Fela Kuti – Roforofo Fight

Roforofo Fight refers to senseless violence: it describes 2 fools who batter themselves into the mud as a crowd gathers to watch them.

Roforofo Fight is about human intolerance towards each other. Issues that could be resolved amicably usually end up in fist fights. Sometimes such fights end up bloody or muddy. Dramatizing the scenario that ensues before a fight, particularly in a muddy place. Fela says it usually starts with words like: ‘You dey craze! I no craze! Get away Who are you?’. These are two people who could quietly resolve their differences, screaming and yelling at each other. Unfortunately for both of them, the area where the argument is taking place is full of mud. Within seconds, they draw the attention of passers-by, turning into a crowd. ‘If you dey among the crowd wey dey look! And your friend dey among the two wey dey yap!…Tell am make him no fight oh!…’. Meaning if you are in the crowd watching, please advise your friend not to fight if he is one of the two arguing. Because human egos, instead of heeding the advise, walk away quietly. Both will feel disrespected and shamed. To settle score, the tow of them chose physical combat in the mud—a muddy fight follows. At the end of the fight, onlookers couldn’t differentiate the one from the other, both of them look like twins. They won’t get any sympathy from the people looking too: ‘…you don tell am before make him no fight! Roforofo dey for there!…’

This track from Fela Kuti‘s 1972 album by the same name showcases Tony Allen’s instrumental genius, as his drum pattern sets the basic structure for the song.

RIP Tony Allen.

Roforofo Fight – Full album

  1. Roforofo Fight – 15:40
  2. Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am – 12:03
  3. Question Jam Answer – 13:38
  4. Go Slow – 17:22

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