Fela increases his involvement with the direct-action political movement the Young African Pioneers, of which sleeve designer Ghariokwu Lemi is a prominent member. The album Ikoyi Blindness introduces the Africanised credit “Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and Afrika 70.” It is followed by Zombie, an eviscerating attack on the violent abuse of power by the Nigerian army.
In total, Fela releases seven albums with Africa 70 / Afrika 70 and appears on two more by the Ghanaian bands Hedzoleh Soundz and Basa-Basa Soundz. Yellow Fever returns to the theme of Nigeria’s post-colonial cultural inferiority complex, first touched on in 1973’s Gentleman. Upside Down has guest vocals from Sandra Izsadore, the radicalising girlfriend Fela met in 1969 while on tour of the US with Nigeria 70.
At year end, preparing for an influx of foreign visitors for spring 1977’s FESTAC (The World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture), the government introduces Operation Ease The Traffic: soldiers horsewhip motorists in the street. Fela denounces it as “Operation Beat The Nation.”