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Fela Kuti: Father of Afrobeat

Exclusive testimony reveals the multifaceted man behind the maverick performer Fela Kuti, who created a sound for a continent - Afrobeat.

In 1997, over one million people gathered in Lagos for the funeral of Fela Kuti, Africa’s biggest artist, who gave the world Afrobeat, yet was also a thorn in the side of Nigeria’s military regimes - a revolutionary who fought injustice with his music and a libertine who married 27 wives in one ceremony. When he died from a disease that carried huge stigma in Africa, there was fear his legacy would die with him. Exclusive testimony reveals the multifaceted man behind the maverick performer.

1 hour, 22 minutes

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:02

    Bloc Party

    Shuffering and Shmiling

  • 00:10

    Miles Davis Quintet

    Someday My Prince Will Come

  • 00:12

    Fela Kuti

    Ololufe Mi

  • 00:19

    The Temptations

    Message From A Black Man

  • 00:24

    Fela Ransome Kuti, Africa 70

    Black Man's Cry

  • 00:26

    Fela Kuti


  • 00:28

    Fela Kuti

    Open and Close

  • 00:29

    Fela Kuti

    Roforofo Fight

  • 00:36

    Fela Kuti

    Ye Ye De Smell

  • 00:38

    Fela Kuti

    Shakara (Oloje)

  • 00:51

    Fela Kuti

    Mr Grammarticalogylisationalism

  • 00:54

    Fela Kuti, Sahr Ngaujah & Lillias White


  • 01:03

    Fela Kuti

    Coffin For Head Of State (Part 2)

  • 01:13

    Fela Kuti

    Look And Laugh

  • 01:20


    End of Time (Live At Roseland)

  • 01:16

    Fela Kuti

    Why Black Man Dey Suffer


Role Contributor
Director Biyi Bandele
Producer Siobhan Logue
Executive Producer Richard Klein
Editor John Gillanders
Production Manager Sarah Vaughton


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