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Burna Boy: Nobody In Their Right Mind Would Compare Me With Fela

Burna Boy is the profile focus in a recent interview by international men’s lifestyle magazine, GQ. In the interview titled “Burna Boy, Global Giant” the “Ye” singer talks about the comparison with Fela Kuti.

Most conversations on Burna Boy never seem complete without name-dropping Fela, the pioneer of Afrobeat whose work serves as the foundation to the 28-year-old’s career.

Burna Boy

Burna Boy | Image: Prince Gyasi/GQ Magazine

Just last week, Burna sparked outrage on social media when he declared himself the best since Fela in a series of now-deleted tweets.


In the GQ interview, Burna Boy said he doesn’t feel good about the comparison, it makes him feel “weird”.

“I don’t think anybody in their right mind would compare me to Fela.

“Fela is my inspiration and my childhood hero, so if you think comparing me to Fela is honourable, it’s actually not. It actually makes me feel weird. Fela was Fela, and if it wasn’t for Fela, there probably wouldn’t be any me, so I don’t understand the comparison.”

When asked if he still talks with his grandfather about Fela, Burna replied, “Every time. Almost every other day.”

Burna Boy also touched on his controversial stance on the Xenophobic bruhaha that erupted last year in South Africa as well as his vision for the unification of Africa.

On South Africa:
In the wake of the Xenophobic attacks that rocked South Africa last September, Burna Boy came under fire for his comments which culminated in a series of social media battle with South African rapper AKA and cancellations of shows in the country.

Burna Boy told GQ that he felt the need to comment on the crisis because of his pan-African vision.

“My family is Africa, which is why you will hear me speaking on the South Africa issue, which is why it strikes a nerve. It’s almost like having your whole body, and your hand is not working. That’s what it feels like.”

Burna believes that now is the time for South Africa and Africa to wake up as there is so much going on in the world to just care about just being rich and being good for Instagram.

“The more of that there is, the more the world suffers, and what’s important just goes down the drain and the downward spiral continues. It’s even accelerated. Now is the time. Everybody should wake the fuck up. South Africa and the whole of Africa needs to wake the fuck up.”

The Unification of Africa:
Burna Boy sees his music as a tool for the unification of Africa – it is his only goal.

“The reason for everything I do and how I do it is for one goal and one goal only, and that’s the eventual unity of Africa. One day we’ll have one passport, one African currency, one Africa. Then and only then will my mission be complete.”

Asked if he sees this vision happening in his lifetime, Burna says: “No, realistically I don’t. But that’s why I’m going to keep on fighting for it, and that’s why I’m going to keep pushing this message in my music. Because I want my children and their children to be proud to be African, to own a part of Africa. What I don’t want is for my children to still feel like foreigners in their own home.”

In this article:
Burna BoyFela Kuti
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