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TOP THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT FELA KUTI

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Fela Anikulapo Kuti is a popular Nigerian singer, composer, instrumentalist and human rights activist. The legendary musician is arguably one of the best performers in the history of music in Africa. He is known have recorded many, I mean a lot, of songs and albums. He was used to composing and performing new songs rather than singing the ones he had already recorded. He was an outspoken personality who used his music at every chance he had to criticize the evils in government and the wrong ways things are done. The music style, Afrobeat, is a style started and owned by the singer and it is what has been transformed into different sounds all around the world. He is considered a music legend by many. In recent times, modern day artistes have been compared to Fela Kuti for their style of music, performance and popularity. The legendary musician died in 1997. Join me as I take you through his early life and childhood, music career, personal life and some of his songs.

FELA KUTI’S EARLY LIFE AND CHILDHOOD

Fela’s birth name was Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti. He changed his original surname, Ransome-Kuti, and replaced it with Anikulapo because the name “Ransome” was a slave name. He was born on the 15th August 1938 in the then Abeokuta Western Region of British Nigeria. His brith place is now called Abeokuta in Ogun State, Nigeria. 

His father, Isreal Oludotun Ransome-Kuti was an Anglican minister and a school principal. He was a founding member of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and Nigerian Union of Students. His mother, Olufumilayo Ransome-Kuti, was an activist in the anti-colonial movement. In 1973, she was part of a group that fought for the abolition of separate taxes for women. Beko Ransome-Kuti and Olikoye Ransome-Kuti were his two brothers and they were well known medical doctors. 

He attended Abeokuta Grammar School as part of his early education before sent to London, where he studied music at the Trinity College of Music as opposed to his family’s decision to study medicine. He played different instruments at the college but he was quite fond of the trumpet.

FELA KUTI’S MUSIC CAREER

He first formed a band called Koola Lobitos during his days at the music college. He moved back to Nigeria in 1963 and continued the band there while also training as a radio producer for the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation. At the time he was able to perform at several shows and also shared the stage with Victor Olaiya and his band. Fela moved again to Ghana in 1967 and it was then he coined the name for his music as “Afrobeat”. He spent two years in Ghana and moved to Los Angeles with his band afterwards. 

The band soon changed its name to Nigeria ’70 and then later Afrika ’70. In the early ‘70s, he formed Kalakuta Republic, a community of people connected to the band and also a recording studio. At the time, Fela’s music was becoming widely popular in the country and also Africa. He released an album with his band titled “Zombie” which was an attack on Nigerian Soldiers. The album was an instant hit and it helped Fela to gain even more popularity. The album also caused chaos in Kalakuta as soldiers attacked the community, leaving behind many casualties including Fela and his mother. The community was also burned and Fela lost his studio, instruments and other things in it including recordings.

As response to that, Fela delivered his mother’s coffin to the residence of General Olusegun Obasanjo and released two songs titled “Coffin for Head of State” and “Unknown Soldier”. After the whole turn of events, he went on to perform at several events including a concert in Accra and also the Berlin Jazz Concert. He released other albums, one of which was “Beast of No Nation”, an anti-apartheid track with U.S President Ronald Reagan, U.K Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and South African President Pieter Willem Botha, all on its cover. His songs were always long, at least 10 to 15 minutes long. He once recorded a 30 minutes long track. Fela stopped releasing songs in the 1990s.

FELA KUTI’S PERSONAL LIFE

Fela Kuti married his first wife, Remilekun, in 1960. She had three children for him; Femi, Yeni and Sola. The legendary singer also married 27 women on the same day in 1978. It was a move that squashed rumours that he was kidnapping women. The marriage earned him a place in the Guiness Book of Records. He is a cousin of Nigeria’s first Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka. In 1979, he formed a political party named “Movement of the People”. His decision to contest for presidency though the party was however rejected. 

In 1984, BBC aired a documentary film based on his life titled “Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense”. He was announced dead on August 3 1997 by his brother who said he died from complications related to AIDS.

