‘I still can’t believe Fela is gone’
Seun Kuti, a scion of the late Afrobeat sage, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, yesterday said that he still finds it hard coming to terms with his father’s passing. According to him, what started as a rumour turned out real, leaving him quite traumatized.
Recounting the incident as he remembers on his Facebook page, the singer, who took over his father’s Egypt 80 band wrote; “the week preceding this one 20 years ago was quite traumatizing as rumors of Fela’s death had spread.
“It was so widespread that Fela’s very good friend Michele Avantario #rip flew in from Italy to mourn. He arrived in the morning of this exact day. He stood at the top of our street, too shaken to approach the house. I stumbled upon him while going to see my friend, Arthur. Michele what are you doing here crying? He said Fela is dead! I said no; stop crying it’s just a rumor. He pulled himself together and we went to KK (Kalakuta).
“He said he bought me the new Play station on his way. I was beyond elated. We chilled at KK. I went back to his hotel; we discussed a bit till it was about 8, got my PS and headed back home.”
At that moment, Seun said, he was the happiest man in the whole world.
“As I approached KK I saw a huge crowd outside, my elder brother’s friend Siasia was outside. I asked him what was happening and he said Seun Just go inside. Everyone was crying. ‘FELA DON DIE, FELA DON DIE’ couldn’t believe it. #20years later, I still can’t believe it. YEAR 20 A F E (After Fela Era) PS: Happy post humous birthday Dr Beko Ransome Kuti,” he added.
Fela’s demise was announced a day later, on August 3, 1997 by his elder brother, Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, a prominent AIDS activist and former Minister of Health.