« On 18 February 1978, Fela married the entire female entourage of his band in a ceremony conducted by a Yoruba priest. There are many sides to the group marriage, besides the sensational ones, but it would need an essay to explain them. The group marriage lasted until Fela’s release from prison in 1985. Stating that he no longer believed in marriage, he divorced the 12 wives that were still with him. Many, however, remained part of his entourage until his death. » Discover Fela’s Queens.
What my father had told me was that the Nigerian authorities had accused Fela of running an illegal brothel with all these women, who were his back-up dancers and his back-up singers, as his prostitutes. In order to avoid all of them going to prison, Fela came up with the grand idea of marrying all of them.
Photos by Bernard Matussière – 1983
« Afrobeat will be one of the musics of the future. »Miles Davis
Listen to Fela Kuti on African Music Forum.