(continued from part one) Fela Kuti was like a brother to Carlos Moore who wrote the authorised biography in first person as part of a deep and loving friendship. And it is this story that has been stolen and used in FELA! The musical. Thier friendship and the story that arose form it – the great book – has been pillaged. And in so much it is Fela who is violated again from beyond the grave by the forces of power.
Carlos is not backing down. His case is water tight. His lawyer George Wolf is the best. When you hear of the law suite think of the violation of the artists. That which happened to Fela Kuti when alive is being visited upon him in death. What would Fela have done in this situation? Writers are at the source of story. We collect story with respect and dignity: we raise that story to its rightful place for others to see and experiecne and the world noarrtive continues.
Stealing from the African artist is like stealing from the well or from the subsoil of the continent the natural resources of its earth: its spirit. “Africans have had their bodies stolen, they ahve had their minerals stolen – it seems there is only one place left – the mind. Not this time. Intellectual property theft is theft. You strike a writer you strike a rock.
To dig deeper into the story see Stephen Hendel who is head of Kiniting Factory records set up to licence all Kuti's music. They then went for the book and offered a paltry sum and didn't get the rights and then went onto the musical. It is cultural shock and awe on Kuti's memory. Pictures of the action can be obtained on my face book page.