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This is how Mádé Kútì balances coming from the Aníkúlápóo-Kútì family

Mádé is the first to admit that being from a family like his comes with expectations.

Mádé Kútì [Instagram/madekuti]

They were at the premiere of the movie, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti based on the life of Mádé’s great-grandmother, the activist and educator.

They love her more than me,” he told Pulse Nigeria of how his family has received his wife. “Exactly. That is what I was going to say,” his wife added, completing his sentence.

Like his grandfather, the legendary Afrobeats musician Fela Kútì, his father, Femi Kútì, and his uncle Seun Kútì, Mádé also chose to do that brand of Afrobeats that has become synonymous with the Aníkúlápóo-Kútì family – heavy wind instruments and women clad in beads dancing live on stage.

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Like his father and his father before him, Mádé plays the saxophone. On gbana-filled nights at the Fela Shrine, which the family still runs, he might find his way around the piano.

Mádé is the first to admit that being from a family like his comes with expectations.

How so many great individuals have come from one lineage of people that have succeeded in the arts, in the sciences, in politics is surprising. I think it's only natural that some people see a standard that has been set by so many incredible people that you live up to that standard,” he said. “I believe in progress. I believe that every person must learn of everything that has happened before them, and must try to do as good or even better than those who have come before them.”

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For him as an insider, this standard has nothing to do with the members of the family that have attained fame or come into prominence. It is about standing by the values of the family.

I think what we all share in common is a strong sense of values. We are all very honourable. We have a strong sense of responsibility. We have integrity,” he said. “We are one of the few families in this country that still does not chop government money. And we are very clean in our dealings and the way that we live our lives. And it's been so obvious for four generations that the family in its entirety is devoted to progress.”

It is why the family has been a favourite subject for every type of creative out there; from TikTok influencers to musicians, writers and filmmakers. What does Mádé expect of Bolanle Austen-Peters directing a biopic about his great-grandmother?

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Just that the story be told properly. I know that there was no doubt because this is not the first time Auntie Bolanle is working with the family. She did The Kalakuta Queens (a stage musical). I knew that there was no doubt that the family trusted Auntie Bolanle to absolutely deliver,” he said.

The movie comes at a time when the country seems to have almost forgotten its history of demonstrations and protests. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti in particular is famous for leading the ​​Abeokuta Women's Revolt (also called the Egba Women's Tax Riot), a resistance movement in the late 1940s against the imposition of unfair taxation by the Nigerian colonial government. Where does he see the country heading to, especially at a time when the youths are fleeing?

I think it's hard to tell,” he said. “I think there's too many unpredictable people and circumstances that can really push the country in any direction. What I try to do is be the best person that I can be and hope that everybody else does the same thing. There is a conscious effort from a lot of exceptional people to be progressive, and hopefully, that's the direction that we head.

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