Do you know that Seun & Femi Quarrelled for 18 Years After Fela’s Death? Now You know! They only reconciled in 2015. Read the full story: That Reference by Seun Kuti To Peter and Paul Quarreling: Fela vs Femi and Femi vs Seun were No Different.
This post is to show people that no one should laugh or mock others for fights, divorces, break up or quarrels. All religion’s gods had quarrels even with their creatures and co-gods, how much less man. Seun, not his elder brother Femi, has the very Saxophone Fela blew on. That is a sacrilege. That is an insult. The first son inherits the father’s most precious possession.
Fela and Femi never really saw eye to eye. at least for long periods. Femi’s first big song SEARCH YOURSELF was a song against WEED and ALCOHOL and a DIRECT DISRESPECT TO FELA, who was a known weed smoker. The quarrel lasted for years until Femi became an established star with his own band POSITIVE FORCE. Fela was so impressed by Femi’s success, he gave up performing o Sundays (Sunday Jump) to Femi at the Africa Shrine. Still, you must note that it is Seun that inherited Fela’s Legendary band Egypt 80 (Formerly Africa 70)
As regards Seun vs Femi, now calculate. Seun only stepped on stage with Femi in 2015. Fela died in 1997. Seun was already an established musician, performing with Egypt 80 and doing big things at events like the Lekki show and globally while Fela was alive. Fela groomed Seun. It is said that it is Seun that looks like Fela. He was clearly Fela’s favourite.
And if Fela had not overestimated his “godness” to believe he will choose when he will die, enough to change his name to ANIKULAPO, meaning “One who holds death in his pouch” and if he was not an HIV/AIDS denier…. if he had written a will upon his diagnoses, I believe Seun would have gotten even more of Fela’s assets. Note that it is also Seun that lives in the compound in Gbemisola where Fela is buried.
So, why would Seun and Femi step on the same stage for the first time only in 2015?
And the Femi that is speaking of brother’s quarrelling, Femi was the one that made entreaties to Seun for them to UNITE and throw out “PRETENDERS” like DEDE MABIAKU and make them pay Royalties for using Fela’s music. (respect to Dede. No disrespect intended)
Dede Mabiaku, an Itsekiri man and journalist that interviewed Fela and became besotted with Fela and became somewhat of a Fela publicist and then studied and learnt Afrobeat and began to play instruments etc, became Fela’s YES MAN and FEMI was jealous of the closeness of DEDE to Fela. Dede Mabiaku and his “Warri sense” was soon to notice Fela’s love for Seun and immediately became avuncular to Seun. It was through Seun that Mabiaku continued to have rights to Fela’s music and covering the songs globally. Dede Mabiaku was another not able to make an album or big song without recourse to covering a Fela song.
So Femi beseeched Seun for them to settle. Years earlier, Femi had personally handed Fela’s saxophone to Seun, stating it was Fela’s wish that Seun has it. Can you imagine the hurt a FIRST SON must feel handing the father’s Legendary Sax, something I am certain if auctioned will bring in at least 50 million dollars (Jay Z would bid for sure) to his younger estranged brother when he himself is a saxophonist? Femi was to swallow his pride, act like the BIG BROTHER and continuously beseech the more CANTANKEROUS and BELLIGERENT (To this day, note both brother’s demeanour) Seun that they must unite and so can speak in one accord so they can truly benefit from royalties from the father’s estates. That the whole business partners etc were doing DIVIDE AND RULE.
Seun was to see sense in this (He is a smart boy) and together since then, along with their sister, Yeni and co, present a united front in discussions with foreign and local entities who do business with Fela’s name and music, and even in broadway and movies too.
Their unity also ensured FELABRATION became owned by the Kuti family instead of the strangers that did the first one, with yours truly, while at Alec Music overseeing the video edit and a few other pro bono help to this DREADLOCKED guy (Kupa Victory??? I forget. That is the name that jumped into my mind trying to remember the dude) that did most of the leg work. That show introduced Nigerians to Dbanj and Don Jazzy with their “Tongolo” song and performance. (Clean London boys with shorts and walking sticks and chains. I can never forget them and how we all stared)
Ask yourself why it took Seun and Femi 18 years after their father’s death to perform on the same stage. In fact, eye witness report state the rituals and sacrifices each of them made .. the chants and incantations before they touched the microphones, obviously for fear of being bewitched by the other, was of ORKIJA SHRINE proportions.
It was on 24 April 2015, and they performed in the concert titled 2 KINGS CONCERT where Seun had to be called a King and made to look like the equal of his much more accomplished brother Femi, who had known national and international MONSTER HITS with his original music and band formed by him (Femi) in a legacy much divorced… as much as possible from Fela.
Note that Femi could be called FELA JR. as his name is also OLUFELA like his dad. But Femi always wanted to be his own man. Now, this was before social media… Facebook, Instagram, Linda Ikeji, Tunde Ednut, Nairaland, GISTLOVER and the much “lesser” Ena Ofugaras and Iwuchukwus. Yet, this much information was available.
Now imagine if all of the above were present then when those who have info can easily inbox GISTLOVER. Imagine how Seun would have reacted to something Femi may not have said.
Imagine how a Dede Mabiaku or others invested in Fela’s music and business would have played their hands That is what Peter and Paul … Psquare and their brother Jude, in the social media age faced. Thank God their own quarrels did not last decades.
My point? God quarrelled with his favourite angel LUCIFER/Azazel. Greek and Roman God tales speak of intense jealousies and fights amongst themselves. Mothers and sons quarrel. Divorces are a thing. Fathers and daughters quarrel. That Psquare had a fight that lasted a while is not something to make a mockery of, especially if anyone, eg Seun Kuti looks at themselves in the mirror, and also views their family history.
~ By Ena Ofugara
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