Nigeria: The Kuti legacy is Made

By Dami Ajayi
Posted on Friday, 5 March 2021 15:25

Nigerian musician Femi Kuti performs at the Afrika Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria, 3 July 2018. Ludovic Marin/Pool via Reuters

'Legacy+', a double album released by Afrobeat king Femi Anikulapo Kuti and his oldest son, Made, is a rite of passage.

It is Femi Kuti’s eleventh LP album, a seemingly uneventful addition to his discography – until one factors in his age, 58. This was the age his own father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, died. Femi making an album with his own son, Made Kuti, brings things full circle.

Femi cut his teeth playing the saxophone in his father’s final band Egypt 80 and hurriedly stepped into his father’s shoes at an international concert when Fela was jailed for trafficking foreign currency — incidentally by the Muhammadu Buhari-led military regime.

Fela served about 18 months out of his five-year jail term. And on his return home, his relationship with his first son was fraught with difficulties on account of creative differences.