Trip To Kalakuta Museum In Lagos
The members of Nigeria Association of Tour Operators, (NATOP) and National Association of Nigeria Travel Agents, (NANTA), treated South African guests with a day trip to Kalakuta Republic located in Lagos, Nigeria. Kalakuta Republic Museum is where the popular afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti was buried and the place was commissioned by the former Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji FAshola on October 15, 2012, Fela’s birthday.
Our tour guide was Mr. Lemi, who worked with Fela Anikulapo Kuti for 19 years designed all his album covers and since he had his first encounter with Fela. He became a Pan Africanist, spreading his works through art and also portraying the true Africanism. He explained that Afrika Shrine started in Surulere and then it was burnt by the Military officers because Fela used to sing songs about the government despite warnings about his message.
It’s amazing that in our time we learnt about the legend, his life, the women he lived with and married, his children, the larger Kuti family, his lifestyle and his rebellious life. Fela was the man for everyone and he always had issues with the government.
Few things we learnt about Fela were;
- Fela loved ice cream
- Fela loved marijuana
- Fela had a shoe maker in Kaduna who made his shoes specially for him.
- He married 27 wives in one day.
- He divorced all his wives in one day.
- He never believed in the marriage system because he felt the institution made people selfish.
- After he was released from jail, he called all his wives together and divorced them on the basis that they were ‘free / loose’ while he was in prison and he never trusted them. It was explained to us that they would have slept with other men while he was in prison.
- His clothes were specially designed for him and he was never buttoned up. His button stopped at a particular spot, showing his bare chest.
- The day Fela was buried in Lagos, there was a standstill in the whole of Lagos and the police reported the day was a free crime day. All criminals in Lagos didn’t operate.
- One woman changed Fela’s mindset. She is named Sandra. They were lovers at a point and they broke up due to Fela’s affairs with women.
The museum is managed by Kunle Anikulapo Kuti and you can visit at a very cheap rate.
The tour ended at the New Afrika Shrine in Alausa, Ikeja. The New Afrika Shrine was built by Femi Anikulapo Kuti and it still runs till date. The shrine is a popular spot and also a tourist attraction.
This tour was eye-opener for many of us, as we heard things about Fela that we didn’t know before, increasing our respect for the late legend.