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Seun Kuti: I Don’t Believe in Marriage…Marriage Institution in Nigeria Has Collapsed

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Seun Kuti

Seun Kuti, youngest son of the legendary afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, has made it known in an exclusive interview with Encomium magazine that he does not believe in marriage, especially as a result of the short term marriages in Nigeria today.

In a chat with the magazine he talks freely about marriage, his new album, being a dad and much more.

Read excerpts from his interview below:

Are you under pressure your dad left big shoes for you? I am not always under pressure, even when people try to create pressure, because they don’t understand why I’m not under pressure. The fact that I’m Fela’s son made me who I’m today. It is not something I picked up on the way. My dad always taught us to accept who we are and I accepted the entirety of my individuality long time ago. I didn’t see myself having to step into my father’s shoes, I see myself having to fulfill my aspiration. If I am happy, my dad will be happy as well.

Away from that, let’s talk about fatherhood. How does it feel? Being a father is a special thing. Anybody can have a baby, because it’s very interesting and life changing to be a father. For me, it’s a different life entirely. Now, I have to think about myself and my family. At the same time, it’s interesting.

What are your plans to get married to the mother of your child? I don’t believe in marriage. I and my partner already share a very strong relationship. We’re raising a very beautiful daughter. Marriage is not something I indulge. The truth is, marriage institution in Nigeria has collapsed. Nobody is even getting married for long anymore. On the average, it’s within a year. Although, they still marry, they separate.

And what do you think is responsible for this? Because people get married for wrong reasons. As a matter of fact, the institution of marriage is fading away in the traditional sense of marriage – for love; for better for worse; and all sorts. It’s fading because women are no longer submissive. For you to live together with someone for life, someone must be submissive. That is easier when women are not working, and they depend on their husband. But now, it’s becoming difficult because they are now working; making money even more than men. The situation is terrible now. Even if you, as a man, is not looking outside, your wife will look.

That shouldn’t be an excuse for you not getting married; bring your family together to have fun? Is that the purpose of marriage? That’s a decision for me, and my partner already agreed. In fact, there was a wedding we attended in Ibadan, the couple broke-up at the reception. What about that?  Because of picture, the bride’s father wanted to take first, and the groom’s father said No, and all sorts of things started. They broke-up right at the reception.

But your late father got married; as a matter of fact, he married 27. What’s your take on that? Like I said, Nigerians are not looking at issues deeply. If you look deep into the issue you raised now, you’ll discover that in 1986, Fela divorced all his wives. People seem to forget this fact. It also goes to buttress my point that says, marriage is becoming a fading institution. I mean, Fela was the epitome of marriage. First, he married one; then he married 26 at once. He has experienced both, and later, he came out to say marriage is bad. What about that?

You can read up his full interview here.

38 Comments

  1. maria

    December 11, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Wow!!! He is so shallow it is unbelievable. women are not submissive so he wants a house girl

  2. wannibee

    December 11, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Ummm is it me or dis guy sounds stupid and meaningless…???

  3. Bvl

    December 11, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Whatever rocks your boat Oga!!! #MarriageIsn’tforEverybody

  4. BabyDee

    December 11, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Eeeeya, but Seun no one cares what you have to say now? You don’t get? Ain’t noborry care!

    -BabyDee

  5. jake ro.

    December 11, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Wel, maybe in your own thiniing and culture, others are doing fairly well..it may not be going well with some marriages but I believe that it is still one of the most important institution ordained by God and humanity.as people use to say —as you make your bed so you lie on it.i only pity women who decide to be with men like you with no commitment and boundries, cos for me men like you only want a chance to be able to run around with different women without being held responsible for it.in a way being —— greedy.

  6. Ni Ne

    December 11, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Sigh…. he doesn’t believe in marriage? so how do you show commitment to your partner? All his reasons are baseless really.

    PS: His father left him big shoes to fill? puhleeeease, Femi was around way longer before he came on the scene

  7. bruno

    December 11, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    who respects the institution of marriage anymore. Britney Spears got married for 55 hours, katy perry’s marriage lasted for one year, kim kardashian second marriage lasted 72 days, nollywood actress uche ogbodo’s marriage lasted for just one month.

    marriage in nigeria is so over rated. I feel marriage in nigeria is master buys slave girl. what are the benefits if being married in nigeria, unlike america or other developed countries, where married couples get all sorts of benefits, more than one thousand benefits for married ciupkea in usa.

    if a man and a woman gets divorce in nigeria, does the woman get any thing, NO. being a married couple in nigeria to me is so pointless.

