In the wake of the recently passed “anti-gay” law by our government and President Goodluck Jonathan, there has been much speculation online as to how Fela Kuti, my father, would react. So let us get this clear, and I will also express my own views on the matter.

My father would not support this law. He would know why the law was passed: as a way of distracting the population from the main problems we face today – poverty, lack of electricity and services, corruption, mismanagement, and so on and so forth.

That being said, Fela may have had some reservations about homosexuality itself. Who is to say? No one can speak for him. But Fela would not have had any reservations about upholding and protecting basic human rights. The right to choose your own sexuality and sexual behavior –as long as it is between consenting adults– is one such human right.

It’s a difficult topic for a lot of people in Nigeria to understand as it’s a very new issue that has never been quite public. Our culture and traditions and certain religious values make it more difficult for many to accept or understand, and it will take some time for those people to learn to respect the fundamental human rights of others to express themselves freely. People have said that being gay is “un-African” – I’m not an expert on our history, but I don’t know of anywhere the topic is mentioned in our history (I am not referring to Christian orthodoxy that was brought by non-African missionaries).

The gay community in Nigeria will have to be patient and realize acceptance of homosexuality is a gradual process which will take a very long time – especially in the north of Nigeria. But they must slowly put their case forward. They will need a lot of diplomatic support, and they will have to fight the law. They might definitely lose, but they will just have to keep on fighting for their fundamental right to live. There is no other choice.

We have to keep talking about the issue of gay rights, but it’s the government’s responsibility to take the lead to defend people’s fundamental rights. Citizens must have the right to be who they want to be.

-Femi Kuti

Visit Fela.net and the Regular Trademark store. Use discount code OKAYFELA for 15% off all orders!


13 Replies to "‘The Right To Choose Your Own Sexuality is a Human Right’ by Femi Kuti"
couragenigeria says:
February 24, 2014 at 11:42 pm

Facing the right direction. I wish Mr. Femi Kuti knows that I did not choose my sexuality, but I was born this way. I appreciate his advice that we continue to fight.

    walata says:
    February 27, 2014 at 9:05 am

    u lack senses man, Femi Kuti is a musician he will not support the law and will not go against it dnt you know gay listen to his music and you expect him to support the law right inside him he support thats why he asked them to wait till Jesus come…..

    I hate people like walata says:
    February 27, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    The fact that this sentence was so poorly worded just proves how uneducated you are.

    Maps Debo says:
    February 27, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    am so disappointed in femi kuti,if ur parents were gay would u be here chatting shit.better to be quiet than promote immorality

    I love africa says:
    February 28, 2014 at 4:18 am

    Is it not itself immoral to treat another human being as inferior due to their sexual preference? You need to focus on the prevalent corruption in your government and the absolute poverty some of your countrymen are living in instead of somehow seeing yourself an a moral pariah who has a clear idea of what immorality actually is. I’m not gay but If two consenting adults choose to have a homosexual relationship then that is THEIR problem, not yours. Focus more on what your taxes go towards and how your government choose to totally ignore the plight of its northern countrymen. Fuck prejudice!

    Jean-luc la Verna says:
    March 2, 2014 at 4:50 am

    stupid ape

    African Child says:
    March 4, 2014 at 10:30 am

    fuck all the gays. what a stupid excuse they are born like that. people are born thieves. so should thieves justify too just like these mad people called gays. gays don’t belong here on earth. they are the worse thing that has ever existed in the universe.

Kole says:
February 25, 2014 at 8:58 am

I think you must be outta space to say that.
I am not gay, but I’ll want you to understand what the call the fundamental human rights. In that context, let me leave you with this:

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

– The above was written by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group including GAYS.

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