kalakuta Republic was the name musician and political activist Fela Kuti gave to the communal compound that housed his wives , children, band members, and recording studio. Located at 14 Agege Motor Road, Idi-Oro,Mushin,Lagos,Nigeria . it had a free health clinic, and recording facility. Fela declared it independent from the Nigerian government after he returned from the United States in 1970.The word “kalakuta” was a caricature of a prison cell named Calcutta that Fela inhabited in the late 90s . The compound burned to the ground on February 18, 1977 after an assault by a thousand armed soldiers.Before that day Fela organised for himself a house from which he lived and communed, recorded his iconic music, staged entertainment shows from its famous shrine and of course launched his personal rebellion against the government.Kalakuta was to become a stage for some turning points in the life of Fela, such as when he released the famous ‘zombie’ song, which led to his house being invaded by the Nigerian army.
In the recent years “the play, Fela and the Kalakuta Queens ” commemorates Fela’s life and the other inhabitants of the commune. (Fela And The Kalakuta Queens)They did not only beat and arrest him, they also lashed out at those they found in Kalakuta, raping, looting and finally throwing down Fela’s mother, the late renowned Funmilayo Kuti, a fall she didn’t recover from.