How and Why Fela anikulapo Kuti married his 27 Wives On The Same Day

In the year 1978, the pioneer of Afrobeats, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, married 27 women on the same day. This should not in any way be strange to those who know the life and style of the Nigerian music legend nicknamed Abami Eda (strange creature).

After the devastating attack on Fela’s commune, Kalakuta Republic, in 1977, many of his band members became homeless and Fela then decided to do the unusual by putting out a piece of paper to his female band members requesting for the names of those that would like to marry him, and the entire twenty-seven female band members put down their names.

And so, on the 20th of February, 1978, Fela Kuti married 27 of his backup singers and dancers at the Parisona Hotel in Anthony, Lagos, with the blessings of twelve Ifa priests. It was alleged that some parents of the ladies objected the marriage which took place nevertheless since it wasn’t against the ladies’ wishes.

Why did Fela Kuti marry 27 wives? Historyspan gathered that Fela married the women to protect them and debunk the rumor that he was kidnapping them. The marriage ceremony was attended by Fela’s families, friends and band members.

During the marriage ceremony, Fela rendered a short speech, pressed naira notes on his new wives’ foreheads and gave them marriage certificates. Fela employed a rotation system of 12 wives at a time. After the marriage, Fela took his wives to Ghana for honeymoon.

However, in 1986, shortly after his release from prison, Fela Kuti divorced his 27 wives on the claim that marriage brings jealousy. It should be noted that they were not forced to leave even though he had divorced them; some lived with him until his death in 1997.Here are the names of the 27 women Fela married in a day: Fehintola Kayode (Seun’s Mum), Damiregba (Naijite, Motun’s Mum), Keuwe Oghomienor (Kewe), Folake Oladeinde (Alake), Folake Oladejo, Ronke Edason, Laide, Emaruagheru Osawe, Ihase, Shade Shodeinde, Suru Eriomola, Tejumade Adebiyi, Omolola Osaeti, Tokunbo Akran, Ronke (another one), Adejonwo, Lamiley, Funmilayo, Adunni, Remilekun, Kikelomo, Lara, Bose

Salaudeen Olayinka

A lover of history

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