The Kalakuta Republic Museum is a museum in Lagos showing off —
(i) the personality and life of the great Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
(ii) the history of the Kalakuta Republic.
The museum is located at “14 Agege Motor Road, Idi-Oro, Mushin, Lagos”.
For those who are hearing about the Kalakuta Republic for the first time, the Kalakuta Republic is a republic founded by Fela in the year 1970.
Fela founded this republic when he returned to Nigeria (from England) with half-baked ideas about how he could make Nigeria better.
During the days of the republic’s existence, Fela ruled Kalakuta similarly to the way village chiefs would rule their villages.
And there was a huge following of touts who served like security officials protecting the republic.
Fela’s Kalakuta Republic lasted till 1977, when some of his boys got into a fight with a soldier.
It was learned that,
Some of his boys got into a fight with a soldier, and when a group of soldiers later came back to demand the handing over of the boys to them, Fela refused to comply.
This act made the then head of state (Olusegun Obasanjo) very angry, so he sent a total 1,000 heavily armed soldiers to the place. Their mission was to capture Fela and burn down his republic.
Fortunately for Fela,
He was able to escape the wrath of these angry soldiers, but his escape only made them angrier, which led to them throwing his mother from the second floor of the Kalakuta Republic’s building. Fela’s mother died as a result, and his Kalakuta Republic was burnt, marking the end of the short-lived Kalakuta Republic.
What you will see at the museum
At Kalakuta Republic Museum,
You are going to see a lot of album covers, newspaper pages, paintings, personal belongings, pictures, portraits, and posters showing off the life of the great musician.
You’ll be shown the room he was using during his existence.
This room has been left untouched since his death in 1983. So you should have a better glimpse of what his life was like.
Some things you should know
The tour guides have quite limited knowledge
To help you get the best out of your visit to the museum, a tour guide will be assigned to you.
The tour guide will be the one to take you through the house and also tell you about the things you see.
While most people will be satisfied with only the things said to them by their guides, there are some who will have additional questions.
And if you’re one of those who may like to ask additional questions, I have to inform you that the tour guides have quite limited knowledge about Fela and the Kalakuta Republic.
In other words,
Don’t expect much from them, when it comes to asking questions.
I’ve come across a good number of occasions where some very curious ladies asked some thoughtful questions.
But in all cases,
These guides either found ways to avoid the questions or gave unhelpful answers.
Fela is buried on the property
Another thing I also think is worthwhile mentioning is that Fela is buried within the premises of the Kalakuta Republic Museum. His grave is just by the side of the entrance. So when you step into the compound, you’re bound to see where he is buried.
Don’t forget the rooftop bar
The three-story building of the Kalakuta Republic Museum has a rooftop bar.
This bar is a place where Fela and his people used to have fun, especially at night.
Spending some time in this place can be very fun, so I think you shouldn’t miss it for any reason.
Getting into Kalakuta Republic Museum, of course, requires an entrance fee.
The entrance fee, per head, is not fixed, as I paid different amounts on some occasions.
But you can prepare to pay at least N1,000.
Opening days and hours
Kalakuta Republic Museum is ordinarily open from Sunday to Saturday.
I don’t know if they do open on festive days and public holidays.
As regards the opening hours, the museum gets opened between the hours of 9 am and 6 pm, although, I won’t recommend going before 10 am, if you’ll like them to attend to you shortly after getting there.
Kalakuta Republic Museum is a great place to visit.
If you’re not ordinarily a big fan of Fela, don’t bother going at all, as you’ll almost certainly end up disappointed.
The tour takes just about 45 minutes to 1 hour, so take that into consideration, when planning your visit to the place.