‘I Still See My Late Father ‘- Yeni Kuti

Late Afrobeat pioneer, Fela Anikulapo- Kuti’s daughter, Yeni Kuti claims she still sees her father but in her dreams.

Yeni made the disclosure during a radio talk-show titled, ‘The discourse with Jimi Disu’ on Classic FM 97.3 recently.

According to the former dancer, who pioneered the idea of Felabration, a music festival conceived to celebrate the life and contributions of her father Fela Kuti to the Nigerian society, she said:

“It’s 20 years since my father died, but it doesn’t seem as if he has been gone for so long. I miss him and I still talk to him in my mind. He and other departed members of my family have also appeared to me in my dreams. I don’t know if it is right to say that they appear to me, but I see them in my dreams. I dream of them a lot.”

Yeni also disclosed that several people approached her in the past and claimed they had messages from her father. But she ignored them.

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“I believe in life after death. Also, I believe that if my father has a message for me, he will come directly to me and not go through someone I don’t know or like. If anybody tells me that Fela has sent a message to me through him, I would tell him to ask my dad to appear to me directly himself,” she said.

Waying into the high cases of corruption in the country, she urged the Federal Government to consider adopting traditional African medicine (also known as ‘juju’) as a tool to combat corruption, especially in official circles.

Yeni, whose late dad had belief in the potency of ‘juju’, noted that government should use it to administer oaths to elected officials and government appointees, instead of the Holy Bible and the Koran.

“Just as Sophie Oyewole has suggested, let them use it to swear in government officials and we shall see if anybody will continue to steal our money in this country or not. I am sure that if they are made to swear by Ogun or some other fearsome African deity, there will be no more corruption,” she said.

The 56-year-old who came from a deeply Christian background, also revealed that she only attend made church occasionally. “But that is when I am invited to weddings, burial ceremonies or other events,” she added.

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Explaining her choice of religion, Yeni corrected the impression that her late father didn’t really influence her to believe in the traditional African religion but she on her own embraced it.

“It is not that my father made me embrace it through indoctrination; I learned and I actually believe in it. As a matter of fact, Fela’s arguments in defence of the traditional African religion were enough to convince me.”

Recalling one of her most memorable encounters with her dad, she said: “When I was a young girl and I knew nothing about his dislike for what he often described as ‘foreign religions’ (Christianity and Islam), I used to visit the Braithwaites and accompany them to church on Sundays. When Fela heard of it, he warned me never to use the allowance he gave me for offering in the church. I can’t forget it,” she said.

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Fela, an Afrobeat legend, a human rights activist, and political maverick died on the 2nd of August 1997.


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