The think-think musician! Fela Anikulapo Kuti’ political thoughts about citizens and the state of Nigeria in ‘Akunakuna Senior Brother of Perambulators.’

Main Article Content

Kayode Eesuola


State, Political Thoughts, Political Theories, Fela, Citizens, Nigeria


We hermeneutically interpret Fela’s song Akunakuna Senior Brother of Perambulators to establish that specific musical lyrics contain political thoughts and theories that deserve continuous intellectual exploration. This is quite different from the many others produced through the idea of ‘arts for arts’ sake’. Traditionally, especially between 1970 and 1997, Fela’s songs interrogated the dominant socio-political policies and practices in Nigeria and other countries of focus. Akunakuna, specifically, interrogated such political concepts as the state, citizens, the public, justice and ‘government of the people’, notably from daily socio-political interactions. This has propound a semblance of political thoughts and theories that we, in this article, consider empirical because they are derived from practical circumstances of citizens- government power relations within the state.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 32 | PDF Downloads 24


Aggarwal, P. (1976). Political Theory: Principles of Political Science. S Chand & Company Ltd.
Aggarwal, P. (2014, November 16). Distinction between Political Theory and Political Thought. Academike.
Allen, J. W. (1960). A History of Political Thought in the Sixteenth Century.Methuen.
Ajayi, G. (2007). The military and the Nigerian state, 1966–1993: A study of the strategies of political power control. Africa World Press.
Anselm H. Amadio Chaplain (1970). Instructor in Philosophy, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Staff Writer, Philosophy and Religion, Encyclopædia Britannica, Chicago, 1970–73.
Ayu, I. (1986). Creativity and protest in popular culture: The political protest in the popular music of Fela Anikulapo Kuti. In Essays in popular struggle. Pan African Publisher
Awolowo, O. (1947). Path to Nigeria Freedom. Faber.
Barker, E. (1959). The Political Thought of Plato and Aristotle. Dover
Boismard, M. E. (1979). The Two-Source Theory at an Impasse. New Testament Studies, 26, 1–17. (Translated by Lorraine Caza, Robert Beck And Francis Martin).
Brooks, T (2008). Hegel’s Political Philosophy: A Systematic Reading of the Philosophy of Right. Edinburgh University Press.
Burkett, D. (2004). Rethinking the Gospel Sources: From Proto-Mark to Mark. Continuum.
Kaufman, A S. (1954). The nature and function of political theory. Journal of Philosophy, 51 (1), 5-22.
Crick, B. (1967). Philosophy, theory and thoughts. Political Studies, 15 (1), 4-19.
Crick, B. (2005). In defence of politics. Continuum.
Davenport, C., Hank, J., Mueller, C., (2004). Repression and Mobilization Minneapolis. University of Minnesota Press.
Eesuola, O.S. (2009). Crisis of hegemony in the Nigerian state. Journal of Academic advancement, 3(1), 24-34.
Eesuola (2021) Odu Ifa Orunmila. Kenya’s Social Science Forum.
Emesowum, B. (2016). Identifying Cities or Countries at Risk for Police Violence. Journal of African American Studies. 21 (2): 269–281.
Fawehinmi, M.(2016, July 27). Agony of Nigerians. The Guardian.
Gauge, O.P. (2012). Western Political Thought. Sarai Publication.
Gunnell, J. G. (2013). The Reconstitution of Political Theory: David Easton, Behavioralism, and the Long Road to System. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 49(2).190-210.
Gupta, R. (2003). Political Theory New Concepts New Perspectives. Sultan Chand & Sons.
Henley, J (2018, June 2). “Citizenship for sale: how tycoons can go shopping for a new passport”. The Guardian.
Hobsbawm, E. (2004). Marx, Karl Heinrich Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed).
Idowu, M. K.(2003).African who sang and saw tomorrow. In Schoonmaker, T. (Ed), Fela: From West Africa to West Broadway (pp 16-25).
Kaufman-Osborn, T V. (2010). Political Theory as Profession and as Subfield? Political Research Quarterly, 63(3), 655–673.
Kittrie, NN. (1995). The War against Authority: From the Crisis of Legitimacy to a New Social Contract. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Labinjoh, J. (1982). Fela Anikulapo Kuti: Protest music and social processes. Journal of Black Studies, 13(1),119-134.
Lane, M.(2000). Socrates and Plato: An introduction. In In S. Harrison & M. Lane (Authors) & C. Rowe & M. Schofield (Eds.),The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Political Thought (The Cambridge History of Political Thought), pp 155-163Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lord, C. (2013). Aristotle’s Politics. University of Chicago Press.
Johari, J. C. (1979). Contemporary Political Theory. Sterling.
Johari, J. C. (2013). Principles of Modern Political Science. Sterling Publishers Pvt.
Mantly, E. (2020). State and citizens in context. In, Ayobade Akinola and Bibiana Bisong (eds). Essays in honour of Tunde Adewale. Lagos: Concept.
Mabinuori, K. (1986). Fela: Why black man carry shit. Opinion Media.Miller, F.(2011). ‘Aristotle’s Political Theory. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Available at Http://Plato.Stanford.Edu/Entries/Aristotle-Politics.
Michaelis, J.D. (Ed.). Introduction to the New Testament (1). F & C Rivington.
Miliband, R. (1983). Class power and state power. Verso.Moseley, A. (2014). Political Realism. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Marsh, H .(1823). “Dissertation on the Origin of Our Three First Canonical Gospels. In Michaelis, J D (Ed.). Introduction to the New Testament (pp 167–409)
Mubin, M. (2018). Understanding man as a political animal. Journal of Academic advancement, 2(2), 1-19.
Qabrati, I. (2020). The Concept of Law and Justice. Prizren Social Science Journal, 4 (3), 69-73
Olaniyan, T. (2004). Arrest the music! Fela and his rebel arts and politics. Indiana University Press.
Olorunyomi, S. (2003). Afrobeat: Fela and the imagined continent. IFRA.
Oluwole (2017). Socrates and Orunnmila: Two patron saints of classical philosophy. Ark Publishers.
Osagie, E.(1998). The Crippled Giant: Nigeria since Independence. Indiana University Pres
Riggs, E. R., Plano, J C.Robin, H S. (1982). The Dictionary of Political Analysis. Abc-Clio.
Robert, S (1983). A Dictionary of Political Thought. Harpertrade, Pan Books
Rodrigues, A., Lloyd-Thomas, M. (2014, February 7). “Dahl’s Legacy Remembered”. Yale Daily News.
Rolland, P.(1984). Les Premiers Évangiles, Un Nouveau Regard Sur Le Problème Synoptique (In French). Les Éditions Du Cerf.
Sabine,G. H. (1937). A History of Political Theory. Holt, Rinehart and Winston Inc.
Scheidel, W. (2013). Studying the State. In Bang, F.P., Scheidel, W. (Eds), The Oxford Handbook of the State in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean.
Shonekan, S (2009). Fela’s Foundation: Examining the Revolutionary Songs of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and the Abeokuta Market Women’s Movement in 1940s Western Nigeria. Black Music Research Journal, 29 (1). 127-144. .
Spruyt, H.(2002). The Origins, Development, and Possible Decline of the Modern State. Annual Review of Political Science, 5 (1), 127–149.
Vermani, R.C. (2011). An Introduction to Political Theory. Gitanjali Publishing House
Webster, M. 2(021, February 12). Political Theory. In Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Https://Www.Merriam-Webster.Com/Dictionary/Political%20theory .