    • Tosin

      December 12, 2014 at 8:53 am

      Co-sign.
      The world is changing. Marriage will be left behind. Amen.

    • Athena S.A.

      December 12, 2014 at 9:54 am

      I so agree with you Bruno,, marriage is so overrated in Nigeria. Its like women are raised up just to be married, have kids and be submissive for the rest of your life!!! Seriously!!!! Marriage is not for all of us….

    • BB

      December 12, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      Everybody have a choice about marrying or not, and meaning of marriage to each and of every one are different , besides all those people you mention are not Africans, and some that are Africans are celebrates. Americans know nothing about marriage like we do, they don’t believe in marriage. I believe all marriage that doesn’t last are couple who are famous or are very rich in one way or the other.

  8. ola

    December 11, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    The truth is always bitter…..naija people and marriage…some even get married just because they want to hold a party to show off.

  9. Nahum

    December 11, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Women are not submissive??? Marriage in Nigeria is failing because of men like you!!! Men who just want glorified house girls to make babies and shut up. The Nigerian woman wants more and we are demanding for more. Nigerian men better change their ways cause they will soon end up on the “least likely to find a partner” list

  10. Eno

    December 11, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    This is a clear case of taking one step forward and two steps back. Whew!

  11. Irritated

    December 11, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    So this young man thinks that because he is the son of a legend he has the right to talk trash. Pls shut your uneducated mouth up, talking about women are not submissive. Get yourself a pet if you want someone to be submissive. Trash

  12. el patron

    December 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    what happened to freedom of expression.. the guy has viewed is points, you don’t agree, good for you.. not insulting the guy.
    And I think he’s talking from the point that western way of life has corrupted our values as Africans.
    we need to chill.

  13. Idomagirl

    December 11, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    LMAO…Nigerians cannot discuss marriage without mentioning submission…rampant adultery and domestic violence are non-issues as far as you people are concerned, submission is the beginning and end of everything.

    • Nahum

      December 12, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Idomagirl, thank you o!! I have taken your words and replied Animal Doctor with it

  14. SunanaAmina

    December 11, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    no b him fault. na d him type wey open leg born 4 em fault. yeye natu jaku jaku. shioorr. i jst pity d kids they are bringing into dis world.

  15. Animal Doctor

    December 11, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    @ nahum and the rest of you who think like her,

    when you finish your feminist gangsterism online, shebi you will log off your pc/put your phone in your bag and face the realities of life? Even the bible says wives should be submissive to their husbands

    • Nahum

      December 12, 2014 at 11:23 am

      My dear, as it was mentioned in one of the comments above, before you bring out any bible passage preaching about the submission of wives, please preach to your fellow men about the rampant adultery and domestic violence that they inflict on their wives. When Nigerian men can deal with these issues that have been raised, then I NAHUM, will jump on the submission train. Until then, miss me with that ish!!!

    • Idomagirl

      December 12, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      But we haven’t said women shouldn’t submit to their husbands. We are saying Nigerians should quit acting as if that is all that is needed for a marriage to succeed, why is this so hard for you people to understand?

      Every blasted time, ‘wives submit, wives submit’, when are we going to place the same emphasis on “husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church, even to the point of dying for her”? Please stop the hypocrisy, the bible wasn’t written for only women…

      People who will excuse male adultery and even domestic violence will be preaching submission to us. Abeg.

  16. chi-e-z

    December 11, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Actually nah Seun has been there just Femi became the most popular one in mainstream music at that time. My dad always said he thought Seun was most popular since he was a lot like his dad in voicing opinions on social issues at least around people that knew them.

