Nigeria’s Headless Statue of Fela Kuti

A new statue of Nigeria’s most famous musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti has been erected in Lagos state to celebrate the legend and also the city of Lagos at 50-years-old.

However, there’s one striking thing about the statue – it has no head or hands! And it’s become quite controversial among Nigerians.

“It was deliberately chosen to leave the statue headless as an artistic expression of freedom is never complete while thinking about the work Fela Kuti achieved and the work of freedom is never complete,” explains a plaque at the base of the large yellow statue.

So, BattaBox asked Nigerians for their interpretation of the headless Fela Kuti statue

“On my way coming I was looking at it, and it looks like it’s pointing somewhere ahead,” says one guy passing by.

“It looks very nice, but the problem is there is no fingers, hands or head!”

“It’s cool but it doesn’t have a head! Maybe that’s because Nigeria does not have a head!” laughs one woman.

The tall, striking statue has been named the “Freedom Statue” and the plague at the base of the Lagos statue reads on:

“This striking pose of the iconic Fela Anikulapo Kuti is the true essence of freedom. He is a legend who fought for freedom from government oppressions through persistence, determination, and patience as seen in his spoken word and lyrical music.”

Many more new statues have appeared in Lagos, Nigeria to celebrate Lagos at 50 years old, and  so we sent our BattaBox presenters Folly and Bolly to check out them out for you!

Another Lagos state is of eight canoes on the Lagos Airport road decorated with slang and depicting Lagos life and waterways – remembering that Lagos is a town on the water with many ancient coast line traditions. The statues are 30ft high, and are life size canoes made of fibreglass.

Don’t forget Lagos state is called the “State of Aquatic Splendour” – and Nigerians love the concept behind them:

“It gives me inspiration that Lagos statae respects my community,” says one guy.

What do you think of the new statues celebrating Lagos Mega-City at 50-years-old? And what do you think – should the Fela Kuti statue have a head?


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  1. It doesn’t make sense to leave the statue headless, I believe that wasn’t the intention something must have happened. I don’t know why Fela’s children accepted that, why didn’t they remove the head of Awolowo for the same reason? This is nonsense, it depicts disrespect and abuse rather that what the government is claiming.

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