Overlooking misogyny: a critical examination of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s music, lifestyle and legacy




Babalola, Adebukunola Oluwayemisi


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This study examines the ways in which misogyny is projected through the media and how patriarchal norms and expectations have contributed to misogyny being overlooked in society. This is achieved by looking at the extent to which misogyny is being projected and overlooked in the media through popular music, specifically Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s music, lifestyle and legacy. Prior scholarship on feminist theory, gender studies, and cultural hegemony theories form the theoretical framework on which this study relies. The analysis finds that one of the frequently occurring themes in Kuti’s music is the objectification of women and prejudiced portrayal of men as being dominant over women. Also, Kuti’s polygamy and the role of his wives in his performances and publicity did little to enhance the positive perception of women which proves that women also play a role in social prejudices against women. Despite this, Kuti was and is widely celebrated for being a human rights activist because he kicked against the military rule and corruption prevalent in Nigeria at that time. This underscores the extent to which misogyny is being overlooked, especially in patriarchally dominated societies. Misrepresentations of women must be challenged and eradicated from all forms of media to make any headway in successfully tackling misogyny. Findings from this study will provide suitable framework for scholars and future researchers hoping to further explore on eradicating misogyny and the devastating consequences of this social injustice if left unchecked.



feminism, media, objectification, patriarchy, popular music, stereotypes