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Femi Kuti Speaks On Co-parenting Children Without Forcing Them To Hate Your Estranged Ex

Afrobeat music maestro, Femi Kuti has opened up on how his father, Fela‘s choice of marrying 28 wives affected his mother.

The dad-of-six said the late icon no doubt hurt his mother’s feelings by his decision and his general disposition towards family matters but said his mother, more than anything else focused on been a doting mother and raising her children to entertain only fond thoughts towards their father.

READ ALSO: ‘The white men taught us about subjugating women’- Singer, Seun Kuti

Femi shared about his peculiar childhood during an interview on TVC’s Your View – an all-female talk show.

“Fela just said I want to marry 27 wives. ‘Come and be the 28th!’ Can you imagine how angry my mother must have been?

He married her in London, brought her to Africa and said I want to be an African man.

You don’t know what my father did to my mother.”

In spite of everything his father did to his mother, Femi shared that Fela was loved by the matriarch regardless and that she never brought them –  the children, up to hate him.

I grew up with my mother. And you know what my father did to my mother with his 27 wives. We as Fela’s children protect his legacy because of my mother.

Because of the way she brought us up. She could have brought us up to hate Fela, just like the way society hated Fela.

Because some of our people really hated Fela, the government and people like this.

She could have made us live in that direction. She never did that.”

The Afrobeat giant continued to say when they, the children began to ask questions about their father’s way of life, their mother would caution them to no speak bad about their father.

In his words,

“when we were even growing up as children, we were like, ‘Where is this man?

Where is this man in our life?’ She said, ‘Come, this is your father. Don’t ever let me hear you speak like this again.’

And slowly she moulded us. And we just started to se Fela, Fela that people were seeing. Fela could do no wrong, after a while, for us.

We just loved Fela because our mother brought us up that way.

He wasn’t the conversational father. He didn’t send me to school. I didn’t study music.

But we don’t hold that against him. She made us always to see Fela’s essence, his political views, his fights, his struggles and we loved him for it. And we have grown up and we adore our father.

“We had a very good mother. Nobody knows my mother. So she was always at the background.

And her own business was she loved her children and she showered us with love. Fela was very outside.

The way he brought me up too, very outside man.

Fela was for everybody and for nobody.”

Asked if they, the children didn’t feel unhappy seeing their father always in his underpants at home, Femi said:

“You might be shocked at first. But then you just get used to it.

Fela got to make everybody get used to everything around him. He just normalized everything.”

Watch the video below.

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