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Check out the Fela Kuti museum in Lagos! ... Nigerian Music

Published on 19 Jul 2019 / In Music

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The King of Nigerian Music, African Music, and one of the greatest icons of modern times - Fela Kuti - now has a museum dedicated to his lifetime achievements.

"He's the greatest man that lived in Africa - he's a legend!" says Adeola, our BattaBox presenter." And today we're going to be taking you on a tour of his house - where he live, how he lived, his bedroom, his graveyard, his toilet - you won't believe he left it all untouched!"

Fela Kuti pioneered a new style of Nigerian music - Afrobeat - a funky jazz soundtrack that rallied against the government and corruption in his lyrics. Fela was not just a musician but a political activist regularly arrested and beaten by the succession of military governments that ruled Nigeria from the 1970's through to the 1990s.

The tour of his former home includes his drums, his MTV awards, photos of his family and behind glass screens are his bedroom and toilet left almost untouched since he died in 1997.

"I can't count how many visitors we have - they are mostly foreign journalists and government officials and Nollywood stars - just to sit down upstairs and take some drinks at the bar," says Sachi, our tour guide.

In the background plays a succession of his famous Nigerian Music tracks - "Zombie", "Water No Get Enemy", "Roforofo Fight" and many more. They are songs that have inspired generations of Nigerians to love and respect him even sixteen years after his death - as Nigerians continue to struggle with many of the same problems he sang about.

Fela helped export Nigerian music abroad to the West and create a foundation for today's artists such as TuFace and P-Square in their own global appeals.

His son Femi Kuti opened the museum in Ikeja last year but it is so far unfinished and needs more funding to complete the museum.

And finally, the tour ends at his grave - a large stone edifice with the simple words "Fela" above the stone.


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