FELA Anikulapo Kuti conducted his illustrious career with personal integrity. He never played for the sake of money; and best of all, Fela never played at parties. He was exclusively the big stage performer!
Having been described by pundits and AllMusic as one of Africa’s most “challenging and charismatic music performers” and a “musical and socio-political voice of international significance”, we urge the teeming fans of Rock & Roll worldwide to vote for Fela and make this posthumous honour a reality.
Already, as at the last view of the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fan voting official page nearly a week ago, Fela was topping the voting chart with 75,538 votes, while Tina Turner was following with 56, 464 votes. Foo Fighters trailed with 44, 934, while Iron Maiden was doing 34, 876 votes.
It is commendable that several Nigerian celebrities like Burna Boy, Mr. Macaroni and Don Jazzy have tweeted calls to their fans to vote for Fela Kuti, and Nigerians are voting massively. But it should not be reduced to nationalism because Fela is an international star.
Fela’s nomination for this prestigious award brings to focus the importance of our labours in life. It marks the difference between our ‘work’ and ‘job’. `The lifespan of our works exceed our lifetimes, while our jobs are engagements that merely put food on our tables.
“Works” have somewhat spiritual qualities. No wonder the Bible says that everyman’s work shall be tested by fire. If the products of our labours are consumed when subjected to the fire test, such labours cannot be called ‘works’.
The works of musicians like Fela and many scientists and inventors who bequeathed mankind with scientific inventions, for instance, cannot die because their essences go beyond the physical.
The lesson in this is for us to devote our efforts to works that can live long after we are gone from this world. The Nigerian youth who are rushing to vote for Fela must emulate his life of dedication to a career that is still being appreciated throughout the world long after his death. Greatness is not in money or material things. It is in our creative contributions to the advancement of humanity.
The music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) who suffered huge financial challenges before his death, for instance, are still being performed at concerts across the world and studied in universities, 230 years after his death. Today, also, millions of dollars are made annually by different recording companies that bought the copyrights to sell Mozart’s works.
Vote for Fela and also strive for greatness.