Actor Segun Arinze has said that Afro-beat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, is still relevant 20 years after his death.
Fela’s elder brother, Prof. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, a former Minister of Health, announced his death from complications related to HIV and AIDS on Aug. 2, 1997.
Arinze said in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday that the issues Fela addressed in his works were still relevant.
“He is a great icon and till date, his music still stands relevant. Most of those things he said in all his songs are prevalent till date.
“He was like a prophet but as the saying goes, a ‘prophet is not respected in his home town’, which is exactly what played out in his life.
“We still keep hope that the society will continue to imbibe the messages he left behind for the much needed change to come,’’ Arinze said.
Arinze described Fela as a great artiste, who understood how to use music to pass on messages.
He said Fela started passing messages before other activists started using music to propagate worthy and good causes.
“And of course, he was being recognised by the government, people and the society; Fela was great, we can never forget him in Nigeria, Africa and the world stage.
“It even got to a level of staging a play in his honour, Fela on Broad Way; what else can you ask for?’’ he asked.
Arinze said Fela’s works encouraged other musicians in Nigeria to pass positive messages through music.
He said musicians should learn, live and share experiences with people in their works.