From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja The decision to retain health maintenance organisations (HMOs) as part of the country’s health insurance programme caused a major disagreement between the House of Representatives Committee on Health Services and the executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Yusuf Usman. Usman, at the just concluded two-day investigative hearing…
By CHRISTY ANYANWU
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.