Seun Kuti has definitely not only inherited his father’s musical skill but also his (and his grandmother Funmilayo Ransome Kuti‘s) fiery spirit. Last year he had some harsh words on the state of hip-hop and now he lashes out against what he perceives to be injustices perpetrated by the government of his homeland Nigeria, as you can read in a current article in The Guardian. His logic seems pretty solid, well argumented and given his family history, not entirely without risk either. If only our western icons were this outspoken.
After eight hours of rallying, Kuti was dismissive of accepting anything short of a full governmental U-turn as he settled down to a spliff in his home, a rambling two-storey affair down a potholed road. “We, the people, subsidise electricity for the government by buying generators. We subsidise water by digging boreholes in our homes. We subsidise telephones by owning three mobile phones because we’re not sure which network will be working on which day,” he said, referring to the poor infrastructure that has dogged Nigeria’s attempts to lift 70% of the population out of extreme poverty despite exporting 2m barrels of oil daily.
“Fuel subsidy was our only welfare and it cannot be taken away,” Kuti adds. Economists believe the subsidy, which the government says transfers $6bn annually from state coffers to a cartel of fuel importers, is unsustainable if Africa’s largest country is to attain middle-income status.
In a December visit, the International Monetary Fund praised the steps the government has taken to implement an economic agenda intended to “transform” Nigeria. “Who praised the president? The International Motherf*ckers?” Kuti said. “Look, the IMF and international policy cannot work in Africa because they do not take the common man into consideration. Now that you can only afford half the fuel you could before, where do you think the rest of the fuel will go? It’s going to the west, where the price of fuel has been skyrocketing.”
No pussy-footing around, no carefully minced words and half-assed attempts at rationalizing your own ineffectualness or complicity in blatant cash grabs. Very refreshing. Did I mention the music he makes with his pops old band Egypt 80 is dope as f*ck too? Get down with this revolutionary afrobeat funk by pressing play on these vids and read the whole article here.