Why Fela Kuti Married 27 Women on the Same Day in 1978

Fela Kuti marriage to 27 women

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

 

Many of Fela’s band members became homeless after the devastating soldier attack on Fela’s commune (Kalakuta Republic) in 1977. In order to keep them together, Fela decided to do the unusual. He gave a piece of paper to his female band members requesting the names of those that would like to marry him; the entire twenty-seven female band members put down their names.

Fela's marriage with 27 women

After getting their consent, Fela Kuti married the 27 women on the 20th of February, 1978, 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.

Why did Fela Kuti marry 27 wives?

highlifextra gathered that Fela married the women to protect and keep them together. The marriage ceremony was attended by Fela’s families, friends and other band members.

Fela's marriage with 27 women

During the marriage ceremony, Fela rendered a short speech, pressed naira notes on his new wives’ foreheads and gave them marriage certificates. Fela embraced a rotation system of 12 wives at a time. After the marriage, Fela took his 27 wives to Ghana for honeymoon.

Fela and his wives

Names of 23 out of the 27 women Fela married in a day

  1. Fehintola Kayode (Seun’s Mum)
  2. Damiregba (Naijite, Motun’s Mum)
  3. Keuwe Oghomienor (Kewe)
  4. Folake Oladeinde (Alake)
  5. Folake Oladejo
  6. Ronke Edason
  7. Laide
  8. Emaruagheru Osawe
  9. Ihase
  10. Shade Shodeinde
  11. Suru Eriomola
  12. Tejumade Adebiyi
  13. Omolola Osaeti
  14. Tokunbo Akran
  15. Ronke (another one)
  16. Adejonwo
  17. Lamiley
  18. Funmilayo
  19. Adunni
  20. Remilekun
  21. Kikelomo
  22. Lara
  23. Bose

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 his house after the divorce; some lived with him till his death in 1997.

Thanks for reading, highlifextra.com

References:

  1. Omipidan, T. O. (2017, March 20). How and Why “Unknown Soldiers” Attacked Fela’s Home, Kalakuta Republic, in 1977. highlifextra. /2017/09/22/how-and-why-unknown-soldiers-invaded-felas-home-kalakuta-republic-in-1977/
  2. I was excited when Fela married 27 wives – Yeni Kuti – Encomium Magazine.