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Fela: This Bitch of A Life
“I’ve never met a more fearless, direct, activist, fiercely radical, rebel, courageous warrior, prolific, and gifted person like FELA. I admired his honesty, was often puzzled by his contradictory lifestyle, was in total awe of his musical genius, relished his outrageous sense of humour, deeply treasured his friendship and was absolutely inspired by his fathomless generosity. This Bitch of a Life illustrates an extremely heartbreaking phase in this incredibly gifted master musician’s experiences. It is filled with so many occasions of savage torture on FELA’s soul, being and psyche: trumped up criminal charges, military onslaught, seamless court appearances. Kangaroo-court convictions and imprisonment accompanied by a nauseating inhumanity that caused FELA unimaginable misery.” — Hugh Masekela, Musician and Friend
African superstar, composer, singer, and musician, as well as mystic and political activist, Nigerian Fela Kuti, born in 1938, was controversy personified.
He was swept to international celebrity on a wave of scandal and flamboyance, and when he died of AIDS in 1997, more than a million people attended his funeral. But what was he really like, this man who could as easily arouse violent hostility as he could unswerving loyalty?
Carlos Moore’s unique biography, based on hours of conversation and told in Fela’s first-person vernacular, reveals the icon’s complex personality and tumultuous existence. Moore includes interviews with fifteen of his queens (wives); photos; and an updated discography.
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Carlos Moore is a political scientist and an ethnologist. He is an honorary research fellow at the School for Graduate Studies and Research of the University of the West Indies–Kingston and the author of Pichón: Race and Revolution in Castro's Cuba. Gilberto Gil is a composer, a bandleader, a singer, and a guitarist and has served as the Brazilian minister of culture since 2003. Margaret Busby is a writer, a critic, a broadcaster, and the editor of Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Words and Writing by Women of African Descent.