Monday, August 6, 2007

Fela Kuti on UBM-TV

Ten years ago this month, Fela Anikulapo Kuti died of complications from AIDS. Fela was Nigeria’s Bob Marley... the James Brown of Afrobeat.

On YouTube you can find “Music is the Weapon,” the 1982 French documentary about Fela’s art, politics and spirituality. It’s a wonderful thing. (To see Part 1, click here.)

In 1986, Fela talked with Len Brown of the British magazine New Musical Express. Here is a small piece of Brown’s article, dealing with Fela’s famously polygamous lifestyle:
LEN BROWN: “Sex is life,” says Fela, profoundly. “That’s why I don’t understand those spiritualists, those monks who say they don’t fuck women. Women are the source of power in the kind of spiritualism I understand. You cannot have power without women’s participation. Sex is the main source of power. When people say that sex makes you weak, sex makes you older, that’s bullshit. Much more sex, much more energy, much more everything.”

Nice work if you can get it, and keep it up. Trouble is, particularly in the West, it’s regarded as evil, dangerous to the establishment.

“People who start all these moralistic trends and shit they could be impotent. For me, I see with my eyes, I walk with my legs, I work with my hands, my stomach takes my food, and I need my prick. It’s just as important as any other part of my body. For me, sex is everything clean.”

Yeah, but what about sexually transmitted diseases? How does AIDS fit into your spiritual scheme of things?

“It gets to the point now where they say that there’s AIDS all over the world, so because there’s AIDS I must not fuck? Okay, very soon people will not fuck. But I will fuck because I do not believe that I use my sex wrongfully, so I do not think I will be the victim of sexual disease.

“Sex disease is a spiritually influenced happening. When you die, everything that you do in this world, you are going to get your judgement for every evil. So when you are reincarnated and you have been using sex for evil purposes you’ll be reincarnated as a homosexual.”

12 comments:

jena6 said...

Cool call on Fela! I was on this serious Fela kick earlier this year. I didn't know much about him so I purchased a bunch of songs and read "Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon" by Michael E. Veal. Excellent book! Not only did I learn about Fela and his music, but also a bit about the political climate of Nigeria.

I think I also watched the first part of the document you posted but had to stop when I saw video footage of a man being shot point blank. (I'm squeamish that way.)

Anyway, some Fela joints I love:

Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense, Yellow Fever, Ye Ye De Smell, and Zombie.

Undercover Black Man said...

"Teacher" is one of my favorites too. Along with "Power Show," "Colonial Mentality," "Coffin for Head of State," "Mr. Follow-Follow," "Sorrow Tears and Blood"...

jena6 said...

Have you ever seen the live version of "Teacher"? I love it! I used to watch this, like everday when I was on my Fela kick. :-D It's 10 minutes long. (But many of his songs are quite long.)

I like when the dancers come in.

dez said...

"So when you are reincarnated and you have been using sex for evil purposes you’ll be reincarnated as a homosexual.”

Um...ohhh kaaay.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Hey... who's to say? ;^D

Swanksalot said...

Fela was genius, simply.

"International Thief Thief" often plays in my mind, unasked, when I read of certain business/political corruption news stories.

Invisible Woman said...

@dez: I was thinking the same thing @UBM you are funnneee :-)

jena6 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jena6 said...

"International Thief Thief" often plays in my mind, unasked, when I read of certain business/political corruption news stories.

"Zombie" deals with Nigeria's military mentality; but, when I hear it I think about America's.

As for Fela's views on sex, I guess that's to be expected from a man who married twenty-seven women at one time.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Now that's a version of "Big Love" I would watch.

Lamb Cannon said...

One of the greatest musicians, one of the most egregiously effed-up "social theorists."

remember his backpatting for the utterly insane surgeons who made no incisions?!

myself, i plan to come back as a boss fag so i can sodomize "manly African men" like Fela right in their dirty little butts. give me a break.

Anonymous said...

Another gay theory! Brilliant music by Fela- Lady is my favourite.