In the early 80s me and a couple of friends were looking for new sounds and music we could play in our local pub. Some of them turned into some weired jazz and funk records others into punk. In my local record store they had a great selection of world music. There I found the 1977 record from Fela Kuti. Never heard about that so called Afrobeat before but I was fascinated about the groove that was in their songs.
Fela Kuti was also a politically activist. About his career you can read a lot in Wikipedia. His musical influence for the African is immense - also to some DJ's who remixed his songs or sampled parts of them. He died in 1997 at the age of 59.