Fela Ransome Kuti was born in Abeokuta, the 15th day of October 1938 and made waves in the music industry until his death in August 2, 1997. He was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, composer, musician and pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre. In the late 1960s, Fela Kuti changed his name "Ransome" which he taught was a slave name and adopted a middle name "Anikulapo", meaning 'having control over death.'
His songs blazed the trail which got him awards and after coming to limelight he became a human rights activist and political maverick.
Below are 10 interesting things you might not know about him.
1. In 1978, Fela was named in the Guinness book of record for marrying 27 women in a single wedding ceremony.
2. In 1979, Fela formed his own political party and named it "Movement of the People" (MOP). He ran for Presidency twice but was rejected.
3. In the 1960s, Fela fell in love with the growing Black Power Movement happening in US and was later introduced to the Black Panthers in 1969.
4. BBC aired his documentary film titled "Teacher don't teach me nonsense" in 1984.
5. Fela was a cousin to Wole Soyinka, Nigeria's first Nobel laureate.
6. In 1978, Fela Kuti was banned from Ghana due to a riot that erupted in Accra while performing the song "Zombie"
7. Fela's father Israel Ransome Kuti was a founding member of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and Nigerian Union of Students (NUS).
8. In 1963, Fela Kuti formed his first band "Koola Lobitos" but was later changed to "Egypt 80 Band" finally.
9. In 1963, Fela Kuti trained with the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation as a radio producer.
10. Fela's mother Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti was instrumental to the abolition of separate taxes for women in 1953.