Special Sub-Topic: Fela Kuti: He Who Carries Death In His Pouch
|What was the name of the music Fela created?|
Afrobeat. Afrobeat sounds like Parliment/Funkedelic with African chants, and biting lyrics. It definitely moves your feet, but hidden in the middle of these ten minute or longer songs, there are political messages that tried to change the face of Africa.
|What American Civil Rights group heavily influenced Fela during the recording of "The '69 Los Angeles Sessions" album?|
The Black Panthers. Fela was introduced to the Black Panthers in 1969 on a tour of America by one of his girlfriends, Sandra Smith(Isadore). She changed the way he lived his life by introducing his to the works of black radicals like Huey P. Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, and Malcolm X who's autobiography gave him a new love of Africa. When he returned to Africa, he was energized and wanted to change the whole continent, and all of his subsequent albums carried a political message. "The '69 Los Angeles Sessions" was his last Pop album.
|Which of Fela's albums was directly responsible for the death of his mother?|
Zombie. The song, "Zombie" was an attack on Nigerian soldiers specifically and the military in general. The Government was furious and on February 18th, 1977, sent 1000 soldiers to his home. They threw his 78 year old mother from a window (she later died of her injuries), destroyed master tapes in his studio, and beat him so severely, they permanently damaged his ability to play the saxophone and trumpet. In spite of all this, His next album, "Black President," was even more popular and more politically scathing.
|Just before the release of the "Unknown Soldier" album, Fela formed a political party for his run for the presidency of Nigeria. What was the name of that party? |
Movement of the People. In 1979, Fela ran for the Presidency in the first free elections in Nigeria in almost a decade. The album was a shot across the bow to a government that claimed his mother was killed by an "Unknown Soldier." Fela's popularity, and power as a fearless voice for the people made him a frontrunner in a country being reclaimed by the people, but his candidacy was denied by the lingering military influences of the powers that be.
|Fela held fierce to his belief in Monogamy.|
False. Fela had 27 wives. He married them all in a nationally televised civil ceremony one year after the February 18th raid on his home. Later, when he divorced them, he said "I do not believe any more in the marriage institution. The marriage institution for the progress of the mind is evil. I learned that from prison. Why do people marry? Is it to be together? Is it to have children? People marry because they are jealous. People marry because they are possessive. People marry because they are selfish. All this comes to the very ugly fact that people want to own and control other people's bodies. I think the mind of human beings should develop to the point where that jealous feelings should be completely eradicated."
|Which album was released after the arrest that prevented Fela from running for president for a second time?|
Army Arrangement. He was arrested for failing to declare £1600. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but was released after 20 months through the work of Amnesty International and other political organizations. The arrest took place when the military again seized power. The release was a safe distance from the presidential election, but took place when the people again seized control of the government. Army Arrangement stands as a powerful document to the corruption that was again taking control of his homeland.
|After the release of the album "Original Sufferhead," and due to his years of constant activism, what political position did the Nigerian government nominate Fela for in 1981?|
Member of the Police Public Relations Committee. Fela refused the nomination and to show his disdain for it publicly removed the berets of two police traffic wardens. He was immediately arrested and detained for his actions.
|Fela's birth name means 'He Who Emanates Greatness (Fela), Having Control Over Death (Anikulapo), Death Cannot Be Caused By Human Entity (Kuti)'.|
false. Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti was Fela's birth name. He removed the Ransome in 1975 to remove the "slave" portion of his name. Anikulapo replaced it to make the name he wanted.
|In 1969, Fela changed the name of his band from The Nigeria 70 to The Africa 70 to demonstrate the size and less specific nationality of the band. What was the name of the commune, studio and self-declared independent state formed by Fela in the late 60's to house this sizable group?|
Kalakuta Republic. After Fela's great Black Panther awakening, he created a commune made up of members of the band, family, local artists, polygamists and anyone with a mind open enough to live there. It was the site of many of his greatest triumphs and tragedies.
|Fela was gunned down in August of 1997.|
False. On August 3, 1997, Fela died of AIDS. His older brother, a prominent AIDS activist, Dr. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, announced his death. He told his biographer, Carlos Moore: "Death doesn't worry me man. When my mother died it was because she finished her time on earth. I know that when I die I'll see her again, so how can I fear death? ...I believe there is a plan...I believe there is no accident in our lives. What I am experiencing today completely vindicates the African religions...I will do my part...then I'll just go, man...Just go!"
In spite of his brother's pleading, Fela refused treatment for the disease and just left. Over a million fans attended his funeral.
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