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Nigeria: Fela Kuti’s ‘Zombie’ – a struggle that lives on

In depth
This article is part of the dossier: Mythical African songs that made history

By Léo Pajon
Posted on Monday, 28 June 2021 07:31, updated on Thursday, 1 July 2021 10:35

People hold up a photo of Nigeria's music legend Fela Kuti at a night show in Lagos
People hold up a photo of Nigeria's music legend Fela Kuti at a night show marking the end of a week-long celebration in his honour, in Lagos October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

In this 12-minute-long Afrobeat gem, Fela Kuti made a mockery of the military junta that held sway in 1970s Nigeria. The musician would pay dearly for it.

This is part 5 of a 6-part series

Of all the scathing songs Fela Kuti released over the years, Zombie is arguably the most memorable – and the one that turned the musician’s life upside down. His album, with the same name, came out in 1977 on Coconut Records in Nigeria.

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