How Fela Anikulapo Kuti Married 27 Women on The Same Day… See Rare Photos From The Ceremony

History was made on the 20th of February, 1978 when African music legend and Afrobeat singer, Fela Anikulapo Kuti got married to 27 women on the same day, all of whom were his backup dancers, 40 years ago.

Memories last for a long time and pictures help us retain those memories.

According to reports, Fela was able to pull off the feat by putting out a notebook and asking any of the women who were willing to marry him to write down their names and immediately twenty-seven of them did.

And on February 20th, Fela called Ifa priests (reportedly 12) to join the wives in holy matrimony at the Parisona Hotel in Anthony, Lagos.

Reports also has it that a handful of the women married him against their parents consent but the wedding ceremony went on nonetheless.

The traditional wedding was joined by band members, friends and family. Fela reportedly placed Naira notes on their heads, offered a few words and dished around marriage certificates.

He would then engage in a rotating system of having just 12 of them live with him at a particular time. When he first married, he had sex with one, then another, then another till the 27 were complete and then he took them all to Ghana for the honeymoon shortly after.

READ ALSO: Fela’s Wives Open Up About their Exciting Life With the Afrobeat Legend | See Interview

Another reason why the marriage held was to protect Fela, and his wives, from claims from authorities that Fela was kidnapping the women.

Below are the names of all 27 women…

1. Fehintola Kayode (Seun’s Mum)
2. Damiregba (Naijite, Motun’s Mum)
3. Keuwe Oghomienor (Kewe)
4. Folake Oladeinde (Alake)
5. Folake Oladejo
6. Ronke Edason
7. Laide
8. Emaruagheru Osawe
9. Ihase
10. Shade Shodeinde
11. Suru Eriomola
12. Tejumade Adebiyi
13. Omolola Osaeti
14. Tokunbo Akran
15. Ronke (another one)
16. Adejonwo
17. Lamiley
18. Funmilayo
19. Adunni
20. Remilekun
21. Kikelomo
22. Lara
23. Bose

READ ALSO: ”I never believed in marriage” – Femi Kuti Reveals Reason his Marriage to Funke Crashed

One of his wives, Keuwe Oghomienor also confirmed in an interview in 2017 that after the marriage ceremony, they all flew to Ghana for the honeymoon.

 According to her;

”Yes, all the 27 wives with Alex Conde, the one that married the late Chief Okotie Eboh’s daughter. He took us to Ghana for the honeymoon and from there Fela brought other girls.

The other wives were always jealous because Fela paid a lot of attention to me. Fela used to tell us to smoke marijuana or he would not accept us as his own people.”

READ ALSO: Hilarious! Fela Kuti’s Daughter Motunrayo Accepts Ring But Rejects Marriage Proposal from Mystery Boo

Another wife said;

”Fela loved us and was not happy with the way people were treating his women. He married us because he wanted to make us proud; he did not want us to be disgraced. They used to call us prostitutes and Ashewo, Igbo (Indian hemp) smokers and this made us very unhappy.
He knew how we had fought with him and suffered for him. We left everything, sacrificed everything just to be with him. We never abandoned him to suffer alone; anywhere they were taking him to, we went with him.
By marrying us he gave us honour and showed us appreciation. He wanted us to be respected as responsible and hard working wives.”
Photo Credit: Giles Verdili and Olufela Kuti
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