Gentleman
Fela Kuti Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Mi gbo
O sele
Mi gbo dada
Mi ti gbo

I no be gentleman at all
I no be gentleman at all
I no be gentleman at all o
I no be gentleman at all, at all

I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original
I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original
I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original

Them call you, make you come chop
You chop small, you say you belle full
You say you be gentleman, you go hungry
You go suffer, you go quench
Me I no be gentleman like that

I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original
I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original
I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original

You dey go your way, the jeje way
Somebody come bring, original trouble
You no talk, you no act, you say you be gentleman
You go suffer, you go tire, you go quench
Me I no be gentleman like that

I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original
I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original
I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original

Africa hot, I like am so
I know what to wear, but my friends don't know
Him put him socks, him put him shoe
Him put him pant, him put him singlet
Him put him trouser, him put him shirt
Him put him tie, him put him coat
Him come cover all with him hat
Him be gentleman, him go sweat, all over
Him go faint right down, him go smell like shit
Him go piss for body, him no go know
Me I no be gentleman like that

I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original
I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original
I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original

I no be gentleman at all, at all
I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original
I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original




I no be gentleman at all o
I be Africa man original

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to Fela Kuti's "Gentleman" convey the message that he rejects the idea of being a gentleman in the conventional sense, especially as dictated by European colonialists. In the song, Fela differentiates himself as an "Africa man original," someone who does not conform to the values and behaviors of the Western world. This is symbolized in the song as he talks about how African men are comfortable being shirtless while the Western men wear a suit and coat - sweating and suffering all over. Instead, Fela expresses admiration for the hot and sensual nature of Africa and the natural ways of being that come with it.


The song also speaks to a larger issue of the aftermath of colonialism in Africa. Western colonization attempted to impose their cultural standards onto the African people. Fela saw this as taking away an essential part of African identity and resented the concept of being forced to adhere to rules that do not derive from his cultural background. For him, being an "Africa man original" meant rejecting these imposed standards and embracing who he is and where he comes from.


Overall, the lyrics to "Gentleman" show Fela's rejection of Western norms, reclaiming a sense of African identity that colonialism tried to suppress. It’s a powerful statement of African pride and cultural freedom that reinforces the importance of self-identification and embracing cultural heritage.


Line by Line Meaning

Mi gbo
I hear


O sele
He has finished


Mi gbo dada
I hear clearly


Mi ti gbo
I have heard


I no be gentleman at all
I am not a gentleman at all


I be Africa man original
I am an original African man


Them call you, make you come chop
They invite you to eat


You chop small, you say you belle full
You eat a little and say you are full


You say you be gentleman, you go hungry
You claim to be a gentleman and suffer hunger


You go suffer, you go quench
You will suffer and eventually satisfy your hunger


Me I no be gentleman like that
I am not a gentleman like that


You dey go your way, the jeje way
You go your way, calmly


Somebody come bring, original trouble
Someone brings real problems


You no talk, you no act, you say you be gentleman
You do not speak or act, but claim to be a gentleman


You go suffer, you go tire, you go quench
You will suffer, tire, and eventually satisfy yourself


Africa hot, I like am so
Africa is hot, I like it like that


I know what to wear, but my friends don't know
I know what to wear, but my friends do not


Him put him socks, him put him shoe
He puts on his socks and shoes


Him put him pant, him put him singlet
He puts on his pants and singlet


Him put him trouser, him put him shirt
He puts on his trousers and shirt


Him put him tie, him put him coat
He puts on his tie and coat


Him come cover all with him hat
He covers everything with his hat


Him be gentleman, him go sweat, all over
He is a gentleman, but will sweat all over


Him go faint right down, him go smell like shit
He will faint right there and smell bad


Him go piss for body, him no go know
He will urinate on himself without even realizing it


I no be gentleman at all, at all
I am not a gentleman at all




Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT (FRANCE), F.K.O. Music, EMI MUSIC PUBLISHING FRANCE
Written by: FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI, Kuti Fela Anikulapo

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Genre not found
Artist not found
Album not found
Song not found
Comments from YouTube:

@warriboy9850

Fela Kuti is the best musical artist to emerge from the continent of Africa. He did not compromise on his music and philosophy despite the brutality suffered at the hands of the Nigerian government. He lost his mother a political activist to the brutal regime of the “Zombies” Nigerian army. Abami Eda RIP

@MRSZ5440

Zombies

@danielolowu7626

sorry my brother he is the best to emerge from this Galaxy

@mathieumarsille133

Merci pour l ancrage
vive
l Afrique
Merci fela kuti ta music
Sa foi dans la justice
Il est devenu l un de mes musiciens. ..
Love énergie

@alejandrogn4

Bro he might be the best to ever come from this planet

@gusmacker5269

Ee3ee33e33e33e3eee3ea

@officiallanguagesschoolott6172

I love Fela. I have lived in Lagos from 73 to 76 and I used to visit him in his house and at the shrine where he had a bad habit in asking people the next song he should play. And as soon as he noticed me in the crowd he would say NO before I opened my mouth. He knew that I was going to ask for Trouble Sleep (as usual). He hated me for this because he never wanted to play a song that was already recorded. My life in Lagos in those years are unforgettable. I was in my twenties straight from Paris to Yaba. I met there the most wonderful people in the world and unfortunately I have lost tracks of all of them. Sniff! Sniff! Sniff!

@Murrangurk2

wow!

@amihogatai8432

why was it a bad habit? i'm curious.

@piefunk98

@amiho gatai As far as I know he didn't like to play live songs that were previously recorded.

More Comments

More Versions