The legacy left behind by the legendary Afrobeat icon, Fela, is one largely intrinsic with rebellion against a government that was irresponsibly insensitive to the plight of Nigerians.
Fela's struggle didn't go without a heavy clamp down on him and his followers by the dictatorship in Nigeria. But characteristically, his love for Justice was greater than any pain imposed on him. He didn't give up until his death.
He organised for himself a house from which he lived and communed, recorded his iconic music, staged entertainment shows from its famous shrine and of course launched his personal rebellion against the government.
Kalakuta was to become a stage for some turning points in the life of Fela, such as when he released the famous 'zombie' song, led to his house being invaded by the Nigerian army.
They did not only beat and arrest him, they also lashed out at those they found in Kalakuta, raping, looting and finally throwing down Fela's mother, the late renowned Funmilayo Kuti, a fall she didn't recover from.
A commune of his own
Do you know that due to the corruption of the military government of the era, Fela decided he couldn't be part of such an establishment and went ahead to declare the Kalakuta Republic a sovereign state and independent of Nigeria?
After the musician's death, his children, family and close fans decided to transform his house into a museum where lovers and listeners of his songs and adherents of his ideology can come for remembrance of what Fela stood for during his lifetime.
Holding strong to their appreciation of this man, the idea became a museum opened on October 15, 2012, which would have been his 74th birthday.
The legendary musician's home, one of the most memorable places in the bubbling city of Lagos, now houses an elaborate collection, where care has been taken to preserve everything associated with Fela.
The museum which has been renamed Kalakuta Republic Museum is located on Gbemiola Street, Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos. It was renovated by the Lagos State Government and is to be and managed by Total Consult.
In the museum, there is to be found some stirring personal items of Fela like dresses, his well intact rack of shoes and household materials are on display in the house. His bedroom, sitting rooms, photographs, with over 3,000 of Fela’s clothes are on display.
A testament to his legacy
Taking a tour of where Fela once lived and reigned, one can see his musical instruments, clothes (down to his signature small underwear), shoes, and other relics that symbolized the great musician.
A visit offers that opportunity to feel a sense of Fela's spirit hovering still around his former residence turned museum. Indeed, the Kalakuta Republic which was his castle of resistance, rebellion, activism and hope for many Nigerians keen to champion freedom in their recklessly corrupt country.
Things to do while at Kalakuta Republic Museum
These are the following things you can do while you're here:
See Fela's stage clothes collection
Get a souvenir from the souvenir shop
See Fela's grave