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Vol 38 No 17

Published 29th August 1997


Nigeria

Fela and his heirs

As millions mourn the passing of the Afrobeat King and his pioneering work, Africa's music industry is stronger than ever

'When I am President', intoned Fela Anikulapo Kuti at the height of his political campaigning, 'all Africa will dance to my music'. His political ambitions were unfulfilled but there is no questioning his musical ascendancy. Fela's death on 2 August was the loss of an African hero who has made the rest of the world take African music seriously. In a continent profoundly sceptical about Nigerian military rulers and petrodollars, Fela was one of the best loved and best known Nigerians. His power grew out of the horn of a saxophone, not the barrel of a gun.

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