the way is not engaged. Her boyfriend who she has been dating for nine years gave her a promise ring and not an engagement ring. Don’t expect Yeni Kuti to tie the knot anytime soon.
At one time in her life, Yeni Kuti did believe in the idea of marriage, at least the conventional idea of it. She was once married to Femi Segun and their union produced a child Rolari. They got divorced after a while. Femi Segun passed away on March 21, 2013 and according to reports Yeni Kuti was distraught.
Femi Kuti, the frontman of the Afrobeat genre and Yeni Kuti’s brother is not married also. He has even stated that he is not getting married again.
In January 2016 Femi Kuti said “We have both been married. We have nothing against marriage. I just choose not to get married again. Just my way” when asked if he will be getting married to his former wife Funke Kuti.
Femi Kuti and Funke Kuti have a child together called Made Kuti. Despite not being a couple again the two have a very cordial relationship. Femi Kuti has other children from different women.
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Speaking to The Nation in September, 2015 Femi Kuti said getting married was a mistake and his father advised him not to. “I never believed in marriage. I loved my wife, and got carried away. I am happy about the experience. We got married for a number of reasons; she left home, and many people said she had made the greatest mistake of her life; she got pregnant; and for us to have a certain status for our child; documentation and so on. There were so many reasons to get married” said Femi Kuti.
The four-time Grammy nominated artiste’s brother Seun Kuti is not married also. He however is in an exclusive relationship with his baby mama Yetunde George Ademiluyi. They have a child together Ifafunmike.
Just like his older brother and sister Seun Kuti does not believe in marriage also. “I don’t believe in marriage. I and my partner already share a very strong relationship. We’re raising a very beautiful daughter. Marriage is not something I indulge” he told Encomium in December 11, 2014.
The aversion for marriage among the Anikulapo-Kuti’s can most likely be traced to Femi Anikulapo-Kuti. The Afrobeat creator was a rebel even in marriage. His first wife was Remi Taylor who he married in 1960. Taking on a devil-may-care attitude Fela famously married 27 wives in 1978. He later divorced them.
Clearly the Anikulapo-Kutis do not believe in marriage- a lifestyle that has been ingrained in their blood thanks to Fela’s philosophy about conventional marriage. Although in the new generation of Anikulapo-Kuti kids marriage seems to be viable way of life. Fela's grand daughter Rolari got married to UK author, Benedict Jacka in London last year.
Maybe for Fela's grandchildren would tow a more conventional line when it comes to relationships and marriage but as for his kids, they are okay not settling down.