Late Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician and human right activist, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, passed on 22 years ago today.
Here are seven(7) things you may not know about his death:
1. Fela Kuti’s body was encased in a five side glass coffin and staged for public viewing after he was laid to rest at the site of the old shrine compound.
2. Although it was proved that he was HIV/AIDS positive, Fela was reported to have denied the existence of HIV and said that it was a “disease of white men.”
3. Contrary to the medical report on the cause of his death, some of the former Fela Kuti’s wives denied Fela Kuti HIV diagnose. They claim the cause of his death was the severe beating he received when his house was attacked.
4. Fela refused to be tested to determine the cause of his weight loss and skin lesions, attributing them to spiritual change and growth of new skin.
5. On the year of Fela’s death, UNAIDS estimated that 30 million people had HIV, equating to 16,000 new infections a day.
6. His son, Femi Kuti, has been vocal about HIV/AIDS prevention since 1997 and was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in 2002, making him an important figure as he broadens UNICEF’s reach to young people worldwide.
7. Kuti’s final piece was called C.S.A.S (Condom Scallywag and Scatter) which condemned condoms as ‘un-African’, but ultimately Fela died from AIDS-related complications in 1997 at the age of 58.