FELA KUTI - FATHER OF AFROBEAT
The life of the Nigerian musician Fela Kuti is a colourful one. The Government despised him, his 27 wives worshipped him, one million peope attended his funeral and generations have moved to the beat he created.
Fela invented the music known as Afrobeat and went on to influence dozens of famous musicians. He was also famously political, and a huge thorn in the side of the Nigerian military dictatorship that took power in the 1970s and 1980s.
Yet Fela, the revolutionary, was also a libertine, who married twenty-seven wives and when he died, there was concern that his musical legacy and activism would die with him, particularly if people knew the cause of his death, from a disease that carried huge stigma in Africa.
This feature-length documentary tells his story through previously unseen archive and key testimony from Fela’s children, his wives, friends and famous fans. It is directed by Nigerian film-maker Biyi Bandele and is an empathetic but unsparingly astute interrogation of an extraordinary human being. Exclusive testimony reveals the complex man behind the maverick performer.
Director Biyi Bandele
Producer Siobhan Logue
Exec Producer Richard Klein
BBC TV - 80mins 2020