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4 Fela Kuti Documentaries You Just Have To Watch

Nigerian musician and composer Fela Anikulapo Kuti performs on September 13, 1986 at the "Party of Humankind" of the French Communist Party at La Courneuve in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)

 On this day in 1997, Nigerian music icon, Fela Anikulapo Kuti died. His death was not announced until about 24 hours later by his elder brother, Olikoye Ransome-Kuti.

Despite the official line being that he died from complications caused by HIV/AIDS infection, there is widespread disbelief that Fela actually died from such.

Considered as one of the greatest musicians to ever come out of Africa, Fela released 24 albums during his lifetime and was a thorn in the flesh of military dictatorship and post-colonial imperialism.

1. Slices of Fela

Narrated by actor, Sahr Ngaujah who played Fela in the Broadway Musical and featuring an excerpt from the documentary “Music Is The Weapon.

Slices of Fela is sliced into four parts.


2. Finding Fela!

Alex Gibney‘s Finding Fela (2014) is a sweeping portrait of the artist as guerilla warrior.

Set to the insistent groove of Nigerian superstar Fela Kuti’s revolutionary Afrobeat sound, the remarkable story of one man’s courageous stand against a corrupt and dictatorial government gives testament to the transformative power of music as a force of social and political unification.


3. Fela Kuti: Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense

A rarely seen documentary, mixing candid interviews of Fela Kuti with selected live segments from his stirring performances, this feature serves as an important guide for anyone yearning to learn more about a transformative artist in the history of and development of African music.

It is directed by Dennis Marks.



4. Fela Kuti – Music Is The Weapon

Shot in Lagos at the peak of his career in 1982, this documentary contains interviews with Fela detailing his thoughts on politics, Pan-Africanism, his music and much more.


Written by Segun Odejimi

Apostle of Sarcasm. Writer. Former Editor of TNSnigeria. Producer, Segun & the Gang. Facebook Nigeria Trainer.

Trained as a media/theatre artist and has worked in advertising, TV and radio.