Late Nigerian musical legend, Fela Ransome-Kuti, has been honoured by the United States Congress in the city of Houston, in Texas. Popularly known as Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the iconoclastic musician was recognised for his contribution to “musical excellence” and its creation of the Afro-beat genre, which has endured over the years. In the certificate signed by Sheila Jackson Lee, a member of the Eighteenth Congressional district of Texas and dated 1 July, 2005, Fela was hailed for his “musical gift” and “deserving of the respect, admiration and recognition of the United States Congress”. Fela, who was born on 15 October 1938 and died 2 August 1997, was a multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, human rights activist and political maverick. Fela was a gadfly to the various military regimes and civilian government, and had many run-ins with the law. He had been jailed, pummeled, his house burnt and suffered many persecutions for his belief and lifestyle. The enigma, as Fela was, remained immutable and tenacious until his death by complications arising from AIDs.
The Congressional recognition is a time-worn event in which men and women across diverse human and professional endeavours are honoured for their contribution to public service, legendary invention or efforts.
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