The league of extraordinary whatever-it-is-Terdoo-calls-it…Here’s the thing yeah, so homie asks that we write on people who are amazeballs and stuff, even provided a guiding list. I go through the list and I’m like who the ‘ell are these people? You might already have read some of their stories as chronicled by the other people who have featured on here. However, i reasoned that a lot of you would read the stories and be like “uh huh, ok, so yeah…” This is why I have decided to bring it home and write on guys who I know you recognise and can resonate with.
You don’t need to thank me, I’m nice like that with issues like this. No seriously, quit thanking me, it’s just my nature. Seriously, ok you know what? Satisfy yourself, go on, and thank me. Throw in some MTN credit while you’re at it as well. You’re welcome.
I tried to think of who the “awesomest” Nigerian that ever lived is/was and this was no mean task, several names sprung up; the Azikiwes, Balewas, Ojukwus, Abiolas etc. While I agree that they are awesome in their way, they would have proven to be a boring read and since this isn’t a history class, why would I want to torture you with such stories? Others also popped up; the Kanus, Yekinis (RIP), Okochas, Ikpebas (this dude is so awesome, his awesomness gets better everyday) but nah…so a little bit more thinking and research and eureka! Who can claim to be more badass than the strange one himself? (well he can’t claim it sha cos he’s dead but you get my point) Ladies, Gentlemen and Vic O lovers, I present to you Abami eda himself FELA ANIKULAPO-KUTI.
First of all, to show you how badass he is, autocorrect or Microsoft spelling assistant didn’t even underline the name meaning they recognise his awesomeness. Oya type your own lets see naw. Well, straight to business, like I said, this isn’t a history class so I’m not gonna start lecturing you on how awesome Fela is. I use the present tense cos this homie stays relevant on the regular. I’ll get back to that in a bit…Its common knowledge who Fela is, some of you know him as that legendary musician who invented the afrobeat genre that musicians such as femi kuti, Dede and Ice Prince have emulated. Others know him as that political extremist who was quick to voice out his displeasure at government; sorta a John the Baptist of his time. Still some others know him as the dude who stayed advertising briefs for the longest time period (I know you can’t see what I did there). In whatever way you know him; we all agree that this dude was a living legend.
How many people do you know who can comfortably smoke seriously concentrated hemp, igbo, weed and still be socially, politically and internationally relevant? Might I add, while wearing pant. I mean, this is a homie who would puff puff and still pass out messages that make complete sense. The only other person that attempted to emulate the smoking habit Fela had is still trying to recover: Majek Fashek. Others like TerryG, Timaya and Durella are still on stage one. Fela had balls for days, like homie was so bold, he’d let you know who wore the pants without a tinge of embarassment. (You really have to pause, read and meditate on the awesome puns I just dropped here, no shit)
Now, let’s get a bit personal with Fela for a bit. Having started a music career that was blowing up faster than the bombs of the Civil war, the Abami realised that his music and rhythm brought about some sorta sexual tension. I mean, did you see his dancers winding those things? Beyonce, Nikki Minaj and those chics in Iyanya’s “kukere” video had nothing on theEgypt80 dancers. Sometime in the 70’s (1977) precisely, Fela released the smash hit Zombie (which was a metaphor describing the Nigerian govt), Little did he know that the Govt had their own smash hit planned for him and occupants of his Kalakuta republic. His abode was torched, Fela was beaten to inches of his life and his mother was thrown out of a window. Sigh…such pane.
You would expect that after this bros will calm down like Kelly Handsome after MI ended his career but for where? Fela picked himself up, went back into the studio and came out with two singles “Coffin for Head of State” and “Unknown soldier” He even spiced it up by sending a coffin to Dodan Barracks which was the official residence of the President at the time Gen. Obasanjo. If this is not sweggs, I don’t know what is. Do you know how much it costs to send a coffin anywhere? Do you know the liver required to send something to the president? *faints* Anyway, back to the personal steeze, You must have read of Fela and his 27 wives, yes 27. Before you start forming Judge Judy, let me quote the man himself “A man goes for many women in the first place. Like in Europe, when a man is married, when the wife is sleeping, he goes out and fucks around. He should bring the women in the house man, to live with him, and stop running around the streets!” Words of wisdom if you ask me. Stop looking at me like that, if you can handle 27, please go ahead
Down the line, Fela would divorce 12 of his wives saying that “marriage brings jealousy and selfishness” Well i guess that’s why its better to marry one isn’t it Uncle Fela? What were you smoking when…you know what? Don’t answer that. Fela would go on making great music with strong political stances and it wasn’t a shocker when he formed his own political party “Movement for the People” and put himself forward for President in the 1979 elections. Of course, his candidature was refused. Don’t lie, you didn’t know that part of his story. I’m killing me yo…”his story. history” can be used interchangeably in that sentence. Am I a genius or what?!
Rounding this off sha, there’s no gain saying Fela is as far as i’m concerned the most awesome Nigerian ever. He didn’t have political seat but his words, his music spoke volumes. He wasn’t afraid to confront the authorities. he fought for what he believed (though he got beat up most of the time), married 27 wives, fathered lots of kids (who are doing well; Femi, Seun etc), popularized the wearing of pant in public (look out your street for proof), smoked high quality hemp (in trumpet sizes), birthed a genre of music that still lives to this day, the only Nigerian musician to be honoured on Broadway…abeg it goes on and on.
I’m actually looking for a killer end to this piece but that would be me blowing my trumpet…