Why I turned down FELA on Broadway lead role – Seun Kuti


It was a shocking revelation when Seun, scion of the late Afro-beat icon, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, revealed that he turned down the lead role of FELA on the Broadway, the hit musical attracting high profile audience across the world, which include American First Lady, Michelle Obama, Kofi Annan, Spike Lee, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Denzel Washington, Beyoncé, Harry Belafonte, among countless others.

With three Tony Awards, financial backing and personal involvement of Sean “Jay Z” Carter and Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, among other notable achievements, one would have thought it a perfect platform to showcase Seun to the world, but he thought otherwise and turned down the offer to play the lead role.
Speaking on his reasons for turning down the role in an interview with an entertainment journal, E-247, SeunKuti said, “It would give ammunition to those who say I am copying my father, and also due to the demands of his forthcoming album, From Africa with Fury: Rise, recorded in Brazil and produced by Brian Eno and John Reynolds in London.

Seun, a better saxophonist than his father, took over Fela’s Egypt ‘80 band at the age of 14 and has kept the band going till now, and though the band’s leader, he is the youngest member.
From Africa with Fury: Rise is set for release in North America in June.

Story: Babajide Oyinwonuola

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