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Fela was not quite a good father – Yeni Kuti

Fela was not quite a good father – Yeni Kuti

Yeni Kuti, daughter of Afrobeats legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti has said the late singer was not a good father despite being an icon in the music industry.

The matriarch of the Fela dynasty stated this in a recent interview. Yeni during a recent chat with media personality, Chude Jideonwo, recalled how her father once called her and other siblings useless children. 

Yeni stated that although she never confronted her dad about not being a good father, the late singer and his first son, Femi often had clashes.

She said, “He [Fela] was not quite a good father. No [I never told him that he isn’t a good father]. Maybe Femi, not me. Femi and Fela used to have battles. And Femi will give it to him straight.

“I can remember one day, Fela just came and said, ‘Three of you are useless children’. Femi just said, ‘For what?’ Femi just started facing him and then they started facing each other. Shola and I will say, ‘it’s okay’. Fela will say, ‘No’. And Femi just said, ‘Let him go’.

“I don’t think I have ever had that kind of confrontation with my father. Maybe because I was a woman.”

Yeni also mentioned the strained relationship between Fela and his first son, Femi, highlighting that they often had battles and Femi would openly express his disagreements with their father. In contrast, Yeni and her sister, Shola, were more timid and perhaps remained silent due to societal expectations. 

She recounted a specific incident when Fela insulted them and Femi stood up to him, resulting in a confrontation between father and son. Yeni and Shola would try to mediate and calm the situation, but Femi was more assertive in expressing his thoughts. 

Yeni concluded by mentioning that she never had such confrontations with her father, possibly because she was a woman and felt a certain restraint in challenging him directly.

Author: Okunlola Kayode. F


Lagos, Nigeria