COULD IT BE TRUE?: On Burna Boy’s Mother and Fela

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There have been insinuations in the social media space that Burna Boy could have been Fela Anikulapo Kuti‘s son if nature had permitted a turn of events. The rumors are as a result of a picture currently circulating in which Burna Boy’s mother, Bose Ogulu who was one of Fela’s dancers in the 80s was seen in a very compromising position on stage with Fela Kuti. This has led many to suggest that Burna Boy’s mother was more than just a dancer for Fela. Nigerians have started to assume that since everyone knows that Fela most times gets his dancers pregnant and sometimes marries them, Burna Boy was probably one of his offspring.
However, according to Bose Ogulu aka ‘Mama Burna’, who also doubles as her son’s manager “How could I have danced for him? Chronologically, it doesn’t add up…when did I dance for Fela?” she says laughing, adding that the musician was, instead, the closest thing she had to a godfather.
Bose is the daughter of Benson Idonije, a well-known radio host, was the legendary Afrobeat originator Fela Kuti’s first band manager. Benson exposed her young daughter to the inner-workings of the music industry from an early age (and to the possibility of following alternative career paths). It’s why she felt confident committing fully to her love of language, despite pleas from educators to follow a more traditional route. “I studied languages. and went around the world doing it,” she recalls with observable pride. “I remember in ‘Uni’ they called me back three times. They said ‘do you not want to change to the law department?’ You are a very smart student. “I [simply] said, ‘No, I want to study Languages’’.
Bose Ogulu’s own accomplishment is not only as a manager, but also includes her academic and professional accomplishments. With a Bachelor of Arts in foreign languages (she speaks French, Italian, German, English, and Yoruba), and a Masters of Arts in translation, Ogulu had a successful career as a translator for the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce that predates and rivals any social media fame surrounding her. She was the CEO of Language Bridges, a language and music school, where she organized cultural immersion trips for over 1,800 young people. Present-day, she not only manages the career of her son, but of other acts like musical and visual artist Nissl Nation and author Benson Idonije. And for 29 of her years, she has been a wife (She is also the mother of three children).

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