1970s Africa

1 January 2001
1971. South Africa. Beatles
The South African government lifts its ban on the Beatles’ recordings.
1970s. Zaïre. Franco Luambo Makiadi
In Zaïre (later renamed D. R. Congo) one of the greats of Congolese/Zaïrean music, Franco Luambo Makiadi, the leader of OK Jazz, was jailed on a number of occasions and had several records banned by the Mobutu regime, even though he was a crucial part of its authenticité programme.
Source: Index of Censorship: ‘Smashed Hits’ Volume 27, 6/1998, p. 12.
1970s and 1980s. Nigeria. Fela Kuti
The Nigerian music legend Fela Kuti, who his fans nicknamed ‘Baba’, meaning ‘Father’, encountered difficulties with almost every Nigerian government after independence. He published nearly 50 LP albums, and the lyrics of his songs were always very critical of the government. He was imprisoned several times, often because of alleged drugs-charges.
In Index on Censorship no 6, 1998, Nigerian journalist Rohimi Santorri writes:
“In 1977, about 1,000 soldiers armed to the teeth attacked Fela Kuti’s fortified home, the socalled ‘Kalakuta Republic’, and razed it to the ground. Millions of naira-worth of equipment was destroyed, men were viciously beaten, singers and dancers were raped. Fela’s mother was thrown from a second-floor window and died shortly after. Fela and his band, the Africa 70, were gaoled for “breaching the public peace” and a host of other offences. Kalakuta was seized. (…) Aside from his music, Fela’s ‘real offence’, in the words of one government official, was that he had began to “take himself too seriously”.”



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