As we mark the birthday of late legendary afrobeats singer and
While attending Felabration and enjoying Afrobeat music created by the legendary musician and activist, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, is cool, these books on his life, ideals, and music of are a good read before your 30th birthday. However, if you're beyond 30 and haven't checked these off your bucket list just yet, it's definitely not too late to get started!
Fela appealed to lots of people in different ways. He lived a historic life that spanned through half a century and almost six decades. He was a prolific songwriter, a quintessential performer, a social activist and an unrepentant individual who was proud of his race till death. His house in Lagos, as well as his family house in Ogun state, were even turned into museums.
The idea of reading these books before you turn 30 is to encourage you to maximize your time as a young individual and help you unlock your potentials by learning from Fela. Besides, who doesn't love to know more about a man who referred to himself as the black president and had an European president worship in a branch of his 'shrine'?
Bear in mind, though, that perspectives and opinions are bound to contradict so, it is pertinent for one to be careful of the information consumed on a controversial personality like Fela.
Here are 10 books on Fela you've absolutely got to do read you turn 30.
1. Fela: This Bitch if a Life by Carlos Moore
Carlos Moore's unique biography, based on hours of conversation and told in Fela's first-person vernacular, reveals the icon's complex personality and tumultuous existence. Moore includes interviews with fifteen of his queens (wives); photos; and an updated discography.
2. Fela: From West Africa to Broadway by Trevor Schoonmaker
Schoonmaker narrates Fela's lifestyle, music and activism describing him as a combination of elements of Bob Marley, Malcolm X and Patrice Lumumba to emerge the world's wildest rockstar. Schoonmaker also went further to narrate his rebellious activities and electric performances that made him a delight of other musicians.
3. Fela: Kalakuta Notes by John Collins
The book, while producing personal and evocative snapshots of the legend, reviews the events in his life and gives transcripts from Collins' personal diary when he stayed and played with Fela in Kalakuta in the 1970s. The book also reviews Fela's music.
4. Kalakuta Diaries by Uwa Erhabor
Erhabor gives a personal Narrative of events and characters that propelled and defined an African Social-political setting in the heart of Lagos Nigeria.
5. Dis Fela Sef! by Benson Indonije
Narrated by the first band manager of Fela himself, the book gives an informed analysis of Fela's music in terms of Indigenous African music, jazz, rhythm, funk and all that the artiste was about in terms of music.
6. Fela: Phenomenon and Legacy by Mabinuori Idowu
According to a quote by Fela in 1983, Idowu was one of the three men Fela said to have held in very high esteem. Hence, the writer seeks to bring a narrative about the FELA brand that is without pretence and apologies, to present to the readers the essence of Fela's message and struggle from a deep and authentic experience and knowledge of the man himself.
7. Fela Anikulapo Kuti: The Primary man of an African Personality by Jawi Oladipo-Ola
This book is a dramatic presentation of "Felasophy", a total reawakening into the inhumanity against humanity. It chronicles the music, politics, life and courage of the legendary Afro-beat activist who died on August 2, 1997.
8. Arrest the music! Fela and his rebel arts and politics by Tejumola Olaniyan
Arrest the Music! is mostly a lively musical study of Fela. In the book, Olaniyan explored society in the relationship between pop culture and radical politics, racial and cultural issues, the meaning of postcolonialism, nationalism, and globalism in contemporary Africa. Whether or not you know about Fela and his music, if you are interested in music, culture, society, and politics, this book is for you.
9. The Ikoyi Prison Narratives by Majemite Jaboro
Told by a fellow cellmate in Ikoyi Prison 1993, this book narrates the spiritual and political philosophy of the magical and mysterious Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
10. Fela Kuti: Lotta Continua! by Mabinuori Idowu
Published in 2007, Mabinuori narrates once again, the life and times of legendary Fela from birth to death.