FELA KUTI’S SONGS

Some of his songs include;

  • Fela Fela Fela
  • Why Black Man Dey Suffer
  • Open & Close
  • Shakara
  • Gentleman
  • Expensive Shit
  • Water No Get Enemy
  • Zombie
  • Sorrow Tears and Blood
  • Black President
  • Unknown Soldier
  • Beast Of No Nation
  • Confusion Break Bones

 

 

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ENTERTAINMENT

TOP THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MODE 9

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Babatunde Olusegun Adewale is a popular Nigerian rapper and lyricist who goes by the stage name, Mode 9. The rapper has been in the industry for a very long time and is one of the leading rappers in Nigerian music history. He has recorded several albums and also had mixtapes released to his name. He is also a multi-award winning rapper, having a record of most wins at the Headies Awards. He owned the “Lyricist of the Year” award category for a long time and no one has been able to dominate as much as he did in recent times. Join me as I take you through his early life and childhood, music career, personal life and some of his songs.

MODE 9’S EARLY LIFE AND CHILDHOOD

The rapper was born on the 14th of June 1975 in London, United Kingdom to Nigerian parents who hailed from Osun State. He is the third children of his parents. His secondary school education was at Agboju Seconday School and then he proceeded to Federal Polytechnic, Bida in Niger State where he bagged a degree in Building Technology. His music influences were Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five. 

MODE 9’S MUSIC CAREER

Mode 9 started music as far back as the early 2000s. He released his debut project in 2004 for “Malcolm IX”. The album enjoyed a fair amount of success and it helped gained the rapper popularity in the industry. He was known for his incredible rap style and fast became one of the lead rappers in the industry. He released another album two years later in 2006 for “Pentium IX”. At the time, he was already recognised as a good lyricist and rapper and he was already bagging awards for it.

Mode 9 didn’t stop at that, he released several other albums. He has recorded eight studio albums and five mixtapes to his name. He has also released five featured albums with the most recent recorded with Black Intelligence for “Hence4th” in 2018. His most recent album was in 2019 for “Monument”. The rapper, at a time, stopped releasing his albums in Nigeria because he felt Nigerians gave up on him.

His awards list is quite the collection. He has won 9 Headies Awards to his name and bagged the Lyricist Award of the Year seven times in a row, which still stands as a Headies record. He also has won a number of Channel O Awards for music videos. 

MODE 9’S PERSONAL LIFE

Mode 9 loves to keep information about his personal life private. There is no known information about if the veteran rapper is in any relationship.

MODE 9’S SONGS

Some of his songs include;

  • Where Una Dey
  • Nigerian Girls
  • Insulin
  • Elbow Room
  • Nine
  • Cry
  • Kaiser Flow
  • 419 State of Mind
  • Collage
  • It’s a Goal
  • 360 Poetry
  • Super Human
  • Polymath

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ENTERTAINMENT

TOP THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MO CHEDDAH

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Modupe Oreoluwa Oyeyemi Ola is a Nigerian singer, rapper and songwriter who goes by the stage name “Mo Cheddah”. She always loved music as a child and even started singing from a young age. Her big break came with the release of her song titled “The Finest” featuring Sauce Kid and Tito. Following the release of the track, Mo Cheddah went on to drop even more songs and then her debut album. “Komaroll”, “If You want me” and “Destinambari” featuring Phyno are three of her other big songs in her career. Join me as I take you through her early life and childhood, music career, personal life and some of her songs.

MO CHEDDAH’S EARLY LIFE AND CHILDHOOD

The talented singer was born on the 26th of October 1990 in Lagos though she hails from Osun State, Nigeria. She was the fourth of five children. She had her early education in Lagos with her primary school education at University of Lagos Staff school and her secondary school education at Our Lady of Apostles school in Yaba, Lagos. After that, she proceeded to the University of Lagos to pursue a degree in Creative Arts. 

MO CHEDDAH’S MUSIC CAREER

Mo Cheddah’s music career started from when she was 12. She got signed to a record label named Knighthouse Entertainment when she was 13. At the time she was still in school and she expected to be a child star. She used to spend time in studios during her holidays. She released her first song when she was 17 and from there she became popular. The first single was titled “Las Birdie”. She went on to record the song with Sauce Kid and Tito titled “The Finest”. The song was a hit upon release and helped her gain even more popularity. The song ultimately launched her music career.

