Legendary Fela Kuti’s story hits cinemas

Fela and The Kalakuta Queens’

The highly anticipated Fela and The Kalakuta Queens’ stage-to-screen film will premiere in Ster-Kinekor Theatres’ cinemas this Friday, 22 October 2021.

Produced by the South African State Theatre (SAST) in association with Bolanle Austen-Peters Productions (BAP), written and directed by the award-winning Bolanle Austen Peters, the film chronicles the complicated life and times of the late legendary musician, Fela Anikulapo Kuti (played by OLaitan “Heavywind” Adeniji), also known as Fela Kuti or simply Fela. From birth to life as a defiant and uncompromising social activist, a flamboyant musical maestro and his historic marriage to his 27 wives (known as the Queens), the story of Fela and his Kalakuta Queens is a compelling one, while at the same time deeply moving and emotionally engaging. It travels through the honest and selfless love the icon had with his dancers (Queens) who left their homes to follow him, believing in his vision of building a better community through arts and music.

The story also explores the lives of these women who constituted an integral part of his band and gives a unique insight into the negotiation of gender and power relations at the Kalakuta Republic, while also showcasing their unique fashion, dance and African identity, and unmasking common misconceptions about them. Peters works with prolific choreographers Paolo Sisiano and Justin Ezirim, and revered composer Kehinde Oretimehin on the production of thirty-six members cast, backed by a fifteen-piece.

“Nigerians form a strong community in promoting Nigerian and African culture in notable cities around the globe. We believe that a historic and cultural production like Fela and the Kalakuta Queens will be received well in South Africa – considering Fela’s iconic status and the increasing interest in afrobeat internationally,” says Peters.

Fela and The Kalakuta Queens’ will screen from 22 October until 14 November in SKT cinemas including Musgrave (Durban), Sterland and Brooklyn (Pretoria), Newtown and Rosebank Nouveau (Johannesburg) and Baywest (Gqeberha). Tickets can be purchased at SKT Cinemas and online on the website www.sterkinekor.com.

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South African State Theatre