In the song “LADY” Fela criticised the use of White Western values and standards of feminine beauty in Africa. However to his detractors songs such as this are interpreted as anti-feminist or simply “macho”. To those who really knew him, he was never anti feminist as he was only saying African women have always made the decisions in African traditional homes, today’s African woman doesn’t need ‘feminist cause’ to be in-charge.
Fela’s endorsement of polygamy is not anti feminist as polygamy is not unique with African men. Europeans and European-Americans, who marry under Christian laws at the same time keep mistresses, are only being hypocrites. They should learn from Africans who keep all their women under one roof to avoid any ambiguity. This is why we say that the best way to celebrate Fela is to make his vision for Africa a reality. The search for the phenomenon Fela Anikulapo-Kuti can start from his legacy, the film BLACK PRESIDENT produced and personally financed by the afrobeat icon himself.
Principal shooting of the film was completed one day before the Nigerian Army soldiers attack on Kalakuta on 18th February 1977. The original sound-track was burnt in the inferno but thanks to my participation, knowledge of the film’s scenarios, evolution in technology today, plus the technical competence of my friend Olivier Van’l in a fantastic collaboration, we resynchronized the sound that was destroyed in the Kalakuta attack. Here is our modest attempt to give life to the film a challenge to the Nigerian (Nollywood) film industry!
Mabinuori Kayode IDOWU aka ID