Nigerian music sensation Burna Boy recently shared his thoughts on the impact Fela Kuti would have had if he lived in the modern era. During a candid conversation with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe in New York, Burna Boy reflected on Fela’s legacy.
It’s worth noting that Burna Boy’s maternal grandfather, Beson Idonjie, was Fela Kuti’s first manager. Burna Boy expressed his belief that Fela’s timing was serendipitous, allowing him to use music as a potent medium for his messages. He explained,
“It’s become apparent to me that the present times are quite peculiar. Fela faced challenges in his era that, if he were alive today, might have sparked a different reaction. Many of the people who now celebrate Fela in Nigeria could very well have been the same individuals reporting him to the authorities through social media platforms, had they existed back then.
Ultimately, I believe that divine timing is at play. The circumstances align perfectly for each individual. If Fela were to start his career today, he might not find the same freedom to explore his conscious creativity. The contemporary landscape contains too many elements that don’t harmonize with his spirit. Presently, spirituality seems to have faded into the background.
Our society is now dominated by ignorance and foolishness. This was true even during Fela’s time, but it wasn’t as magnified or as accessible as it is today. Nowadays, these negative aspects seem to define much of our interactions.
I’m profoundly thankful that Fela lived during his era. This allows us to truly grasp his organic essence, understand his principles, and absorb the messages he conveyed to us.”
In essence, Burna Boy underscores the significance of the era in which Fela Kuti lived. It provided him with the right platform to communicate his ideals through music, enabling his legacy to remain authentic and impactful.