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Children’s Book Review: Fela Anikulapo Kuti

Title: Fela Anikulapo Kuti

Author: Ola Ajibola

Publisher: Lantern Books

Number of pages: 126

Type of Book: Creative Non-fiction

Age: 8-12

Available here and other major bookshops.

Price: N400




This book is a beautiful account of the life of Afro beat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. It shows interesting details from his birth, his early childhood with strict parents and his career as a musician, to his rise to fame as the King of Afro beats and the voice of the Nigerian people in the fight against oppression and corruption in the 1980s. It details an important slice of Nigerian history in a fictitious/fictional and appealing manner. The perfect summer read for the child with a love for history.



UP: The description of the antics of the young Fela, the attacks on Fela’s home, Kalakuta Republic and the story behind most of the songs he released in the 1980s made this a pleasurable read. Another plus was the fact that the book features a glossary for complex words and a page filled with questions – for the parent who would like to ensure their child read the book. *wink*

DOWN: The book was so badly written. The author seemed to write in ‘Nigerian’ English. “What a fool I have been all these while”, “He then started asking questions and was getting the right and convincing answers” “He fixed a cold gaze at the minister who still refused to mind him” “He saw that musicians will be the ones ruling the world …”, to list but a few. It is almost inappropriate for children who wish to learn proper use of English. I’m not sure whom to blame, the author, the editor(s), or the publisher. Maybe all of them really. It was also ridden with grammatical errors.


RATING: 4 stars

I have rated it 4 stars in spite of these errors because it captures the life of a legend in a truly beautiful way.



1. Why did Fela play music? He played music because he wanted to be the voice of the people and to stop oppression and other societal vices in Nigeria.

2. How many wives did Fela marry in one day? 27 wives

3. What course did Fela’s parents want him to study and what did he eventually study: Medicine and Music

4. What were the first and last names of Fela’s band? Koola Lobitos and Egypt 80

5. How did Fela stop Billy the bully? He shot stones at him many times with his catapult until Billy bled and had to have his head bandaged.

6. What programme is held every year in honour of Fela’s memory? Felabration



About the Writer: Ugochinyelu Anidi is a lawyer and a children’s literature enthusiast. She blogs at and tweets @UgochinyeluA




CHALLENGE: Fela Anikulapo Kuti


Are you a true history buff? How well do you know Fela? Can you answer the question below:


Fela’s communal compound, Kalakuta Republic was located at ………………………. (give the address in full)


Send your answers to


Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.


Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Wednesday, August 12th.






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Ugochinyelu Anidi is a lawyer and a children’s literature enthusiast. She blogs at and tweets @UgochinyeluA

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