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“We had a fallout with our uncle when he announced that Fela had AIDS.” — Yeni Kuti.

“We had a fallout with our uncle when he announced that Fela had AIDS.” — Yeni Kuti.

May 28, 2023

No, (I didn’t agree with the decision) to announce that Fela died of AIDS. I remember we had a big fight with my uncle at the time.

You know, they had already diagnosed Fela with AIDS at the hospital. Uncle Koye wasn’t in town when the diagnosis came. He came about 2days later. He said, ‘I’ve been telling Fela of his lifestyle’ kinikan kinikan.

Anyway, then he called Femi, Sola and I, my sister was still alive then. So you know what has happened, I’m going to announce to the press that he has AIDS. Ah, we said no way.
At that time, we thought Fela would survive. So we said look it’s not your place to announce..if Fela survives, let him. Leave him to announce his sickness by himself. You don’t do it for him. He said ‘okay, you have a point.’ Then he left us. And then Fela now died. Then he said he was going to announce Fela had AIDS. Then the whole family came and started talking to us. It’s not good to lie, it’s not good to avoid the truth.. so reluctantly, we agreed but I have to say it now, I think it was the best decision my uncle made.

If he had not announced it, till now, they will still be doing underground…what killed Fela? But… no Fela died of AIDS. Oya…So the press that wanted to go to town to investigate…there’s nothing to investigate because the family has already come out. So I learnt a very good lesson that it’s better to just come out with the truth. I said till today, 25 yesrs later, that will be the headline of every….What killed Fela?

But now, nobody is talking about that. They’re now talking about his successes. To my uncle, that was the best decision ever. And he’s not alive to hear but we told him then. ‘Cause when the thing happened, he was like ‘don’t you agree that it was the best?’ ‘ah yes, Uncle Koye, it was the best decision.’

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