The pleasure some Africans find in being white is something that did not start today and yesterday, being the 20th remembrance of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, we remember that even our own Afrobeat pioneer, had once thought himself English until he went to England to study, and the reality struck when things are barred from black people who were popularly referred to as “coloured”.
This was revealed in an interview with Fela on Colonial mentality. According to the King of Afrobeat, being African was never something he was conscious of until he went to England and realized that he wasn’t as loved by the white people as they would want him to believe. In his words, “These white people don’t like us too much”.
This interview is one that gives us a brief insight into the icon we celebrate today, taking us through the journey of how he became conscious of being African in England, hence prompting him to start questioning the things around that exists in Africa and how the teachings of the western world were strategically placed for their own good.
He went further to talk about his song, ‘Teacher No Teach Me Nonsense’, where he stated that the song was one that aimed to prompt the minds of Nigerians to start thinking and to let the West know that he is no longer following their practice as these practices only get worse by the day in Africa.
Issues such as these were things that inspire this legend as he sings about political and sociocultural issues to tackle the dictates of the people in power, be it the ‘Whites’, the Nigerian military government or the civilian dictators.
Fela died on the 2nd of August 1997 and celebrating him is also celebrating Afrobeat and the freedom that lies within it!