Africa: More To The Single Story About Fela Anikulapo Kuti – My Adventure To Kalakuta Museum


I am beginning this story singing ‘’Lady’’ by the Afrobeat Legend, a song I personally call my ‘sweet cherry wine.’

‘’Lady’’ in the Shakara Album of Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti released in 1972 is untainted, ever green especially to those with the knowledge of the value of such music. I can say my visit to Kalakuta museum was enthralled by the beats of ‘’Lady’’ as the DJ from the rooftop of the Museum couldn’t let go of the soothing beats of the song. Kalakuta Museum was opened on the 15th of October which was supposed to be Fela’s 74th birthday.

I finally got to quench my curiosity and make great discoveries of the ever talked about Museum in Lagos!

Locating the Museum was a bit of a task, but however, after several jumping and stopping of bikes and buses, Alas! We arrived Gbemisola Street, Allen Avenue, Ikeja Lagos!

Stepping into the one Storey building, the first historical art I saw was a well-designed grave monument of Fela Anikulapo Kuti. However, I made that my last stop, because I had so many questions to ask.

As a free spirited and politically independent minded individual, Fela Anikulapo Kuti  achieved a lot in his life time a  multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, pioneer of the Afro beat music genre, human rights activist, I personally would add his 27 wives to his utmost achievements which in this present day [2017] would be a suicide mission, no pun intended.

The ground floor of Kalakuta museum is rich with artworks, paintings, wall arts to stir your imaginations and of course gives you a quick reminder of where you are. They are several original Albums of Fela displayed on the ground floor sold at N25,000 and N40,000 respectively for anyone interested in Purchase.

I left the ground floor prepared for more discoveries. Just In case you haven’t seen the pictures of Felas 27 wives, his children, grandchildren, his mother, His Family house in Abeokuta, they are all beautifully attached to the walls at the top floor. Here we see pictures of Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Yeni Kuti, Kunle Kuti, Sola Kuti, Omosalewa Kuti and Motunrayo Kuti.

Still on the Top Floor, they are two personal bedrooms the first is an assemblage of real Fela personal items. Interestingly, the Afro beat legend made use of every single one of them before passing on – A bed, fridge, clothes and his awards all protected with a show glass. With these items, one could easily tell how the Legend lived away from the stage. I almost had my hands feeling them all maybe a magic could happen and I become as talented as he was.

Next stop was the second room on the same top floor. Here we have a shoe rack, his ever green outfit ‘’an overall coat,’’ his toilet amazingly with an iron torchlight. I personally felt more intimacy haven touched the iron torchlight – remarkable!

They are about four rooms on the first floor all having segmented collections.
As a human right activist, Fela Anikulakpo Kuti had several stories in different newspaper publications, the stories from every of the newspapers were displayed in this part of the Museum, a room filled with his writings, stories about him in papers and a typewriter which according to our guide was used by him in writing all his songs and human right articles.

Kalakuta Museum houses the tallest drum in Africa, this piece of art was found in a room also on the Top floor. The slim tall drum fully depicts the Rich tradition and culture of Africa in Fela Music and lifestyle. The drum was first unveiled at Nigeria drum Festival in Ogun State.

Just in case you are a fun lover and a night crawler, you don’t have to run home yet as Kalakuta Museum has a roof top, with good design, excellent music and chilling ventilation to relax.

The visit was an amazing and a life changing journey! Thanks to our Tour Guide ‘’Pelumi’’ who turned to a historian for my sake.

I left  Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti  Kalakuta Museum with a new mindset, a new thought and a new self!

I can say I am no longer blinded by the single story told by people about the Afrobeat Legend, I now know him beyond what is written in the news and I advise everyone to look beyond pictorials, gossips and have a personal feel and understanding of the Afrobeat Legend, of course by creating time to visit –  Kalakuta Museum.

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