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Adesola Osakalumi, star of the Tony-winning musical FELA! based on the life of Fela Kuti, explains how that Nigerian pioneer of Afrobeat music made honest ladies out of his concurrent wives. “The majority of women who lived with Fela in his compound often did so without the blessing of their families,” the actor-singer-choreographer tells host Joy Keys. “So they were considered less than upstanding women. There’s a line in the show where he says, ‘They’re not dope-smoking whores. They’re not prostitutes.’ So what Fela did—which was courageous—he said, well, if the institution of marriage is what makes a woman legitimate, then fine: I’ll marry them. Now the onus is off them and it’s on me. If you have a problem with them, come to me.”
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