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Fela/Kid Kuti/Cudi

Hatley Walker

on 22 June 2011

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Connie Fela Kuti Andrea Michelle Grace Sandra Lindsey Vanessa Porey The topic of my Critical Thinking summative is the connection between CANFAR, an AIDS awareness organization, and Afrobeat, a distinct style of African music. An association can be made through CANFAR's mission, to end AIDS through research, and the cause of death of Fela Kuti, the creator of Afrobeat. The topic of my Critical Thinking summative is based on "Mother-Son Relationship". It focuses on the influnce that Fela Kuti's mother has over him and the creation of Afrobeat. Her political point of view, activity, and life experience has a strong impact on the way that Fela Kuti express himself through music. I will be working on the effects and impacts of musical theatre on society, socially, politically, economically and artistically. I will use specific examples of musical theatre that have signficant impacts on society (i.e. Spring Awakening, Phantom of the Opera). I will also be commenting on the history of musical theatre paralleled to the history of the world. This project is linked to Afrobeat because the life of its founder, Fela Kuti, has been immortalized in a musical: Fela! I will most specifically analyze the impact of Fela! on Nigerian society. The topic I am researching is how different artists have different contents of music where they use their lyrics to express where they came from and what they stand for. My topic is connected to Fela Kuti and Afrobeats because Fela Kuti is the creator of Afrobeat and his music represents what type of individual he is and his beliefs. He has influenced many other artists to produce their music in relation to what he believes in. My project is on the religious influences on Fela Kuti and essentially Afrobeat. During Fela's process of creating his music, the Yoruba religion had a great influence on the sounds he produced in his songs as well as his life. His songs included traditional Yoruba drum beats and Fela also created a twist on the Yoruba religion by adding his own flavor of pan-Africanism with it. My Critical Thinking summative project is on the role religion played in Fela Kuti's life and music, outlining Kuti's spiritual transition from Christianity to the Yorùbá faith. The project highlights how Kuti's newly adopted religion influences the choices he makes during his life and music career. Moreover, the project touches upon the religious aspect behind Kuti's compositions. I chose to do my summative project on Seun Kuti. He is the son of Fela Kuti, and follows in his father’s footsteps. I will do research on his political views and his views on his music. I will look in interviews, articles, and other resources for information about Seun Kuti. Critical Thinking Course Reflections When I took this course, I didn’t know what to expect and thought it would be an easy course. I was wrong. The course was quite enjoyable and hard at the same time. Some things I have learnt from this class will be very useful in the future. - Andrea On the whole, the Critical Thinking course has been phenomenal. The Interpretation Assignment was particularly enlightening as it allowed me to see the world in a new way. I shall definitely continue to use critical thinking skills elsewhere in my life. - Grace This course has been beneficial in a way where I can exercise the critical thinking skills that I have learned in my daily living. Often at times, many people consider having the skill of thinking critically useful, however, lack to put it to use. This course has helped me do exactly that and has given me new insight on many things I would have never second thought about. - Sandra This course has been beneficial to me because it has shown me interesting things (TED.com, the documentary "Resolved", Fela Kuti) as well as helping me exercise my critical thinking skills. I believe that critical thinking is the center motif of the social sciences and humanities because a person can only begin to study those fields with a strong grasp of critical thinking. I would have liked a more concrete method of studying the critical thinking skills as well as more challenging exercises for critical thinking. - Porey Throughout the year in critical thinking class, I learned skills that can actually help me in real life. I gained knowledge on how to analyze and interpret things, especially the ones that previously seemed complicated. I believe that by applying the skills in the future, I will be able to make better decisions. - Michelle This course gave me many insights and skills that I can apply to future encounterings. With my ability to deconstruct and analyze arguments, I will be equipped to stand up for myself and prove my point. -Connie Family is huge part of who you are and who you become. I wanted to explore this further by looking into how music came to be Fela Kuti’s passion. I will look into what influenced Fela becoming a musician and how he came to be an icon because to his family. In exploring this I will look into questions like; what is family structure like in Africa?, what are the family’s roles?, how is music connected to their culture and tradition? Answering and developing these questions utilizes all the critical thinking skills learnt this year. I learned a lot in this course, not just different ways to think, but a variety of ways to be taught and learn from. It is very smart to learn diversely as that activates different parts of our brain, causing us in the long run to think of dissimilar ideas. I loved the class games, for example when we went around saying what an object could be used for, or when we were put into groups to build a structure exemplifying some of the core skills. These innovative ideas will definitely be transferable in whatever I do in life. -Lindsey Ahmed My topic focuses on the politics in which Fela Kuti was opposing. It stretches across Nigeria's political history, looking at the corruption in Nigeria and looking on Fela's idealistic vision of a strong Nigerian nation. I also took a close look on how Fela, if at all, affected the Nigerian nation in terms of his use of expression within his lyrics. Miles The critical thinking course has provided me with the tools for providing a stronger analysis on even the most abstract things in life. It has stretched my skills in expressing my arguments more clearly and helped expand my understanding of life. -Ahmed For my critical thinking summative on afrobeat, I have chosen to research Funk. Inside of afrobeat music there are many styles and other music genres, and one of the more prominent ones is funk. Funk is the genre that makes you feal the groove in the music and makes you want to dance. Throughout this year in Critical Thinking, I have learned a lot. The great thing is that I can use some of the material I learned in this class in my real life situations. I thought that all of the material that we studied this year was relevant towards Critical Thinking, but I wish that the summative activity would have been more focused on critical thinking in general. -Miles My research has been created to focus on the study of afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti’s son, Femi Kuti. The research was developed to show the development of afrobeat, from the contribution of Femi’s music. The introduction of Femi’s own journey of self discovery shows his passion for developing his own style, separating from the legacy of his father Fela. This resulted in a new generation of afrobeat music and continued the expansion of the genre through out the mass culture. Alex Bill My topic is the corruption of Nigeria. The summative I am doing is mainly about the discussion on the background, the history and society from different angles such as government, citizen and other countries. The second part is about the research process of my topic. It shows how I and why I conducted the research the way it is. The third part focuses on the critical thinking skill I used in researching and how I related to my topic. Critical thinking increased my awareness of research construction by focusing on analysis of each sub topics of any given subject. The result is a connection between all the sub topics and creating a logical summery of the subject or topic. - Alex
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