The first half of “Coffin For Head Of State” deals, via a metaphorical journey, with the harmful impact of Islam and Christianity on Nigeria. The second half describes a real journey: a protest march Fela made, accompanied by his family and members of the Young African Pioneers, on head of state General Obasanjo’s residence at Dodan army barracks on 30 September 1979, the day before Obasanjo retired from the Nigerian presidency. The purpose of the march was to shame Obasanjo for causing Fela’s mother’s death (her health steadily declined after being thrown out of a second-floor window by soldiers during the army’s 1977 attack on Kalakuta Republic). The protesters deposited a symbolic coffin outside Obasanjo’s house. On leaving the barracks, Fela and the other mourners were attacked and ferociously beaten by soldiers.

First re-issued by Knitting Factory Records as part of Fela Kuti Box Set #4 curated by Erykah Badu in 2018. Originally released by Kalakuta.

#
Track
Artist
Time
01
Coffin For Head Of State
Fela Kuti
00:22:42