Afrobeat musician Seun Kuti has provided insight into a historical moment involving his late father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the legendary pioneer of Afrobeats. Fela’s marriage to 27 women in a single day in 1978 was a move that shocked many and has remained a topic of intrigue.

Seun Kuti, speaking via Skype on the ‘Fresh Off The Boat’ podcast, explained that his father’s decision was deeply rooted in a desire to protect the honor and dignity of the women in his life. At that time, Fela was living with his female dancers and band members, who were integral to his music and performances. However, these women were facing severe media backlash, being derogatorily labeled as “prostitutes.”

“My father was under immense media scrutiny, and much of the criticism was unfairly directed at the women in his life—his female backup singers and dancers,” Seun recounted. “The media started calling them prostitutes. To counter this damaging narrative and to preserve their honor and dignity, my father asked them if they would choose to be his brides. They all agreed, and that was how the mass marriage came about.”

Seun emphasized that this act was a statement against the negative propaganda and societal norms that sought to demean the women who were essential to Fela’s musical and cultural mission. By marrying them, Fela sought to elevate their status and shield them from public scorn.

Beyond this historical anecdote, Seun also revealed that a biopic of Fela Kuti is currently in development. This upcoming project aims to delve deeper into the life and legacy of Fela, exploring his contributions to music and his bold stances against social injustices.

Fela Kuti’s life was marked by his revolutionary music and his relentless fight against oppressive systems. This new biopic promises to bring more of his extraordinary story to light, offering a comprehensive look at the man who not only created a musical genre but also stood as a symbol of resistance and empowerment.

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