Interview conducted: 2021
For the making of the film Voices Uprising, We visited Artist, Musician and social activist Seun Kuti.
About 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.
Seun met with the Joadre team at his rehearsal hall in the Kalakuta house, where you can also find the Fela museum, a destination worth visiting. When we asked Seun if he identifies with the label of being an activist, his response, “I am what I am, not what I do“, immediately revealed the depth of his conscious thoughts around the issues he addresses. He further explained that we should perceive ourselves first as human beings, not as what we do or as a profession. For Seun, the consciousness of everyone plays a vital role in shaping how the communities become.
Humanity is in some state of slumber.
“It is very straightforward. Humanity is definitely in some state of slumber of some sort. And for me, consciousness is something that has to do with your reality. Your consciousness is completely linked to your reality. You cannot separate your consciousness from your reality”. He further depicted his suggestion using the analogy of a spaceship appearing, and some people might never see it because their consciousness cannot perceive or comprehend it.
According to Seun, our reality and consciousness are significantly linked, so if we put it into a national discussion, one can conclude that a nation cannot be greater than the consciousness of its people. Making Nigeria’s state a reflection of the level of consciousness of the Nigerian people. “The more Nigerians can raise their consciousness about themselves, their environment, their politics, whatever it is, the more they can develop Nigeria”.
Seun has been politically active using MOP (Movement Of The People), a political party founded by his Late Father to engage Nigerians. “We always say we are the change we want to see. So it was my own way of saying, if you want change, here is a platform to come together, share ideas and debate”. Seun uses his music as a musician to serve and debate issues. He does not mind antagonising the establishment with his artistry. In 2018, Black Times, by Seun Kuti, was nominated for the Grammys in the World Music Category.
It was a long conversation with Seun and so much food for thought. We have broken them down into several articles making the Seun Voices Uprising series. We want to raise awareness and mobilise people to create a better world. Share this article with your network. Subscribe to our Newsletter here to know when we release the next article under this series with Seun Kuti. Read more on our Voices Uprising series with Seun Kuti.
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
Question: What do you think mobilised people to protest and voice out their issues? Share your thoughts. Send us a message via Joadre app contact icon.
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Thank you for reading to the end.