Kalakuta Republic: Vintage Photos From Fela Kuti’s Homestead

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Around noon on Friday, February 18, 1977, about a thousand heavily armed government troops stormed the Kalakuta Republic, Afrobeat pioneer and outspoken human rights activist Fela Kuti’s residence at 14, Agege Motor Road, Idi-Oro, Mushin, Lagos.

After a fifteen-hour siege in which mortars were presumably fired, the building was in flames, women had been raped and Fela’s mother, women’s rights activist Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was badly injured after being thrown out a second-floor window along with her son. Mrs. Ransome-Kuti later lapsed into a coma in which she remained till her death on April 13, 1978.

Since rebuilt, the Kalakuta Republic was converted to a museum by the government of Lagos in 2012. Head below to see pre-1977 photos (courtesy of The Nigerian Nostalgia Project) of Fela, his wives and dancers as well as a clip from Music Is My Weapon, the 1982 documentary on the legend. Also, stream Zombie, the anti-government song released shortly before the irate Olusegun Obasanjo-led military regime ordered the vicious attack on Kalakuta.

Kalakuta Queens: Vintage Photos Of The Women Who Reigned With Fela Kuti

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Afrobeat legend and human rights activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti loved his weed. And his briefs (if you can call them that). And his women. Check out photos of the ‘queens’ who stood by him over the many turbulent years at his infamous Shrine (now a museum), courtesy of The Nigerian Nostalgia Project.