The South African State Theatre, an agency of the country’s Department of Arts and Culture, has premiered, on YouTube, a play about Fela Kuti and the 27 women he married on the same day in 1978. Fela and the Kalakuta Queens is a Nigerian play, and this, The Guardian Nigeria reports, marks the first time a foreign theatre has monetized a Nigerian theatre’s play online.
Produced and directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters, Fela and the Kalakuta Queens focuses on the musician’s 27 wives while exploring his rise to prominence through music and popularity through government criticism. It draws attention to the Kalakuta Republic, highlighting the fashion, dance, and identities of the women.
Fela and the Kalakuta Queens also became the first Nigerian production to run in South Africa when it was shown from March-April of this year.
Otosirieze Obi-Young is Editor of Folio Nigeria, where he profiles innovators and facilitators in culture: art, business, entertainment, activism, health, food. He is a writer, journalist, curator, media consultant, former academic, and Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Open Country Mag, a new online platform covering African literature. In 2019, he received the inaugural The Future Awards Africa Prize for Literature. In 2020, he was named among "The 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians" by Avance Media. Find him on otosirieze.com or on Twitter & Insta: @otosirieze.