4:00 pm - Saturday September 19, 1559

INSIDE EUROPE-INTERVIEW ON HOSPITAL BED: ‘I was the longest HOUSEBOY to Fela Anikulapo Kuti in Kalakuta Republic’-OGHENE KOLOGBO, Nigeria’s Afrobeat Superstar …Says: ‘I witnessed how Nigerian soldiers invaded Kalakuta Republic in February 1977, threw down Fela’s mother (Funmilayo) and burnt the entire place down’ * ‘Day Fela died was the worst moment of my life. I was in Germany, Berlin, Warsaw then filled with emptiness without knowing what else to do’ * ‘ I was the only musician in Kalakuta at that time that Fela will approach and sing to me what he wants me to play that will bring the best out of me’ * ‘Marijuana is only a natural weed that you can take from the tree right away and smoke. Fela call it NNG -Nigerian Natural Grass. I smoke it since it helps me against Hypertension’ * ‘I played 40 albums with Fela and the African 70 band-the greatest hits of all time’ * ‘I have been in Europe for 41 years from 1978 till now 2020 blasting Afrobeat tunes’ * ‘I knew Majek Fashek before he got lost in America but me Black Rice and George Owell are still standing on music stage’ * ‘I Rejected German Passport since I am proudly identify with my Nigerian nationality wherever I travel’ GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN Foreign Bureau Chief, Naija Standard Newspaper


INSIDE EUROPE-INTERVIEW ON HOSPITAL BED:

‘I was the longest HOUSEBOY to Fela Anikulapo Kuti in Kalakuta Republic’-OGHENE KOLOGBO, Nigeria’s Afrobeat Superstar

…Says: ‘I witnessed how Nigerian soldiers invaded Kalakuta Republic in February 1977, threw down Fela’s mother (Funmilayo) and burnt the entire place down’

* ‘Day Fela died was the worst moment of my life. I was in Germany, Berlin, Warsaw then filled with emptiness without knowing what else to do’

* ‘ I was the only musician in Kalakuta at that time that Fela will approach and sing to me what he wants me to play that will bring the best out of me’

* ‘Marijuana is only a natural weed that you can take from the tree right away and smoke. Fela call it NNG -Nigerian Natural Grass. I smoke it since it helps me against Hypertension’

* ‘I played 40 albums with Fela and the African 70 band-the greatest hits of all time’

* ‘I have been in Europe for 41 years from 1978 till now 2020 blasting Afrobeat tunes’

* ‘I knew Majek Fashek before he got lost in America but me Black Rice and George Owell are still standing on music stage’

* ‘I Rejected German Passport since I am proudly identify with my Nigerian nationality wherever I travel’

HE MEANS ONE THING TO EVERYONE ALL OVER THE WORLD. In Africa, Europe, Asia and United States of America, OGHENE KOLOGBO, presently recuperating from an auto-crash while on his Annual World Music Road Tour granted this rare interview on his hospital bed with GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN Foreign Bureau Chief, Naija Standard Newspaper regarding his relationship with ‘Abami-Eda’, unforgettable moment with his biological father over guitar, how he witnessed the invasion of Kalakuta Republic by Nigerian soldiers and so much more…

Naija Standard Newspaper: How did you meet Fela Anikulapo Kuti?

I meet Fela Kuti in Ghana – 1971

Naija Standard Newspaper: Was it true you were Fela Kuti longest -serving houseboy decades ago?

Yes I was Fela Kuti’s houseboy

Naija Standard Newspaper: How did your Dad broke music guitar on your head and compelled you to join Fela Kuti band?

My Dad broke his guitar on my head just because I won’t want to play guitar like my father. You know at this time every father and mother want their child to become a lawyer or doctor.

Naija Standard Newspaper: Where you still in Fela Kuti’s Kalakuta Republic when Nigerian soldiers invaded it, threw down his mother and burn the entire place down?

Yes yes oooh I was in Kalakuta when the soldiers came, threw Fela’s mother (Funmilayo) down and burnt down the house oooh in February 1977.

Naija Standard Newspaper: What lessons did you learn from Fela Kuti regarding Afrobeat?

I learnt a lot from watching him and the band when I was his houseboy. When I became one of his musicians in African 70 band I did not stop the houseboy job. I did the two jobs-that is been a musician and houseboy. That was why I was the only musician in Kalakuta at that time that Fela will come to and sing what he wants me to play that will bring out the best out of me.

Naija Standard Newspaper: Kologbo, lots of people call you Fela Kuti reincarnation in Europe taking Afrobeat to the eyes of the world. Is that a right description of you?

I love that because that remind lots of people of Fela movement and music. That was why my first full afrobeat album was titled ‘called Remember Fela Anikulapo Kuti’.

