INTERVIEW: People Used To Look Down On Us As Fela’s Children – Yeni Kuti

Omoyeni ‘Yeni’ Anikulapo-Kuti in a recent interview with The Punch ‘Saturday Beats’ speaks on what society expects of a woman and what growing up was like for her.

Yeni, as she is fondly referred to, is the first child of Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti, a descendant of the Ransome-Kuti family.

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The ever-gorgeous 61-year-old who is a former dancer is the managing director of New Afrika Shrine, an open-air entertainment centre located in Ikeja, Lagos State. It serves as the host location of the annual Felabration music festival. She is also a television presenter at TVC.

Sharing her views about marriage, she said that contrary to what some think, a woman does not need to get married to feel fulfilled or complete. She said,

“I think women have become more independent and now know who they are. They now know that they don’t have to be married to ‘be somebody’ (fulfilled or complete).

They now know that they are a person in their own right. For me, it is a good thing. Women are now getting married because they want to, not just because they want to be addressed as somebody’s wife.”

When asked about the benefits she has enjoyed because of her father’s name while growing up, she said,

“I did not enjoy any benefits because back then, people used to look down on us because we were Fela’s children.”

Speaking further, she was asked if she later had such privileges as an adult, she said,

“No, I did not. My father felt sorry for me when I was over 30 years old and bought my sister and I a television. However, I could afford to buy myself a TV then because I was already working.

“My father did not spoil children. The best treatment we had then as children were chopper bikes and before we got them, my mum had to speak for us.”

When asked about the changes she will like to see in the country, she said,

“I desire a leader who has the genuine interest of Nigeria at heart. I do not want a leader that is self-centred but one who considers the people all the time.”

Responding to the question that forms her lifestyle, she said,

“I don’t know. I just dress the way I should. I love to dress well, and I think I took that from my late father.”

Credit: The Punch

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