Femi Kuti

Femi Kuti

The famous Nigerian afrobeat singer, jazz singer and band leader Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti is the son of the legendary afro beat pioneer and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

He was born on the 16th of June 1962 in London, United Kingdom, his late mother Remilekun Kuti Nee Taylor was an African American {with a Nigerian American background] while his father was a native of Lagos State.

Femi is the second child and eldest son of his deceased parents. Theirs was a large family as Fela had twenty seven wives and several concubines.

Femi Kuti

Nigerian Singer: Femi Kuti – Photo Source: https://www.premiumtimesng.com

Femi has many sibling but the most prominent are Yeni and Sola kuti. When he was sixteen years old, he began to play the saxophone and a short while later, he started palying for his fathers band which featured about twenty musicians and dancers.

Femi who followed his fathers steps in music learnt to do so at an early age as he often filled in for his fathers absence when the need arose.

In 1984/5 when Fela was taken into custody by the Nigerian army for his endless criticism of the corrupt government, it was Femi who led his fathers band which was called Egypt 80 and took over the administration of the famous shrine club in lagos, this made Femi famous at an early age, he became a celebrity even before he officially launched his solo musical career which officially began in 1986, when he created his own band known as ‘The Positive Force’, he began to establish himself as an independent artist outside his fathers fame.

Building his own brand was difficult for Femi, while others believe that his father’s name made it easy for him, Femi Kuti wanted his own identity, he wanted to be recognized for his contribution and not possibly because of his Father.

He worked so hard that by 1988, he started gaining international reputation as the French cultural centre in lagos invited him for a performance at the festival d’ Angouleme, at the new morning club in paris and at the moers festival in Germany.

Like his father, Femi is a political activist who does not hestate to call out the corruption and incompetence of any government, serving as a voice for the masses and the under privileged citizens.

In 1995, he released his first album a very successful ten tracked self titled album which was included in the book ‘1001 albums you must hear before you die’.

The album had hit singles like ‘wonder wonder’, plenty nonsense’, naira and ‘no shame’. His second album ‘soki shoki’ was released in 1998, it was a nine tracked afrobeat album that contained hit singles like ‘Beng, beng, beng’ and ‘scatter head’.

In 2001, he released his twelve tracked third album titled ‘Fight To Win’ and democrazy’ which was a massive hit. ‘Africa for Africa’ was Femi’s fifth studio album, released in 2010, his sixth album ‘No Place for my dreams’ was released in 2013.

Femi has also recorded two live albums ‘Africa Shrine’ in 2004 and ‘Live at the Shrine’ in 2005.
In 2002, Femi contributed to the remake of his fathers song ‘water no get enemy’ in a compilation CD tribute to Fela by the red hot organization and all proceeds of the CD were donated to charities focused on fighting the scourge of HIV and AIDS which Fela died of.

In this same year, Femi lost his mother Remilekun at the age of sixty. The singer has toured all over the world with his music, he has performed at the black summer festival in paris 2015, Garforth festival in leeds, The Lantern Bristol in the united kingdom in 2015, The band on the wall Manchester in 2015, the latitude festival in Suffolk, united kingdom in 2015.

The larmer tree festival, Salisbury and the walthamstow garden party. He has also appeared in a documentary films ‘Finding Fela’ in 2014, Hope for hopeless’ and vampires’ in 2008.

Femi kuti believes that music is a medium of inspiring the world not an avenue to amassing fame and fortune. The maor difference between the singer and his legendary father is that the levels of activism and attack on corrupt national officials in femi’s songs are measured. His music is a modernized version of afro beat as seen in his album

‘Fight to Win’ which featured American artist Common and rapper Mos Def. The singer who insists that his success is not solely tied to his identity as Fela’s son but to his hard work and consistency at towing his own path, rebelled against his father to be where he is today.

He is a four time Grammy award nominee who signed a management deal with Chocolate City group of music. In 2017, kuti broke the world saxophone records at the new shrine after trying it a couple of times earlier.

Although the Guinness world record did not recognize this feat, Femi broke the record in the presence of over one thousand people including the high commissioner.

On Marriage

The singer married his wife Fune Kuti, a member of his band and together they have one son. The marriage however, packed up and he remains good friends with her.

Funketold encomium that there is no bitterness or rancor between them as their divorce is by mutual consent. Femi on the other hand, does not believe in the institution of marriage and regrets marrying his wife.

He believes that if he had not married Funke, they would have been no cause for strife. He has five children in total and remains unmarried.

Afrika Shine

The very first Afrika shrine was created in 1970 by Fela kuti but it was burnt down by the Nigerian military in an attempt to arrest Fela in 1977.

Femi and his sister Yeni kuti set up the new afrika shrine, an entertainment centre to continue their fathers legacy by showcasing of his photo gallaries and works.

The annual music festival birthed in 1998 by Yeni titled ‘Felabration’ also holds at the Afrika shrine situated at ikeja, lagos. It holds on the week of Felas birthday with performances by both local and international acts.

Charity

Femi has been actively involved in charitable causes all over Africa. He offered the proceeds from the remake if his father’s classic “Water no get enemy” to to charities dedicated to raising HIV and AIDS awareness.

He is also one of the consistent artist who lends his voice to the victims of the terrorist group Boko Haram by visiting their IDP camps in Borno State.

Femi through the international rescue committee is committed to providing water for over five hundred thousand people across Africa.

Networth

Femi Kuti is one of Africa’s biggest and most powerful acts who performs at different music festivals, shows and concerts all over the world.

He is a humble and very focused artist who doesn’t flaunt his wealth in our faces. His net worth is not known but it is ascertained that he is very wealthy.

Nominations

Grammy Awards 2010 – 2014: Best World music album.

Awards

World music awards 2000: Best selling Artist in Africa.
The Headies Awards 2012: Hall of fame

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Lami is from cross river state and holds a B.sc in accounting from a Nigerian university. Writing for her is a form of detoxification, she has written several articles for Essence magazine and runs political commentary on twitter. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Roberts. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Roberts. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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