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‘My Father Wanted Me To Become An Area Boy” – Femi Kuti

Femi Kuti, famous son of equally famous father, Fela Kuti in a recent interrview tells how his father never wanted him to go to school or get an education. The Grammy award nominee speaking exclusively with Thenetng explained his tough childhood and how his father, the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti kept him out of school and used him as an experimental guinea pig. In his words:

“My father didn’t want me to study music because I was more of an experimental guinea pig to prove a point that you do not need education to be successful. He wanted to use me to prove to his brothers that the education he got was not what made him, so I was like a guinea pig which I really vehemently protested against but when I became successful and I complained again, my father said ‘are you famous? Are you not successful? Oya shut up..But I was still very angry because I’m more of a street boy. I may speak well, it’s because I read a lot of books and I’m very well informed but my father wanted me to be more like an area boy. Back then if I got back from school and said I got ZERO in Mathematics, he’ll say that’s very good. I used to be among the bad boys in school that’ll jump the fence to go and watch Chinese movies at the cinema and if we get caught and my father hears about it, he’ll say ‘very good’. My father wanted me to be the head of the ‘most baddest boys’ in school (laughs). If I did well in my science subjects, he was very unimpressed but if I did bad things, he’ll be like ‘that’s my boy’ because that’s what he wanted and in the long run you could say he proved and made his point because I became successful.”


Femi shared and explained how worried his mum, her siblings and other concerned family members got when he truly didn’t pursue any education. He already had a name so to say as the first son of the notorious Fela in those days, and then he was more or less continuing in his fathers footsteps, smoking constituting a nuisance to the society. He however stated that he will not take the same risk with his children. He is proud of the “streetness” he has acquired today but promises to encourage his own children to get an education and be civilized.

Femi Kutisays that he will not attribute the success of his career to his father, because his father had called him a failure after being the one to deny him an education in the first place.

“How? Why? He too cannot lay claim to it. When he first watched me on stage, he said I was a failure himself and that was our first fight because I told him ‘How dare you’, your parents sent you to music school, gave you the best education but you  refused to train me and you open your mouth to call me a failure.”



Photo Cred: TheNet

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“‘My Father Wanted Me To Become An Area Boy” – Femi Kuti”

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