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Finding Fela

FINDING FELA tells the story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s life, his music, his social and political importance – whose influence helped bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria and promoted Pan Africanist politics to the world.

Director: Alex Gibney
Year: 2014
Time: 119 min
Club Member Rating:
 Finding Fela!
(2014) on IMDb

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US: JustWatch
North America: Vimeo
Other Ways To Watch

Download Discussion Guide

Ways to Influence

Share this film. Give others the chance to be inspired by its story.

Listen to Fela Kuti’s music. Visit the Knitting Factory Records website to access his past archive. 

Consider supporting  UNICEF, they work in Nigeria to promote the rights of women and children in the areas of health and nutrition, basic education, and water and sanitation.

Support Playing For Change – a foundation that aims to connect the world through music with the underlying belief that “music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people.”

Participate in AVERT’s work to address AIDS across the globe through education, treatment, and care.

Related Articles and Resources

Africa’s Bob Marley – or an African Handel?

“When I met Fela Kuti, the self-styled “Black President”, he was in a London hotel wearing only a pair of red underpants, smoking a massive joint, surrounded by three of his wives (he notoriously married 26 in one day) and his personal magician, a Ghanaian who called himself Professor Hindu. This was in 1984…”

Peter Culshaw looks back on the man he met decades ago in this BBC article. 

Activist Sandra Izsadore on FINDING FELA

“Radio host Tom Schnabel, Sandra Izsadore, and Ade James discuss the film and the its subject Fela Kuti after the film’s west coast premiere at Sonos Studio in Los Angeles on Tuesday, August 12, 2014.”

Watch the video on youtube.

Femi Kuti

Musician Femi Kuti, second child of Fela Kuti,  discusses pan-Africanism, the state of African leadership and the need to understand history in this Aljazeera article. 

SPOTIFY

Listen to our playlist with music from the film on Spotify.

“I Get Bored Fast”

“There aren’t many musicians who can lay claim to an entirely new genre and call it their own, but as drummer and musical director in Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 band between 1969 and 1978, Tony Allen developed a multi-coordinated, fluid and fiercely rhythmical style of drumming that became known as Afrobeat.”

Read the full interview with legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen here.

Polygamy? No Thanks.

“…My grandfather ascended the throne as His Royal Highness Alaperu of Iperu in 1938, with his wife humbly looking on. He was to marry four more wives, and with each additional wife, his relationship with my grandmother broke down a little further”

“Writer Lola Shoneyin’s grandfather had five wives and her grandmother, the first, never forgave him. But she was shocked to find that polygamy is still prevalent in Nigeria.”

Read the article on The Guardian.

AIDS Facts: A Focus on Nigeria

Want to understand the complexity of HIV and AIDS in Nigeria, Fela Kuti’s home, or around the world?

AVERT is a comprehensive resource which allows you to dig deep into the issue.

6 Musicians Who Have Been Arrested for Their Political Beliefs

Learn about the arrests their histories here.

The History of Pan Africanism

“Pan Africanism can be said to have its origins in the struggles of the African people against enslavement and colonisation… And this struggle may be traced back to the first resistance on slave ships – rebellions and suicides – through the constant plantation and colonial uprisings and the “Back to Africa” movements of the nineteenth century.”

Check out PADEAP to read more about the movements history and current projects.

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