Just like King Solomon in the Bible, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti the legendary afro-beat originator need to explain how they did it.
Both men had a huge number of wives and harem of women, yet were able to produce just a handful of children.
King Solomon is said to have had a harem that included 700 wives and 300 concubines. Yet, he left behind just four children.
In the case of Fela Kuti, it is on record that Fela married 27 women in a single wedding ceremony in 1978.
The Afrobeat singer fathered only seven children before his death in 1997.
Fela Aníkúlápó Kuti, also known as Abami Eda, is regarded as the pioneer of Afrobeat, a Nigerian music genre that combines West African music with American funk and jazz.
In this article, we list all seven children bore by the mercurial perfomer before his demise and what they are currently into.
Omoyeni Anikulapo-Kuti is Fela’s eldest child. She was born in London in 1961, when Fela was studying at Trinity College of Music.
Her mother was Remi Anikulapo-Kuti (née Taylor), a British-born woman of Nigerian and African-American heritage. She married Fela in 1960, with whom she had three children (Yeni, Femi, and Sola).
Yeni a.k.a YK, was a singer and dancer with Fela’s Egypt 80 in the 1980s. She was also a dancer and choreographer for her brother, Femi’s The Positive Force in the 1990s.
She is the founder of Felabration and also co-founder of the New Afrika Shrine.
READ ALSO: How Fela Kuti Married 27 Women In One Day
Today, Yeni is best known as a co-anchor on Your View, a morning programme on TVC.
Since Fela passed on in 1997, much of Yeni’s energy has been devoted to preserving and celebrating his legacy.
In 1998, she conceived and organized the first Felabration. Since 2005, the event has been held every October in Lagos around Fela’s birthday.
In 2000, together with her brother, Femi, she established the New Afrika Shrine. She continues to direct Felabration and is the general manager of the Shrine.
In 2012, together with her fiancé, the architect Theo Lawson, Yeni also co-founded the Kalakuta Museum. The Ikeja-based museum is managed by Fela’s son, Kunle.
Olufela Olufemi Kuti is Fela’s first son. He joined Fela’s Afrika 70 on alto saxophone in 1979. He stayed with the band when it became Egypt 80.
Femi played on such classic albums as Authority Stealing, Original Sufferhead, I.T.T. International Thief Thief and Live In Amsterdam.
In 1984, when Fela was imprisoned on a trumped-up currency smuggling charge, Femi became Egypt 80’s caretaker leader. He perfomed with the band at the Shrine and continued in the role until Fela was freed.
In 1986, Femi left the band to form his own band, The Positive Force. Ever since, he has been putting his own spin on Afrobeat and keeping the afrobeat genre alive. Four of his albums have been nominated for Grammy Awards.
With his sister Yeni, he co-founded the New Afrika Shrine. When not on tour, he plays there twice a week (for free on Thursdays, for a small admission charge on Sundays).
Olusola Kuti is Fela’s second daughter. She was born in 1963. Sola was also a dancer in her father’s band.
Tragically, in 1997, she passed away just a few weeks after Fela died.
She died after she was diagonised for the wrong illness. She was 34 years old.
Kunle Kuti is the fourth of Fela’s children.
The quiet Kunle, who was born in 1971, is the manager of the Kalakuta Museum.
The museum was opened in 2012 and gives visitors a unique insight into Fela’s life and work.
In addition to the displays of many authentic objects owned by or associated with Fela, there is a rooftop café and visitors can stay the night in one of several air-conditioned, en-suite rooms.
Omosalewa “Shalewa” Anikulapo-kuti was born in Lagos in 1976. Her mother Olufunmilayo Hastrup Anikulapo-Kuti was a Nurse.
Shalewa is a qualified lawyer who works mostly as a DJ, and goes by the sobriquet DJ SHAARKS.
Shalewa studied mass communication at the Ogun State Polytechnic (now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic), and law at the University of Lagos before she left Nigeria for the UK.
She is the founder of the music production outfit Shaarks Music.
Oluseun Anikulapo-Kuti was born in born in Lagos in 1983. His mother, Fehintola, was a dancer with Afrika 70 and Egypt 80. She married Fela in 1978.
Seun began appearing onstage with Egypt 80 when he was eight years old. After Fela passed, Seun became the band’s leader.
Seun and Egypt 80 released their first album together, Many Things, in 2008. Their latest album, Black Times, was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Like Femi, Seun is keeping Afrobeat on track. Both are tweaking the paradigm created by Fela, too.
Motunrayo Kuti is Fela’s last child. She was a dancer with Femi’s The Positive Force.
She is currently a lively and provocative presence on social media.
Motunrayo is the CEO of Ifeniomous Entertainment, a record label she named after her daughter.