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Africa's Cult Musician: Fela Anikulapo Kuti

Nicholas Jennings, Maclean's, 13 October 1986

WHEN ONE OF Africa's most celebrated musicians receives visitors at his home in the Nigerian capital of Lagos, he lounges in little more than a striped bathing suit, which tends to slip down in the back. But when Fela Anikulapo Kuti jumps on stage to perform, his costume is a study in flamboyance. He wears a blue jump suit and pants embroidered with saxophones. His act is equally colourful. He sways his saxophone and waves his arms to keep his 27 musicians in line. Between blasts of his multi-colored sax, Fela sings in pidgin English the provocative lyrics that have aroused the ire of the military government of his native Nigeria—and which have won him the title of the Afrobeat King, as critics have called him, as well as the praise of a growing number of music lovers around the world.

Total word count of piece: 981

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