African superstar, composer, singer, and musician, as well as mystic and political activist, Nigerian Fela Kuti, born in 1938, was controversy personified.
He was swept to international celebrity on a wave of scandal and flamboyance, and when he died of AIDS in 1997, more than a million people attended his funeral. But what was he really like, this man who could as easily arouse violent hostility as he could unswerving loyalty?
Carlos Moore's unique biography, based on hours of conversation and told in Fela's first-person vernacular, reveals the icon's complex personality and tumultuous existence. Moore includes interviews with fifteen of his queens (wives); photos; and an updated discography.
This November the Tony award-winning Broadway show FELA! – a musical celebration of Fela Kuti’s life – comes to the National Theatre, London. Kuti is also set to be the subject of a biopic from director Steve McQueen (Hunger) which is in development now.
Carlos Moore is a political scientist and an ethnologist. He is an honorary research fellow at the School for Graduate Studies and Research of the University of the West Indies–Kingston and the author of Pichón: Race and Revolution in Castro's Cuba.
Gilberto Gil is a composer, a bandleader, a singer, and a guitarist and has served as the Brazilian minister of culture since 2003.
Margaret Busby is a writer, a critic, a broadcaster, and the editor of Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Words and Writing by Women of African Descent.