Naija Standard Newspaper: Fela Kuti smoked Marijuana ‘Igbo in Nigerian language) all through his lifetime to get inspiration and had Igbo buried in his coffin. What is your view of Marijuana?

Haaaa…we all know that Igbo is not harmful to no one. It is the only natural weed that you can take from the tree right away and smoke. Fela call it NNG : Nigerian Natural Grass. I smoke it. It is good for my Hypertension.

Naija Standard Newspaper: The day Fela Kuti died in Nigeria. How did it affect you?

The day Fela Kuti died I was in Germany, Berlin, Warsaw. I was I empty, lost, lonely and did not know what to do. It was the worst day of my life.

Naija Standard Newspaper: Can you recall some of the greatest music concerts you had with Fela Kuti around the world?

Yes I can recall many of the music I played with Fela. Almost 40 albums I had with him and the African 70 band. They were the greatest hits of all time.

Naija Standard Newspaper: Our American Editors listened to one of your bloc buster music videos titled ‘Open your eyes’, which sounds more like Fela’s ‘Yellow Fever song’, what is the aim of the album?

‘Open your eyes’ album is to let my people all over world planet know what is going in Nigeria and in all African countries

Naija Standard Newspaper: Why did you fuse African and European cultures together by featuring African masquerades choreography, International break dance?

Because I always hear Fela say one day he will be happy to see afrobeat music go around the world with message for the people. So I am here in Europe for 41 years from 1978 till now 2020. I am celebrating African masquerades choreography with Africans, Europeans, Americans through the riches of Nigerian culture.

Naija Standard Newspaper: All your music always have a set of heavy wind instruments, bata drum, saxophone and other African instruments, are all those what you learnt from Fela Kuti?

Yes yes oooh I watched and learnt from Fela what he likes for his music but I am not Fela, so I try to reduce the musicians to 9 people not 18-19 or 20 musicians like Fela ooh.

Naija Standard Newspaper: Tell us why you believe ‘Africa is the Future,’ as you readily showcased in your hot, reigning album?

I know one day we will have a good leader to stop all what they have been taking from us as you all know but we still can smile, dance and enjoy with the small we have in our reserve that is why I say Africa is the future.

Naija Standard Newspaper: Why did you refuse German passport after successfully playing music in Europe and wining several awards till date?

I simply refused the German passport because I have to take visa to my country of birth (Nigeria) and I have to give back my Nigerian passport before I can get German passport which is stupid. I will never drop my Nigerian passport. How about dual nationality?

Naija Standard Newspaper: Did you ever meet Majek Fashek and if yes, how do you feel on his current health challenges where he is undergoing medical treatment Abroad?

Majek Fashek, Black Rice, George Owell, Emos and I played in drums. Black Rice was on drums, Emos on bass, George Owell on keyboards, me on guitar; Majek Fashek on guitar and vocals in a group called Jah Sticks. So I know him very very well before he got lost in America but me and Black Rice with George Owell is over here oooh.

Naija Standard Newspaper: Do you ever intend to run for Nigerian Presidency in the next election so that you may make life better for the masses? If yes, what services will you deliver to Nigerians if elected Nigerian President? How will you fight corruption in Nigeria?

No no no no I don’t want to be President of Nigeria. I love my music movement to be precise. To be president I would have to stop my music. I just want to send messages to my people in the ghettos all over the world that I will never like to be president of any country.

Filed in: Africa

2 Responses to “INSIDE EUROPE-INTERVIEW ON HOSPITAL BED: ‘I was the longest HOUSEBOY to Fela Anikulapo Kuti in Kalakuta Republic’-OGHENE KOLOGBO, Nigeria’s Afrobeat Superstar …Says: ‘I witnessed how Nigerian soldiers invaded Kalakuta Republic in February 1977, threw down Fela’s mother (Funmilayo) and burnt the entire place down’ * ‘Day Fela died was the worst moment of my life. I was in Germany, Berlin, Warsaw then filled with emptiness without knowing what else to do’ * ‘ I was the only musician in Kalakuta at that time that Fela will approach and sing to me what he wants me to play that will bring the best out of me’ * ‘Marijuana is only a natural weed that you can take from the tree right away and smoke. Fela call it NNG -Nigerian Natural Grass. I smoke it since it helps me against Hypertension’ * ‘I played 40 albums with Fela and the African 70 band-the greatest hits of all time’ * ‘I have been in Europe for 41 years from 1978 till now 2020 blasting Afrobeat tunes’ * ‘I knew Majek Fashek before he got lost in America but me Black Rice and George Owell are still standing on music stage’ * ‘I Rejected German Passport since I am proudly identify with my Nigerian nationality wherever I travel’ GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN Foreign Bureau Chief, Naija Standard Newspaper”