Yeni Kuti, daughter of afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, has stated that the decision of her uncle, Dr. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, to proclaim that the late artist died of AIDS was initially rejected by the deceased’s children.
After a series of persuasions from family members, she said they eventually agreed for their uncle to make the announcement.
Yeni revealed this in a recent interview with media personality Chude Jideonwo.
The dancer eventually realised that her uncle’s decision was the finest because it forever ended curiosity regarding the cause of the great musician’s death.
“Then, I didn’t think his brother’s [Dr. Olikoye Ransome Kuti’s] decision to announce that he [Fela] died of AIDS was the best,” she stated.
“I recall we [Fela’s children] having a big fight with my uncle at one point.” At the hospital, they had already diagnosed Fela with AIDS.
“Uncle Koye was not in town when the diagnosis was delivered. And he arrived maybe two days later…Then he called us, Femi, Shola, and I, and said, ‘You know what happened, I’m going to tell the press that he has AIDS.’
“We said, ‘No way, no how.'” We still believed Fela would survive at the moment. ‘Look, it’s not your place to proclaim that Fela has AIDS; if Fela survives, let him,’ we responded. And he replied, ‘Okay, you have a point.’
“But then Fela died.” And he [Dr. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti] stated that he was going to disclose that Fela was infected with AIDS.
“We had a disagreement with him. ‘It’s not nice to lie, people are still going to find out,’ said the entire family. So, grudgingly, we agreed.
“But I have to say it now: I believe my uncle made the best option. If he hadn’t declared it, they [journalists] would still be investigating ‘what killed Fela?'”