My father’s prominence grew after his death – Yeni Kuti on Fela’s legacy

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By Racheal Ayodele

Popular Nigerian singer and dancer Yeni Kuti has claimed Nigerians did not realize the importance of her father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, until his death.

Speaking on the circumstances surrounding her father’s death during a heart-to-heart interview with media personality Chude Jideonwo, Yeni noted that her father’s reputation grew after his death despite how badly the Nigerian government and its citizens treated him while he was alive.

Speaking of why she thinks the change happened, she said, “I think ‘their eyes are now clear, suffer don hook us for Nigeria. We have seen that there was at least one person who was singing about the abuse and fighting it.

“Fela used to take out an advert on Daily Times that later became Punch, every Saturday. He would tag it ‘Chief Priest says’, and he will write something about Nigeria. He had a printing press, where he would print and yab all of them. Of course, it took death for them to realize they had lost something important.”

When asked if her father died happily, Yeni said, “That’s a very tough question. I think it’s a tough question because he was quite ill before he died. So, I don’t think someone that was so ill could be happy.

“You know, many things he actually stands against started happening. Sometimes I think it’s even better that he died then because if he didn’t die, he would have died now with the way Nigeria is now.”

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