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World AIDS Day: How Olikoye Announced How Fela Died Of AIDS

Saturday August 2 1997 ,‘At 2115 the Ransome Kuti family issued a Press statement which said that the Chief Priest died about 1700 at a Lagos hospital. The family went on to say that they would address a press conference at the Afrika Shrine at 1600 on Sunday. The whole Kalakuta Empire was in shock and confusion. nobody volunteered to say anything to anybody. It could be another of those Fela’s shows.’
Sunday August 3 1997
‘At 1530 everybody had gathered at the Shrine to hear what the family had to say. The place was filled to capacity that some fans had to break down the doors so they could enter. At exactly 1600 Professor Olikoye said: ‘Gentlemen of the Press, Fela is no stranger to you. We have suffered a great loss and we thank God for his life and work. A lot has been written about Fela in the last few days. We have very little to add to our previous statement. We however, want to use this opportunity to clarify issues and clear any misconceptions that you may have concerning Fela. He died yesterday in a hospital located in Victoria Island at approximately 5.30pm. The immediate cause of death is heart failure but he had many complications arising from AIDS. Funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised but as soon as they have been , we will issue a statement to the Press announcing the details. Thank You.’
From the book ‘The Ikoyi Prison Narratives: The Spiritualism and Political Philosophy of #Fela Kuti’

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