Issue 46 2012

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GUESTLIST Issue 46 / 2012 7 SEUN KUTI Many know him as the son of the great Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, this man has since made a name for himself with a career in music and political activism. He talks to Oshi about his music, his family and his vision for Africa. Do you have any children yet to carry on? OSHI | It���s a pleasure to be talking to you, son of Fela Kuti, Afrobeat pioneer and poster child of the Nigerian people. Are you looking forward to your tour? Yeah, I���m flying out now to India. So tell me about your new music. You���ve got something new coming out? Yeah well actually, I���m working on my third album now. You have to keep working on the music, you can���t stop, you can���t take a break. You do an album, you tour it and then you start working on the new one. Right, your last album was a big album. What has been your biggest musical moment so far? because my dad died doesn���t mean the the music should stop. Do you believe Nigeria is in a better place because it���s a more educated generation? Not only Nigeria, Africa is in a better place because this generation is more educated. But I���m not saying western education is the key to freedom, western education is the system and to be able to fight the system, you must That is what I���m thinking about getting down to next year you know, I���m gonna be 30 next year, so I wanna try and make some babies. You���re Nigerian, you should have lots of babies by now? Haha! That���s a real misconception, not a lot of Nigerians have a lot a babies. I just want to be ready, I don���t just want to have a kid because I want to have a kid, I want to have a kid to raise right. I think I���m at that point of my life right now where I can work and electricity. If you could do one thing that would make Africa more beneficial for Africans, what would that be? One thing is knowledge, just handling more information is the big change I want to see in Africa. The money in Nigeria affects the money in Benin, the money in Benin affects in money in Ghana, the money in Ghana is connected with the money in Kenya. even for different ethnicities. What���s going in Kenya affects us in Lagos. Things like that ya know, so I think if I had the power the one thing I would do is provide ample knowledge. Using the internet and such. ���I���ve had a dream of swimming in champagne and just drinking it as you swim in it.��� Oh well you know, I think being in the studio recording my first album was really big. I would sit there and dream. Working with recording artists for me was a very big moment. understand the system and to understand the system, you must be educated in the system. This is the first time we are getting enough education and with the proper tools to make the right decisions for the future of Africa. Nice. You were fourteen when your dad died, how long did it take you before you took up the lead of Egypt 80? Does it feel good to be ���fulfilling your destiny��� as somebody who���s bringing these messages to the people? As soon as my dad died. I was actually playing with the band even before my dad died. So when my father died I just continued playing. That���s all it was. It wasn���t about being the leader and taking control, it was for the band to keep playing. Just Of course, I���m lucky to have been from the background that I���m from and been given the education and the weapons that I need to make these kind of decisions. So I���m really happy about where I am now. raise my kid at the same time. You came from a big family though. Has it been good to have lots of stepmothers? Well I lost my real mum, but this is one of the benefits of coming from a polygamist home, you���ve lost one mum, but you don���t lose them all. I still have women that are close to me like my mothers, they are mothers to me, they think about me, they talk to me, they give me advice, they give me help, they give me food. It���s a good life for you. But in Africa, you had 600 billion pounds in aid, you have all this oil, but some of you have not got Ok, so you think the spread of the internet across Africa can only be a good thing? Yeah of course, the internet is not in all of Africa. The internet needs to provide positive knowledge and direct knowledge to the whole population. I know that you do big things with your music, socially and consciously and you are spreading that knowledge. I know you do some things in politics outside of your music, too. Would you ever get into politics? In the future I want to be a very strong activist, influential in politics. But politicians can only be as powerful as the activists in opposition. So in terms of me being a politician I can���t see that happening anymore. I was thinking of being president before, but if I���m president I won���t criticise myself. I think the critic is more important than the president, if we have strong critics who have a strong following, who can influence elections with positivity then that���s more powerful than being the president. We all should criticise, but when you are in power you have to compromise. Power is all about compromise, you might lose focus, when you are the critic you are not tied down to that pressure, you can make decisions without losing focus because you know what you stand for. So this is my politics, the politics of the people. One random question. If you could fill a swimming pool with anything in the world then what would it be? Well you know, I���ve had a dream of swimming in champagne and just drinking it as you swim in it. How about filling another one with snakes and then send the bad people in Africa to swim with the snakes. That could work. That���s some interesting answers. Seun it���s been a pleasure talking to you. Yeah no problem, see me when I come back to London town. Listen to the interview online at guestlistnetwork

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