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'The Right To Choose Your Own Sexuality is a Human Right' by Femi Kuti

'The Right To Choose Your Own Sexuality is a Human Right' by Femi Kuti.


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!

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Femi Kuti. Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100

Femi Kuti & Stromae Appear On a New Coldplay Song 'Arabesque'

The Nigerian afrobeat legend and Belgian-Rwandan pop star will feature on Coldplay's new album, Everyday Life.

In a sentence we never thought we'd type, both Femi Kuti and Stromae appear on a new song from Coldplay.

Both the Nigerian legend and Belgian pop star are featured on "Arabesque," a newly released Coldplay track from their upcoming "more experimental" album Everyday Life (due November 22 via Parlophone/Atlantic), which was shared by the band alongside the main single "Orphans."

"Arabesque" is an expansive composition built on what sounds like North African-inspired guitars and rhythms, which call to mind the likes of Bombino and Tinariwen. The song sees Stromae delivering a verse in French.

Femi Kuti comes in around the 2-minute mark for a solid and extensive saxophone solo. The song also notably features a sample of Fela Kuti's famous quote "music is the weapon of the future."

Coldplay's Everyday Life is being promoted as a double album, which is split into two halves, Sunrise and Sunset. "Arabesque" is from the Sunrise portion of the album, while "Orphans" is from Sunset.

Listen to both "Arabesque" and "Orphans" below.

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This Is What Afro Nation Festival Looked Like

The first edition of the urban beach festival—featuring Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido, and many more—looked incredible.

Afro Nation had its very first edition over the weekend in the Algarve region of Portugal.

The newly-launched gathering brought together top talent from across Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Jamaica, the U.K. and the U.S. for a 4-day long "urban beach festival."

Over its several days and nights, Afro Nation brought together afrobeats' rising stars with cemented legends for an impressive line-up.

The debut edition of Afro Nation boasted performances form the likes of Burna Boy, Davido, Wizkid, J Hus, D'Banj, Busy Signal, Buju Banton, Femi Kuti, Tiwa Savage, Adekunle Gold, Jidenna, Maleek Berry, Stonebwoy, Vanessa Mdee, and many more.

If you missed the action we've got some of the best moments and pictures from the debut Afro Nation festival below.

Afro Nation will be hosting a festival in Lagoma Beach in Accra, Ghana in December 27-30. Get more info on Afro Nation Ghana here.

See some highlights from the first ever Afro Nation festival below.

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Skales Enlists Falz and Harmonize for New Track 'Oliver Twist II Remix'

PREMIERE: Skales drops a standout remix of his single 'Oliver Twist,' featuring production from legendary producer Teddy Riley.

Nigerian artist Skales shares a massive new remix of his single "Oliver Twist," featuring Nigerian rapper Falz and Tanzanian singer Harmonize.

The track notably features co-production from legendary R&B and hip hop producer Teddy Riley. "I had been in talks with Teddy Riley since my last trip to London," Skales tells OkayAfrica about how the collaboration with the veteran producer came to be. "We've been sharing ideas about music. So when I made Oliver Twist with the original producer, TMXO, I sent it to him to give it a listen. He did and decided to add his Midas touch to it too."

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Yemi Alade Enlists Djimon Hounsou for New Music Video 'Remind You'

The veteran Beninese actor stars in the sultry music for Yemi Alade's latest single.

Yemi Alade shares her latest music video for her single "Remind You," and it stars none other than celebrated Hollywood actor Djimon Hounsou.

"Remind You" is a sultry R&B track from the singer's latest album, 2019's Woman of Steel. The vibrant music video, directed by Ovie Etseyatse, sees the singer gallivanting in an empty mansion in various elegant gowns. Honsou graces the screen throughout the video as well, but the two don't meet until the very end, when things take a funny and unexpected turn.

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