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The real story behind Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s marriage to 27 wives on same day

Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the father of Afrobeats, married 27 women in one day in 1978. Those who are familiar with the lifestyle of the legendary Nigerian musician known by the stage name Abami Eda shouldn’t find this unusual (strange creature).
Following the devastating army raid on Fela’s commune (Kalakuta Republic) in 1977, many members of Fela’s band were left without a place to live. Fela made the unique decision to act in order to keep them together.

He gave everyone of his twenty-seven female band members a piece of paper and asked them to write down their names if they would like to marry him.

The 27 ladies were married by Fela Kuti on February 20, 1978, at the Parisona Hotel in Anthony, Lagos, with the approval of twelve Ifa priests after they gave their assent. Some of the ladies’ parents allegedly objected to the union.
To protect them and keep them together, Fela married the women. Families, friends, and other band members of Fela were present at the wedding ceremony.

Fela gave a brief speech at the wedding ceremony, placed naira bills on the foreheads of his new brides, and presented them with marriage licenses. Fela adopted a rotational arrangement that involved 12 spouses at once. Following their nuptials, Fela took his 27 wives on a honeymoon to Ghana.
But, immediately after his release from prison in 1986, Fela Kuti filed for divorce from each of his 27 wives, claiming that marriage breeds envy. It should be emphasized that following the divorce, they were not compelled to leave his home; several remained there until his passing in 1997.
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