    But really is he saying everyone is forming LADY now. I just think most men need to grow a pair and say what they want Chop Food and get pikin or Love, Bread making wife. Because women like me will quickly show you the door so you can go to the one that wants your money and say yes sir how many pikin you want. If guys didn’t form like they love and will support you for who you are then no need for divorce there’ll be no marriage to begin with. Everyone needs to be honest about what they want then marriage would work simple. but guys always flexing if you’re at home taking care of pikin not working then you’re lazy, if you’re working and bringing home money then no oh he’s an African man he can’t he help with kids and you’re not a subdued true African woman. Yet this men would be the first to marry a woman from another country and support this woman’s dreams, work, and take care of child too. For some reason, an African woman that has aspirations other than being pikin and food oven is an awful woman but every other woman is normal. African men = the source of craze for African women head. Uni do well 4 ur sisters eh no support or motivate. Tschew >_ >

  17. deb

    December 11, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    If you don’t know the worth of a woman, you won’t know the worth of marriage. Men like you. Talk like this because of the trashy girls with no self esteem, not intelligent and highly manipulative you find your selves with

  18. Just me

    December 11, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    One man’s meat is another man’s poison. Clearly, marriage is not his cup of tea so he is letting us know. Why he thinks we need to know, well go figure. Anyway, whatever keeps him happy, please yourself.

  19. femi

    December 12, 2014 at 1:02 am

    Shallow mindedness

  20. Bbbbbbbbbb

    December 12, 2014 at 1:28 am

    He has a point , I think marriage is overrated in naija . I believe in marriage but get ur priorities right and follow d guidelines men love ur wives and wives be submissive but these days it is hard because women earn a lot not like when women were teachers nurses or secretaries or housewives if u know u can’t b submissive don’t bother to get married and u must have long suffering

  21. Miss Jones

    December 12, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Who hurt you sir? I was even coming to agree with him on the marriage institution bants about marriages not lasting and all that jazz, then I see his reasons are totally senseless. What a narrow minded soul. Matter fact I wish I could unread this bants.

  22. nene

    December 12, 2014 at 2:43 am

    fela’s kids though.

  23. Dexter

    December 12, 2014 at 5:26 am

    What a pity!Another unfortunate young man condemned to damnation.What puerile and infantile opinion!Extremely shallow.These are the sort of men who treat women with disdain and want them on chains as their slaves.My dear Seun, your marriage will work if you want it to and make efforts for it to work.It is because men like you have refused to respect women, have refused to accept that women are special and have rights in marriage and should be loved, that is why marriages fail.It might take a lot of effort but at the end of the day, it is worth it. Please change your mentality and stop indulging in illegality, an unmarried partner is not what the bible calls her, the bible calls her ” a wife.”

  24. dimpled.freak

    December 12, 2014 at 6:20 am

    looooooooooool women are to blame for broken marriages???????what a super looser. Your partner understands your stance on marriage because she doesnt want to marry you before you start beating her cus she aint submissive enough. oga go to school my friend kmt

  25. Justme

    December 12, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Na wa ! So shocking to learn humans still have the sorts of ideas !

  26. susu

    December 12, 2014 at 10:12 am

    rubbish. just tell us you are to stingy to organize a marriage ceremony.

  27. B

    December 12, 2014 at 10:54 am

    eh yah! That Seun’s baby mama is going to remain a baby mama forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. omoibo

    December 12, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Dude is very much entitled to his opinions about marriage, the institution isn’t made for everyone and for the commenter that said it was a way to show commitment I beg to differ.
    There is so much societal pressure to get married, both male & female inclusive that people see it as a sign of failure or incompleteness if you don’t.
    Lots of us are getting into marriage for the wrong reasons and end up unhappily ever after, if two people are together and have a great thing going and neither has a problem with not being married so be it.

  29. john bosco

    December 12, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Lmaoo, that’s true, I have seen men quickly quote The Bible, when it comes to submission, but when it comes to the main issue affecting marriages today which is rampant adultery, you will start hearing things like “men are polygamous in Nature” even some women make this excuse for men.

    • Idomagirl

      December 12, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Are you minding them?

  30. Laura

    December 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    oh please! its like saying i dont want to eat eba cos i see it makes people fat, try it yourself and be committed to it, just like u hope to be committed to your r/ship. Just a lame excuse.

  31. Greydays

    December 12, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    He does not value the marriage institution. #no problem.
    He has a partner who agrees with him. #no problem.
    He saw a couple who broke up @their wedding reception. I guess this has scarred him for life. #no problem.
    He’s raising a daughter whom I expect will grow up. I hope he wouldn’t have any problem if a man makes her his babymama and doesn’t believe in marriage too.
    Let the oshofree work begin…

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