Afrobeat singer, Femi Kuti, has come under criticism for his decision not to engage in political activism as his renowned father, the late Fela.
Femi engaged in a Twitter debate with critics of his music on Tuesday where they accused him of failing to live up to the mark his father had made with his politically charged music.
One Fela fan, @trybeblogng, said, “@falzthebahdguy is simply the modern day Abami Eda of our generation. It is a pity @Femiakuti could not pull the string this far… #Longlive @felakuti.”
But Femi replied, “Pity for you. I’ve said it several times, I probably will have to repeat it till I die — I don’t want to be my father. I love him, I honour him, I respect him. But I want to be me. I love being me, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti. And I totally appreciate myself and my being.”
Another critic, Okezie Orji, said, “Could you have inherited Afrobeat if you weren’t Fela’s son? You would be a struggling crooner. Better remain in Abami Eda’s shoes because you have none.”
However, Femi stated that he did not inherit Afrobeat.
“It’s the style of music I grew up with and I love to play. It’s not my fault I’m Fela’s child. Maybe he should never have slept with my mother and I probably would be with our Lord God relaxing. And sir, after 10 albums, I don’t need to prove anything to you,” he added.
Yet another critic, Buchi Seles, said, “A lot (of people) see you as a man of your word. You tweeted in 2015 that you had a discussion on the future of Nigeria with the deputy of a man that jailed your father to rule again. Accept your mistake; that’s what makes you a gentleman.”
Femi replied, “Yes, I told him what he should do for the youths of this country. And I told him I could not support him. As I repeated same when he came to Felabration last year in front of him and the crowd, I repeated the encounter; he did not deny it.”
Similarly, @Allakori criticised the Grammy-nominated artiste, saying, “But sir, daddy, if Fela did not use his platform to push for emancipation of the people, the name Anikulapo would not mean anything. Your dad gave you a voice, name and legacy. Inasmuch as you are your own person, you need to stay true to the ideology of your dad. #iamFELA”
In his response, Femi said, “Really? I shouldn’t bother answering but I will, just this once. How can you say the name Anikulapo wouldn’t mean anything? What about musicians that aren’t political and have a name? What about people that have built names without their parents? Lastly, how many of my tracks do you know? I have composed over 120 songs.”