Fela Anikulapo Kuti, an Afrobeats pioneer, made news in 1978 for marrying 27 women on the same day.
This bizarre incident, however, came as no surprise to those familiar with the life and peculiar manner of the Nigerian music superstar Abami Eda, popularly known as “strange creature.”
According to graphiconline.com, the motivation for Fela’s choice to marry 27 women stems from a horrific occurrence the previous year.
In 1977, Fela’s commune, Kalakuta Republic, was attacked by soldiers, leaving many of his band members homeless. In a bid to keep his band members together, Fela decided to marry them.
He reportedly asked his female band members to write down their names on a piece of paper if they were interested in marrying him, and all twenty-seven women put down their names.
The marriage ceremony took place on February 20, 1978, at the Parisona Hotel in Anthony, Lagos, with the blessings of twelve Ifa priests.
Although some of the ladies’ parents reportedly objected to the marriage, Fela married the women to protect and keep them together, the report said. The ceremony was attended by Fela’s family, friends, and other band members.
During the wedding ceremony, Fela gave a short speech, pressed naira notes on his new wives’ foreheads, and gave them marriage certificates. He embraced a rotation system of 12 wives at a time and took his 27 wives to Ghana for their honeymoon.
However, in 1986, shortly after his release from prison, Fela divorced his 27 wives, claiming that marriage brought jealousy.
It is worth noting that the women were not forced to leave his home after the divorce, and some continued to live with him until his death in 1997.