Picture gallery of Fela Kuti’s Queens
In the West Fela Kuti, the creator of Afrobeat, is know by many as “the man who married 27 wives”. On 18 February 1978 he married the entire female entourage of his band in a ceremony conducted by a Yoruba priest. There are many sides to the group marriage, besides the sensational ones, but it would need an essay to explain them. The group marriage lasted until Fela’s release from prison in 1985. Stating that he no longer believed in marriage, he divorced the 12 wives that were still with him. Many, however, remained part of his entourage until his death.
Photographer Bernard Matussière from France took the portraits shown below of Fela’s “Queens”, as they were often called, in 1983.