The Secret Of Life is to Have No Fear- Fela Kuti
After much rescheduling for this visit, Stanley and I eventually made it to the Kalakuta museum ( Fela’s last home and recording studio before he died). For those who don’t know who Fela is ; he was a Nigerian musician and multi-instrumentalist whose music was known worldwide . As a young child growing up in Nigeria; I grew up hearing tales about this legendary man, had jokes played about when I wore jumping trousers aka Fela’s trousers and listened to a bit of music.
My quest on knowing more about the famous Fela led us to his last home that he lived in before he died in 1997 which was renovated by his Family and the Lagos state government in 2012 and now named the Kalakuta museum in a 3-storey building in the heart of Ikeja .
Did you know that the word Kalakuta was gotten from a caricature of a prison cell named Calcutta that Fela inhabited?
Entry into this museum cost a thousand naira per head and we were assigned a guide who explained Fela’s history and explained about the pictures that were displayed . The ground floor were pictures of Fela’s Album Covers which he released before he died. Each album had a very unique message that Fela tried to pass across to the public. Here are some of the Album Covers on display at the Kalakuta Museum:
After the destruction of the Kalakuta Republic, Fela married 27 women known as the Kalakuta queens all at once.
We were thereafter shown Fela’s room before he died which was one of the interesting place for me here and it would interest you to know that The bed-sheets , clothes, under-pants and shoes owned by Fela as still kept the same way.
Fela was a Human Rights Activist and he wrote a lot and we were shown some of his publications.
There are so many pictures on display that shows a lot about Fela and his life, from his early life, to his family, children and his music more importantly. It was really an enlightening time for me. More pictures below from the Museum:
Fela had a movie titled Black President which was never released as the files got burnt in the Kalakuta Republic Crises. The Last Floor of the Kalakuta Museum is a rooftop open bar. After the tour, we saw the tomb where Fela was buried, we took more pictures and after which we left the Museum.
There is a 5 bedroom hotel opening soon in the Kalakuta Museum which would be good for people who might not be living in Lagos. The tour was short but still enlightening for me.
Have you been to the Kalakuta Museum? Did you grow up listening to Fela’s Music? If you haven’t been to the Museum , is it somewhere you would like to visit? I would love to hear from you in the Comments Section!
Love from your Favourite Ajala!