Exploring Indigenous Epistemologies and Spiritualties: Fela Anikulapo and Politics in Africa

  • Funmilayo Modupe Adu
  • Olumide Ogunrotimi


Fela Anikulapo's musical work, it is argued here, could be described as exhibiting a seamless relationship between musical vocalization and the prophetic. This claim is hinged on Fela’s assertions of priesthood which we argue here could not be easily substantiated based on the facts of his musical pronouncements which when evaluated on the face value could be taken as such. As one of the most popular musicians to ever come out of the continent of Africa, Fela Anikulapo's stature transcends the realm of music. He saw himself as a spiritual leader and seer, a musical pioneer, a politician, and the arrowhead of a movement that sought to rejuvenate Africa's disparaged traditional cultural systems and dislodge the continent of its socio-political dependence on Euro-American constructs. This paper explores African indigenous epistemological spirituality through an analytical investigation and analysis of Fela Anikulapo's music. It deigns to hermeneutically unearth and juxtapose the peculiarities of Fela's music and also deconstruct how his music is informed by a socio-political strain that is autochthonous to Africa with influences from the western world. The paper also explores the nitty-gritty of his ideological persuasion and how African epistemological praxes contributed to his ideology grounding. The claim to the prophetic is herein interrogated for substantiation. The study presents how Fela was able to transform himself from just a musician into a beckon of African renaissance in a continent that continues to suffer from a dearth of quality leadership.Keywords: Indigenous Epistemologies, Spiritualties, Fela Anikulapo, Africa, Politics