Following up the previous successes of her singles, she dropped another hit titled “If You Want Me”. The song also enjoyed a period of success and got her the award for Best New Artist at the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) in 2010. The video for the song also got Best Female Video at the Channel O Music Video Awards. Her debut album dropped in 2010 for “Franchise Celebrity”. She left her record label, Knighthouse Entertainment, after a while and went on to start her own which she called it “Cheddah Music”.

 Mo Cheddah took a break from music when she was 21 because she wanted to enjoy a normal life. She came back after a couple of years. 

MO CHEDDAH’S PERSONAL LIFE

She is married to longtime boyfriend,  Bukunyi Olateru Olagbeji. Asides music, she is a fashion designer. She also runs a blog.

MO CHEDDAH’S SONGS

Some of her songs include;

  • My Time
  • Bad ft Olamide
  • Tori Oloun
  • Coming for You ft May D
  • Destinambari ft Phyno
  • Survive
  • See Me
  • Shampoo
  • No be Money
  • Wole Pelu Change

 

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TOP THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT PRINCE NICO MBRAGA

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Prince Nico Mbraga might not be very popular but his hit single titled “Sweet Mother” is one of the greatest African songs to be released till date. The song sold over 13 million copies, even more than any of the Beetles classic songs. Together with his band for a couple of years, Rocafil Jazz, he recorded several  other songs though none of them was able to match the success and greatness of “Sweet Mother”. His style of music is known as Highlife. Unfortunately, the singer died in 1997. Join me as I take you through his early life, music career, personal life and some of his songs.

PRINCE NICO MBRAGA EARLY LIFE

The “Sweet Mother” crooner was born on the 1st of January in 1950 to a Nigerian mother and a Cameroonian father. He was born in Abakaliki part of eastern Nigeria though he hails from Obubra in Cross River State. His father was a music lover and he worked to get salary from sawing timber. When he was still young, his father bought a Phillips radio and from there he listened and grew interest in music. He listened to songs like Bobby Benson’s Taxi Driver and Rex Lawson’s Yellow Sisi. He spent a couple of years in Cameroon growing up in the late 60s during the Nigerian Civil War. While in school, he learnt how to play several instruments such as conga, xylophone, drums and the electric guitar.

PRINCE NICO MBRAGA MUSIC CAREER

His music style was influenced by his time in Cameroon. In 1970, he started music professionally as a member of a hotel band named “Melody Orchestra”.  He later returned to Nigeria in 1972 and formed his own band, Rocafil Jazz. Their debut single wasn’t successful as they expected but they moved on to release a second for “I No Go Marry Your Papa”. The song enjoyed success locally in his part of the country.

Eventually the hit came with “Sweet Mother”. It came at a time when their recording contract had just been dropped by EMI. They got signed with an Onitsha based label named “Rogers All Stars”. He dropped the hit single with the band and then went as popular as going outside the country and then the continent. The huge success gained by the singer helped him go on tours in different countries including England. He performed with the likes of London based band, Ivory Coasters.

“Sweet Mother” appeared to be the only hit song the band would record and Prince Nico Mbraga quit music after a time when his band split and then he formed a new one. His hit song has been tagged as the best selling song in history by an African singer and was once voted as Africa’s favourite song by BBC. The song was also called “Africa’s Anthem”.

PRINCE NICO MBRAGA PERSONAL LIFE

After he quit music, he focused on managing his hotel in Ikom, Cross River State. He named the hotel Sweet Mother Hotel. Prince Nico Mbraga died in a motorcycle accident on 23rd June 1997.

PRINCE NICO MBRAGA SONGS

  • I No Go Marry Your Papa
  • Sweet Mother
  • Christiana
  • Family Movement
  • Wayo Inlaw
  • Stella
  • Good Father
  • Free Education in Nigeria
  • Love and Unity for Africa
  • Adam & Eve

 

 

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