Fela was born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti
on 15 October 1938 in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
His mother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, was a feminist activist in the anti-colonial movement; his father, Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti,
an Anglican minister and school principal, was the first president of the Nigeria Union of Teachers.
His brothers, Beko Ransome-Kuti and Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, both medical doctors, are well known in Nigeria. Fela is a first cousin to the Nigerian writer and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.