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Fela Kuti Estate Signs to WME Legends Division

By Sandra Oyewole

“DLA Piper Africa, Nigeria (Olajide Oyewole LLP) advised the administrators of the Estate of Afrobeat Pioneer, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, on its first management deal with WME Legends Division (“WME Legends”). Fela Kuti was a renowned musician, pioneer and creator of the afrobeat genre of music, social critic, political activist and fashion icon. In his life time he composed, released and performed well over a 100 songs.

The Estate of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, owns and controls the intellectual property, intellectual property rights, and economic rights in the musical works, sound recordings, merchandise, life story, name, image and likeness etc. Since his death in 1997, the administrators of his estate managed its vast affairs.

WME Legends is focused on estate and legacy brand management, with the objective of growing the legacies of artists and brands for a new generation.  With this management deal, WME working with the administrators,  will manage Fela Kuti’s name, image, likeness, life, IP, music and publishing rights across WME Legends and its parent company Endeavor’s departments and companies worldwide.

The team was led by Sandra Oyewole, Partner, IPT+ and Employment and supported by Adewumi Salami, Senior Associate IPT+. According to Adewumi, "we are proud to have advised the administrators of Fela’s Estate on this unique deal within the Entertainment industry in Africa. The prestigious assets of the estate will now be managed by a world class entity in WME and Fela’s already incredible legacy can only be greater for it".