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Most memorable day of my life –Yeni Kuti


Like the late legendary afro beat  king, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Yeni Kuti, his first child  is blunt and outspoken. With her unique sense of style and approach to life, the amiable woman who manages  Afrika Shrine and hosts a  TV show talked about her firsts in a recent chat with Sunday Sun. Excerpts:

Your first day on stage as a dancer?

That was many years ago, precisely, December 13th 1986 at UNILAG. It was with my brother  Femi Kuti’s   band.  Being my first day on stage, I was happy but a bit nervous.  We wore long dresses and  shoes. Dance has evolved a lot since then. Now, dancers don’t wear shoes. In those days, the shoes had  little heels and some people took off theirs on stage that evening. It was exciting except that we were a bit nervous. It was a great performance.

Your first car?

My mother’s Beetle, which she gave to me after my brother bought her a Peugeot 505 saloon. The Beetle was white in color. I abandoned it at the mechanic’s place after I bought my second car. I told the mechanic to do whatever he wanted with it, because the car was a nuisance as the  engine was problematic. Once you kick-start the car, it was wahala.

Your first pet?

It was a dog I named Whiskey. We had three pets. Afro and a cat Timmy. Afro was shot by a soldier, because it entered  their barracks.

First day as TV  presenter?

I was really nervous. We were all nervous on the show.

First trip abroad?

That was in 1978 with my father. We traveled to Berlin. That was the first time I tasted  Fanta from abroad. I have been hearing about overseas as a child and  expected the streets  to be tarred with gold but I was quite disappointed. I even didn’t know what I expected to see. I  told  my father I expected a better Berlin. When I now started traveling, I realized Berlin is among the  most attractive European cities.

First salary?

I just graduated from secondary school and  I went to teach at  Corona. I taught nursery school children. My salary was N18 monthly. In those days, N18 was a lot of money. That was in 1978.

First child?

I only have a child and giving  birth to her was the most memorable day of my life. I was so happy but I had a caesarian section. I didn’t  see her till I woke up and my mother just told me that I gave birth  to a beautiful baby girl. I had always wanted a girl, I was really happy. She’s a cute bundle of joy.

First pregnancy?

It was very okay. In the first three months, I was very ill but  subsequently I was a very active and  energetic  pregnant woman. I ate well and gained weight. I was 44 pounds when I became pregnant and I lost 3 pounds because of the illness and thereafter I went on to 62 pounds.

First kiss?

My first kiss was in secondary school. I can’t even remember who the guy was. I don’t like kissing, so my first kiss was awful. We had been going out for a while and  that was in Form Four in secondary school. I wasn’t the outgoing type. I didn’t go to parties and stuff like that.


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April 2018
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