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Why I’m Happy Fela Was Only My Grandfather Not My Real Father – Made Kuti

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Fela Kuti was and is one of the most popular names in Afrobeats. During his time, he was responsible for blessing us with many hits including “Shakara”, “Lady”, “Zombie”, Water No Got Enemy”, “Sorrow Tears and Blood”, and more. The legendary musician was very pivotal to Nigerian music as we know it today and his legacy has continued even in his children and his grandchildren. The Kuti dynasty has gone on to produce other stars including Femi Kuti, Jaiye Kuti, Yeni Kuti, Made Kuti, and more.

Made Kuti is actually the son of Fela’s son, Femi Kuti. During a new interview with France 24, a French state-owned international news television network based in Paris, Made opened up about his relationship with both his father, musician Femi Kuti and his grandfather Fela Kuti. Here is what the musician had to say about his relationship with both men.

Made Kuti and father Femi Kuti

Made Kuti speaking about his relationship between himself and his father, and why he’s happy he’s Femi’s son not Fela Kuti’s said in the interview:

I got the best position because I was not Fela’s son. I don’t know if I could have survived that. Because Fela was very complex as a father. He didn’t give them priority of being his children. He always even doubts everything in his household. He didn’t even allow them call him dad or father. Everybody had to call him by his first name. And he treated them equally as he would anybody that came to his house. So, I don’t how I would have taken that.

Whereas I had the benefit of learning from him (Fela) and being inspired by his craft and integrity as a grandson, I have the privilege of having an actual, very good father to raise me up and support me in my life. He is definitely my biggest influence, musically and ideologically because he has always managed to find a balance between the struggle, his music and family. And he always took me on tour with him as a child. I missed so many classes. I missed a lot of classes. That was probably why I would fail when I was in primary school (laughs).

Wow! Fela sounded like a very atypical Nigerian parent, but then again what is to be expected from a man who lived a very atypical life. It is completely understandable why Made feels the way that he feels. Even with Fela being his grandfather though, Fela’s influence is still very heavy on Made’s music. Made as a musician has gone on to make songs including “Free Your Mind”, “We Are Strong”, “No More Wars”, and more.

What do you think about what Made Kuti had to say about Fela’s parenting style and his own relationship with his father Femi Kuti? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment either below

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