Femi Kuti claims, “I feared I’d die extremely young.”

Femi Kuti
Femi Kuti

In a recent interview, the musician, now 60, reminisced on his upbringing and life.

On June 16, Femi, the late music legend Fela Kuti’s son, turned 60. The musician expressed his “quite amazement” that he is still alive throughout the interview.

He claimed that when he was younger, one of his friends used to frequently warn him that his “recklessness” would cause him to “die soon.”

Femi Anikulapo Kuti was raised in the old capital of Nigeria, Lagos, and was born in London to Fela and Remilekun (Remi) Ransome-Kuti (née Taylor; 1941-2000). Soon after taking Femi to live with her, his mother abandoned his father. Femi made the decision to live with his father, nonetheless, in 1977. At the age of 15, Femi began studying the saxophone and eventually joined his father’s band. He attended Baptist Academy and Igbobi College for his education.

In the late 1980s, he formed Positive Force alongside Dele Sosimi (Gbedu Resurrection), a former Fela Anikulapo Kuti keyboardist. His international career began in 1988 when he accepted invitations to perform at the Festival d’Angoulême (France), the New Morning Club in Paris, and the Moers Festival in Germany from the French Cultural Centre in Lagos and Christian Mousset.

On his album Fight to Win from 2001, Femi worked with several US musicians, including Common, Mos Def, and Jaguar Wright. [6]

Another contribution Femi made to Red Hot & Riot, a compilation CD honoring Fela Kuti that was issued by the Red Hot Organization and MCA, was a version of his father’s timeless song “Water No Get Enemy.” All CD sales revenues from Femi’s song, which was produced in collaboration with hip-hop and R&B musicians D’Angelo, Macy Gray, The Soultronics, Nile Rodgers, and Roy Hargrove, were given to organizations combating AIDS.

Femi has devoted his career to social and political causes, just like his father.

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Femi’s grandmother, was a political activist and women’s rights advocate.

Femi believes that his mother, Remilekun Taylor, has had the most impact on his life, despite the fact that he is the son of an international legend. [5]

Femi expressed her joy in life at the age of 60, stating it is a time to enjoy happy times with loved ones.

“Me I thought I would that I would die very young o. (As a teenager) I had a friend who would look at me and say ‘this man will die’. At the time, I had a bike so he will be looking at me like ‘this one, you’ll soon die’ because I was so reckless as a teenager,” he said.

“So, to have clocked 60, I’m quite shocked that I’m here. But it’s gracious… it’s an age where you just reflect on so many things in your life and you know, every moment is now precious with friends, family, and your children. It’s an unbelievable age. I thought 50 was good 60 is greater.”


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