•Why I was absent —Seun Kuti
By Rotimi Agbana
When the president of a foreign nation visits another country, he is taken on a guided tour of the host country’s places of interests and tourist attractions centres while the government officials play the hosts. But when the visiting president opts to unwind and be entertained at the home of a private citizen, every member of the family becomes excited at the publicity and the new status the visit confers on him or her
The visit of the French President, Emmanuel Macron to the New Afrika Shrine last week was out of the ordinary. As hosts of the president of a European country, the entire members of the Anikulapo-Kuti family were therefore expected to be excited. But one of the daughters of the late Afrobeat king, Motunrayo Anikulapo-Kuti felt otherwise and she had her reasons. Motunrayo is the only daughter of Najite and Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
As other members of the Anikulapo-Kuti family were enjoying the euphoria and the glamour which President Macron’s visit has brought to the family, Motunrayo said the visit meant nothing to her.
According to her, “in a way the visit of President Macron doesn’t really mean anything to me because I didn’t meet him personally and I don’t think he knows me. Although I appreciate the fact that he respects my brother, Femi Kuti and our family name”. However, she lamented how she lost her initial excitement about the visit due to how she was badly treated by security operatives.
“I was excited at first but on that fateful day all the excitement died. I understand the security measures that were taken but I didn’t like how it was handled. I was attended to rudely; maybe because I’m not famous or whatever their reasons may have been I don’t know” she lamented.
Speaking further, she disclosed that Macron’s visit has not paid off on the Anikulapo-Kuti family monetarily.
“His visit has not paid the Anikulapo-Kuti family monetarily; but I think in the aspect of recognition, yes, it has. Even as everybody pretended like it did not; and when I say everybody I mean the people, not my family because we obviously know and acknowledge Macron’s visit”, she said.
She added that if her late father, Fela, were to be alive, he would have been excited about the epoch-making event.
“If Fela were to be alive, he definitely would share in the excitement. I mean looking at it from the aspect of Macron being a European because the Europeans are very good friends of the family and our family name”, she concluded.
Motunrayo’s brother, Seun Anikulapo-Kuti who was also absent during President Macron’s visit however declined commenting on how he felt about the visit.
In an exclusive chat with Showtime, Seun explained that the real reason he wasn’t on ground for the visit wasn’t because he had a quarrel with his elder brother.
“If you bothered to check you will find out that I have been on tour for weeks now; so I was absent because I had other commitments and not because I have a fight with Femi Kuti”, he declared.