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Late Fela approached me in marriage to join his many wives – Onyeka Onwenu



Nigeria’s foremost music maestro, Onyeka Onwenu has revealed how the late African music legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti wanted her to marry him in the eighties.

She declined Fela’s proposal to her in marriage due to his many wives which she said, she can’t cope, according to her autobiography titled: “My Father’s Daughter.

The singer of a popular song, “One love, keep us together”, said, she is a possessive lover and did not understand Fela’s love for women.

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Onyeka wrote: “The second time I saw Fela was in 1984, a few years after I had returned from the United States. He had just been released from jail.

“He was arrested for attempting to travel with his band for a gig in London with the sum of 1,600 pounds for their hotel accommodation.

“At the time, carrying any amount of foreign currency was against one of the many decrees promulgated by the Buhari/Idiagbon military junta.

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“After he was released from prison, Fela sent a mutual friend, the journalist Onuorah Udenwa who is now a US-based pastor, to bring me to his club. I thought that he probably wanted to thank me for speaking up for him, but that was not it.

Onyeka expressed disappointment that Fela didn’t mention about the article she wrote in solidarity for him, but was only concern about marriage which she thanked him and declined.

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According to her, Fela’s female dancers who are eventually his wives noticed her presence and were looking at with scorn, while she was waiting for him at the club.

“They passed by often, whispering comments about me. They were downright hostile and quite obvious about it.

“I pointed this out to him and told him that I was a possessive lover and would not be able to cope as an appendage to his harem but Fela laughed.”

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