Joakim Noah Talks About His Roots and Fela Kuti

Chicago Bulls star Joakim Noah sat down with OkayAfrica TV to discuss his admiration for the legendary singer Fela Kuti when he was growing up, along with the importance of knowing your roots.

“Fela Kuti is before my generation but he’s somebody that I still admire… we live in a society right now where people are afraid to say how they feel, but Fela was never afraid to speak his truth,” said Noah, son of the legendary tennis player Yannick Noah. Noah, whose mother is Swedish, was born in New York City but spent much of his childhood in Paris.

Noah went on reference an opportunity he had to discuss Fela Kuti’s music with President Obama. “To me that just said a lot about him, somebody who knows about Fela is somebody who knows his origin, knows about his roots, I can respect that.”

Yesterday marked the first new release of Fela Kuti material since 1992. Fela Kuti’s Live In Detroit 1986 was mastered from a bootleg copy of his 1986 performance at the Fox Theatre with the Egypt 80’s and is available now for purchase.


Back to top