Fela Anikulapo Kuti lives!

In proof that Fela Anikulapo Kuti's radical legacy continues long after his death, Nigerian government authorities shut down his night club, Afrika Shrine, in Lagos on May 26.

Fela Kuti, who died in 1997, was a thorn in the side of Nigeria's many military governments. He ran for president, produced many biting protest records and was as influential as Bob Marley during his extremely colourful career.

Though a classically trained musician, Fela Kuti pioneered his own blend of styles to produce Afrobeat music.

Building upon the popular Highlife style, with its jazzy horns and multiple guitars, he infused funk, African chants and other elements, producing long, hypnotic songs with bitterly incisive lyrics that drove the dictators mad.

Turning his back on the potential to make a fortune outside of Nigeria, Kuti built a social base through his night club, which doubled as a community centre during the day.

In 1977, Nigeria's military ruler Olusegun Obasanjo sent 1000 soldiers to burn the place to the ground in a hail of gunfire, beatings and rape. Kuti was dragged from the building by his genitals, while soldiers killed his 78-year-old mother by throwing her out of a window.

Kuti answered by delivering his mother's remains to a military compound and releasing a song about it called "Coffin".

Another famous Kuti song "ITT (International Thief Thief)" attacked the US phone company ITT for its crimes against humanity. He similarly blasted Apartheid, the comprador African ruling classes and imperialism.

Heavily influenced by the US Black Panther Party, he swirled together a dense mix of African cultural identity, revolutionary politics, exaltations of traditional sexual practices (including polygamy) and marijuana. To put it mildly, this was a confusingly heady mixture, but it fired up Nigeria's poor.

One million people attended his funeral when he died of HIV/AIDS. The Afrika Shrine continued, under his son's management.

Late in the afternoon of May 25, government authorities delivered a letter demanding that the night club deal with street hawkers congregating around the premises. At 9am the next day they shut the place down, proving that Fela Anikulapo Kuti lives!