Former Nigerian singer Onyeka Onwenu, now 68, revealed that Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, who died on 2 August 1997 in Lagos, approached her to marry her in the 1980s. Onyeka made the revelation in his new autobiography.
Nigerian singer-songwriter, actress, human rights activist, social activist, journalist, politician and former judge of the « X Factor » series, Onyeka Onwenu (68 years old), could have become one of the many wives of Fela Kuti, who died on 2 August 1997 in Lagos. She revealed that the legend of Afrobeat had approached her to marry her in the 1980s. She stated this in her new autobiography, entitled « My Father’s Daughter ».
Onyeka Onwenu revealed that she had rejected Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s proposal during her visit to his club because of his other wives. According to the Nigerian diva, she is a possessive lover and was not willing to share Fela’s love with other women (Fela Kuti had married 27 women on the same day, editor’s note).
Recalling how Fela Kuti proposed marriage to her, Onyeka Onwenu wrote: « The second time I saw Fela was in 1984, a few years after my return from the United States. He had just been released from prison. He was arrested for trying to travel with his band to a concert in London with the sum of 1,600 pounds (over 1.18 million CFA francs) for their hotel accommodation. At the time, carrying any amount of foreign currency was contrary to one of the many decrees issued by the military junta Buhari and Idiagbon ».
« After being released from prison, Fela sent a mutual friend, the journalist Onuorah Udenwa, who is now a pastor based in the United States, to take me to his club. I thought he probably wanted to thank me for defending him, but that wasn’t it. He never even mentioned the article I had written in solidarity with him. Fela wanted to marry me and I was flattered. I thanked him for the honour he did me, including wanting me to become his wife, but I still refused, » she revealed.