Femi Kuti: Marriage to my ex-wife was a mistake


femi&Funke kutiHeir to the Afrobeat icon, and international music star, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti has attributed his success to his tutelage under his father, the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti; first as a trainee, and later as a member of his band.

He said that his father was his first critic, adding that when he played his first composition to his father, he asked how people could dance to it. The singer reminisced, “Fela asked, ‘So how do you want people to dance to this?’ I only thought of the melody when I composed the song, but on speaking to him, I realised that it was important for Africans to be able to dance to the song.”

Though not a graduate of music, Femi was a protégée of his father, who learned his craft at the foot of a master craftsman, and acknowledged the fact that hard work was a major secret he acquired from his mentor father.

Femi started receiving music lessons from his father as a teenager, as residents of the Off Toyin street axis of Ikeja in the early 80s can attest.

Speaking about his marriage to his ex-wife, Funke Kuti, he noted that he does not believe in the marriage institution. As he puts it, “I never believed in marriage. I loved my wife, and got carried away. I am happy about the experience. We got married for a number of reasons;  she left home, and many people said she had made the greatest mistake of her life; she got pregnant; and for us to have a certain status for our child; documentation and so on. There were so many reasons to get married.”

Speaking further, he asserted that his father advised him not to get married but he went against his father’s wishe. He went on to say that getting married affected the relationship, saying, “Now we are great friends, but probably if we had not gotten married, we probably would have still been together.”

He said further: “When you get married, if it breaks up, you get into a very bitter street, that makes it is very difficult for people to make up afterwards. Everything goes bitter around you, and hatred comes in. And when hatred comes, you find that many couples can no longer stand each other”. -The Nation


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