One of the most famous, international Yoruba icons in history is Fela Kuti. Fela is well known for his keen and creative sense of music and his strong, bold political views and actions. Fela Kuti was a multi-instrumentalist, composer and musician; a human rights activist, pioneer of afro-beat, and was politically orthodox. Although many people knew him as Fela Kuti, his full name was Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti. In the Yoruba culture it is very common that names have meaning, even as a prayer. The following are the meaning of the names of Fela: Olufela- God expands wealth; Olusegun- God is victorious; Oludotun- God becomes new.
Fela was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria into a middle class family. Both his mother and father were from Yorubaland! There were many things, however, that made Fela stand out from other artists of his time which were around the 1970s. For one thing, Fela had a very keen sense of style. He was a comfortable person in his skin and his boldness caught the eyes of many people. The detail about him that caused people from just looking at him to loving him was his music. Fela had a very unique type of music called afro-beat. On top of all of that, he took his boldness and illustrated it in his songs. Most of his songs were very blunt. They spoke of things such as love, life, religion, and politics. Fela spoke his mind and didn’t care who heard it. Unfortunately, in 1997, Fela Kuti passed away. However, his music and legacy has not. He is a well respected world icon who is noted as one of the greatest Yoruba people in history!