“I don’t see myself as a Nigerian” – Femi Kuti

Femi Kuti
Highlife musician, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti has said he does believe in Nigerian, hence, he sees himself as a foreigner.

The Nigerian musician and eldest son of Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti, in a new chat with Tribune newspaper, said he was frustrated with every event in the country.

“I don’t see myself as a Nigerian…I’m tired, angry and frustrated. It’s either you don’t live in this country or you are being a journalist. Is it the electricity or the traffic? The traffic is just unbearable. Lagosians wake up at 4:00 a.m. and don’t get home sometimes till 11:00 p.m. And how much does an average person earn? In fact, I don’t want to talk again. I’m just tired….We are talking about Boko Haram. We have never seen poverty at this magnitude before. Health care services are failing. Education sector is also failing; so, what is there to celebrate? Poverty? Ethnic violence? Religious differences? What exactly? Tell me.”

Addressing the political situation in the country “As I said earlier, a revolution may happen; but if the political situation was anything to write home about, we would not be talking about revolution. But it seems people are not disgruntled; they are happy with the political parties. People are happy with the way things are going. They are happy that they can at least put three square meals on the table for their families. Everyone is a hustler. Back then, corruption was in just a sector – which was the government. Now there is corruption in every sector. Even those who help with manual labor are also corrupt. For instance, give your driver N5000 to buy fuel, he will buy only N2000 worth of fuel, give the attendant N1000 and take the rest home. They believe that as the oga, you are just plucking money from somewhere. They don’t know what it is to remain on top and pay their salaries.”

“The leaders are supposed to show us how to live with integrity, but we can’t even pick one leader who is totally honest with the citizens. We are not a country that lacks intelligence and resources; we are a blessed nation. But when you see places like Murtala Mohammed Airport and you have never been in an airport, you will wonder what I am complaining about. There is no amount they acquire in this country that is enough for them; they just want more. They just want to steal, steal and steal. They don’t take care of teachers, doctors; they don’t take care of anybody but themselves. When a nation is ruled with integrity, we will have good roads, quality education, free health care, state-of-the-art airports.”

“But the government has shown the youth that the only way to excel is through corruption. The youth don’t want an ideal way to the top; they want jeeps, private jets, mansions. They believe that when they take the genitals of children and pregnant women, they will become billionaires. In the 60s, we could buy Fanta for 10 kobo. Things were not this bad. We could even sleep with our doors open. NEPA (National Electric Power Authority) would apologise to us if they took our light; yet Fela was still complaining – not to talk of now. Our situation is very scary. There is no day I don’t wake up scared.”

Suggesting a solution to the many problems Nigeria is facing, he said “Unfortunately, it seems it’s going to have to be a revolution. There are too many people without jobs. The crime rate has increased. Kidnapping has increased. Ritualists are on the rampage. When you read the papers everyday, you must be totally unhappy. But when they talk about revolution on social media, I know I am totally against it, because we would be worse off than Syria, Egypt and Libya. When you look at great men like Ghandi and Martin Luther King, you will understand that violence is not the answer. The country is just horrible. There is no security. If you have N100,000, it’s like nothing to you. Actually it would be like N1000 because there are so many things you have to do, that you will not even know how you have spent it! People will do anything to survive. I am bored of hearing myself complain. I prefer to just shut up. As I am even complaining to you, I am frustrating myself the more.”


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