The Price of Fame: How Being Fela’s Daughter Affected Her Personal Life
Yeni Kuti, a veteran journalist, dancer, and singer, is the eldest daughter of the late Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. In this interview, she shares her insights on various aspects of her life, including her father’s legacy, her own career, and the challenges she faced as Fela’s daughter.
Kuti is the driving force behind Felabration, an annual festival celebrating her father’s life and music. She highlights the importance of the festival in preserving Fela’s legacy and acknowledges the support of the festival’s sponsors.
On Journalism and Curiosity
Kuti’s passion for journalism stems from her innate curiosity and desire to uncover the truth. She attributes this trait to both her parents, who were avid readers and seekers of knowledge.
Kuti provides a detailed account of her mother’s background, emphasizing her British heritage and Nigerian lineage. She describes her mother as a devoted wife and a strong-willed individual who dedicated her life to her children.
On Singing and Dancing
Kuti clarifies that she never abandoned her singing career but chose to focus on dancing, which she found more fulfilling. She addresses the tendency among some to divide and discourage rather than support and celebrate individual talents.
Kuti emphasizes the importance of unity and collaboration, drawing an analogy from her father’s use of matches to illustrate the strength in unity. She reflects on the enduring success of the Positive Force Band, which she and her sister choreographed for her brother Femi’s musical endeavors.
On Being Fela’s Daughter
Kuti’s experiences as Fela’s daughter varied throughout her life. Initially, she faced challenges due to her father’s controversial reputation, but later, she gained recognition and respect for her own accomplishments.
On Love Life
Kuti recalls an instance where her father’s fame negatively impacted her romantic relationship. She acknowledges the challenges faced by those associated with prominent figures.
Kuti expresses her gratitude for receiving the World Master certificate from South Korea, recognizing her contributions as the founder of Felabration and a World Dance Master.
Yeni Kuti’s interview offers a glimpse into her life as a daughter of a legendary musician, a dedicated journalist, and a passionate dancer. Her experiences highlight the power of unity, perseverance, and the pursuit of one’s passions.