Interview conducted: 2021
Meet Seun Kuti:
Seun Kuti is a Nigerian musician, singer and the youngest son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. He has spent most of his life preserving and extending his father’s political and musical legacy as the leader of his father’s former band Egypt 80. Seun Kuti has been a strong voice for the liberation of the Nigerian people. Since the EndSars protest in 2020, he has consistently educated the public using weekly Instagram videos and talks.
- Seuns Official Website – https://www.seunkuti.net, where you can get merch and check out his touring schedules.
During our shoot of the film Voices Uprising, Seun Kuti expressed two significant issues that will open your mind to debate Democracy and the African educational system from a new perspective.
Taking Action Beyond Democracy
MOP stands for the Movement Of the People. It is a political party that my father, Late Fela Anikulakpo Kuti, started in the 70ties. I am a part of MOP, trying to build it with like-minded colleagues nationwide. People need a platform to express their political aspirations and ambitions. Many people worldwide keep talking about dictatorship, fascism, oligarchy and all that. They say that they want to prevent all these injustices with Democracy. But the more I study Democracy, the more I see it is an oligarchy at best and fascism at worst.
A few nations have this oligarchy democracy, but most of us live under fascist Democracy. The world fought against fascism in WWII because those running the world then were all fascists. They tell us it is Democracy, but what I see is that one class of people, ususally the elite, divide themselves into two groups. But these two groups continue to rule forever and ever, and they call it Democracy. This is the era where the people need their own platforms, where the people understand that those are elitist platforms; these so-called two parties systems that we have in majority countries labelled Liberal or conservative always serve the same class interest.
They do not have the interest of the people at heart. So we, the people, must attack that class with our own party to wrestle power away from the elite. Wresting power away from them helps them. Because it is obvious that due to their own greed and lack of control, their degeneracy, and their inability to be human again, they cannot find their own humanity anymore due to the fact that they have dehumanised the rest of us for so long.
Most importantly, we are saving the earth from them. Because it is evident that not only can humanity not sustain what is going on right now, but we are completely broken, and nature itself cannot sustain what is going on right now.
A hundred years ago, they called African people savages for respecting nature, and today everybody is talking about being environmentally friendly, going green while you destroyed, abused and brutalised the original green people. This is the world we live in. From our rivers being completely destroyed to seas filled with trash, marine life having straws and plastic in their lungs, and all these things. Is this what si supposed to make humanity progress? These signs of progress that we find now are a symptom of nature’s destruction. But not only MOP takes action. There are also so many other parties and organisations in Nigeria and Africa taking action.
We Must Find Our Culture And Africanise Our Education!
Culture is the thing that we still have to find as African people right now. But we must remember that whatever culture we want to find right now must be grounded in our culture. So that we have something we are building up from. Look at the West; as it is today, Europe is standing on the shoulders of the Roman Empire, which stands on the shoulder of the Greek Empire. And that is how we must begin to see ourselves. But we have been denied that opportunity by the dissolution of our original nations, but our culture and traditions still exist. This must be how we stand on those nations to build a new nation. Understanding our stories, our culture. These are things to help us move forwards.
Africans have been sold a lie. It is a lie that we have bought into, and the lie is universality. We believe genuinely in the universality and brotherhood of man, which is the tenets of Islam, Christianity and also modern education. To act and pretend to the Africans and motherland people that we are part of the global family, which is not – politically and economically. Socially, yes, we can accept to be part of the world brotherhood. But economically and politically, it is obvious that there is no world brotherhood.
Many people claim this world’s brotherhood only because it does not affect them negatively that other people paid the price for the so-called globalisation it is called today. The universality of education is where we now have a school where African children are told that Mongo Park discovered the River Niger just because Europeans are told the same thing. Yes, Mongo Park discovered the river niger for the Europeans, but not for the Africans. That kind of education is completely false for an African child. Because of universalism and globalisation, this kind of education has been imposed on African minds since we were young. We have to understand that African education must be Africanised.
Walter Ronney made a point that 100 years ago, an African child could name a plant in their surroundings and its use of it. But today, we are educated but completely alien about our space. We are often educated about the outside. This education diminishes African psychics that there is nothing worth saving and that universalism is the saving grace which is a lie.
That was a full dose of awareness shared by Seun during our interview with him. We want to raise awareness and mobilise people to create a better world. Share this article with your network.
Watch Seun Kuti in the documentary film Voices Uprising
Synopsis: A protest against police brutality ignites a debate around complex legacies that plague Nigeria and how to overcome them.
Running time: 54 minutes, 38″ // Languages spoken: English, Yoruba, Pidgin English, German // Subtitle: English.
Find Where To Watch The Film > https://voicesuprising.com
Other articles from Film protagonists:
- Go Back To The Drawing Board > with Dr Habibat Oladosu-Uthman
- Pre-colonial Economic Structures Impact Africa > With Olaf Bernau
- Why Is This Happening > With James Amuta
- A talk With Obianuju Iloanya >
- The Civic Aspect Must Work > With Osai Ojigho
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