Lecture materials

Week 3 Lecture B materials: Afrobeat: and the politics of Fela Kuti

Med332 afrobeat the politics of Fela Kuti from Rob Jewitt



Wider reading:
Randall F Grass (1986) ‘Fela Anikulapo-Kuti: The Art of an Afrobeat Rebel’, The Drama Review: TDR, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Spring, 1986), pp. 131-148

Justin Labinjoh (1982) ‘Fela Anikulapo-Kuti: Protest Music and Social Processes in Nigeria’, Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, (Sep., 1982), pp. 119-134,

Tejumola Olaniyan (2001) ‘The Cosmopolitan Nativist_ Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and the Antinomies of Postcolonial Modernity’, Research in African Literatures, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp.76-89,

Derek  Stanovsky (1998) “Fela and His Wives: The Import of a Postcolonial Masculinity.” Jouvert: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies, vol. 2, no. 1, July 1998


Performers You might like...

You might like… Gabriel Gbadamosi on Fela Kuti (BBC Great Lives series)

Image credits: Toludpilgrim (cc by-sa 3.0)

There’s an interesting 30 minute exploration of Fela Kuti’s eventful life here, courtesy of the BBC and Radio 4.

Poet, playwright, and critic Gabriel Gbadamosi chooses as his Great Life the political maverick and inventor of Afrobeat, musician Fela Kuti, and tells Matthew Parris why his work deserves to be better known.

Whether withstanding ferocious beatings from the Nigerian police, insulting his audiences, or demanding a million pounds in cash upfront from Motown records, his strength and stubbornness were legendary, and his gift for controversy unmatched.

Fela had more than 25 wives, some of whom he beat, and was President of his own self proclaimed Republic. He smoked dope and was the scourge of the rulers of a corrupt Nigerian state and was acclaimed as having the best live band on earth.

Gabriel Gbadamosi is joined by Stephen Chan, professor of International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, to discuss the musical and political life of this outspoken force of nature.

Presenter: Matthew Parris

Producer: Melvin Rickarby

Click here to stream the recording or right-click here to save the file as an mp3

You might like...

You might like… Fela Kuti: Music Is The Weapon (1982)

Image credits: Toludpilgrim (cc by-sa 3.0)

Shot in 1982 on location in Lagos, Nigeria, this hour-long documentary mixes footage of Fela Kuti interviews with live performances, overlaid with some voice-over narration that explains some of Fela’s political beliefs. It goes behind the scenes in his Kalakuta Republic and highlights the threat he posed to the Nigerian authorities