Kalakuta museum, a Lagos state financed project that cost N40m to complete in 2012, was the former ‘Kalakuta Republic’ of the late Afrobeat originator and king, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, whom at aged 69, died on August 2nd 1997 of complications allegedly caused by the HIV/AIDS infections.
The edifice, which was formerly his residence at Nos. 7 Gbemisola street, Ikeja has an exhibition area, a souvenir shop, a coffee shop, a 5-room boutique hotel, his tomb area, a roof top restaurant, a bar and stage, and a car park.
The Museum is aimed at promoting tourism and preserving Fela’s history and help in the acquisitions, display and preservation of the artifacts, documents and records about Fela. As part of the Lagos State Mega City initiative, the museum will display collectors’ and historical items and authentic materials on Fela, which will attract foreigners, researchers, and fun-lovers alike. It will also be used to preserve historical African artifacts and folk arts for public enjoyment, assist scholars researching on Fela’s musical works and serve as an educational cultural institution of music of African origin.
It is set to be recognized as a credible African cultural and historical institution of knowledge and entertainment and was added to the Lagos state’s tourist sites.
The ‘Kalakuta Museum’ is managed by Total Consult, a firm of architects and builders and is marketed by Inspiro Productions Ltd, an integrated marketing, media and entertainment management consultants.
Fela Anikulapo Kuti, was born October 15, 1938, during his life time, his music was noted for its strong political and philosophical Africanism statements that criticized the corruption and oppression against the poor.
A stint in ‘Calcutta’, a prison cell situated in the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, Lagos in 1974, birthed the idea behind the name Kalakuta Republic which the late legend named his commune (in tribute to his confinement and self) after he regained freedom. However, two members of his commune, otherwise known as Kalakutans got in a fight with a military official in 1977 and army representatives came to pick them up, the late Fela pointed out that Kalakuta was not Nigerian territory and that the military should remove themselves from his property forthwith. The melee turned into a siege which lasted 16 hours and involved almost 1000 soldiers and got the premises burnt down and all personal properties destroyed.
I could never leave my home…. It inspires me a lot
Fela moved to 7 Gbemisola Street after some time and re-established his Kalakuta Republic. He lived there till his death. His burial procession in Lagos attracted 1,000,000 people.