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Fela wanted to marry me but I rejected his proposal – Veteran singer, Onyeka Onwenu

Veteran Nigerian musician, Onyeka Onwenu has revealed that late Afrobeats pioneer, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti approached her for marriage in the eighties.

Onyeka revealed this in her newly released autobiography, ‘My Father’s Daughter.’

According to the celebrated singer, she, however, rejected Fela’s proposal during her visit to his club because of his other wives.

She said she is a possessive lover and did not understand the music legend’s love for women.

Narrating how Fela proposed marriage, Onyeka wrote:

“The second time I saw Fela was in 1984, a few years after I had returned from the United States. He had just been released from jail.

“He was arrested for attempting to travel with his band for a gig in London with the sum of 1,600 pounds for their hotel accommodation. At the time, carrying any amount of foreign currency was against one of the many decrees promulgated by the Buhari/Idiagbon military junta.

“After he was released from prison, Fela sent a mutual friend, the journalist Onuorah Udenwa who is now a US-based pastor, to bring me to his club. I thought that he probably wanted to thank me for speaking up for him, but that was not 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 of wanting me to become his consort, but I turned him down all the same.

“They passed by often, whispering comments about me. They were downright hostile and quite obvious about it.

“I pointed this out to him and told him that I was a possessive lover and would not be able to cope as an appendage to his harem but Fela laughed.”


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