By Ayinde Mosadi
PECULIARITY IN LIFE
Late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister is synonymous with Fuji, he is the source, evolution and globalization ahead of his co-peers in the genre prior to his demise on December 16th 2010. He could be likened to the coterie of Ray Kroy who with his creative ability expanded his entrepreneurship on Restaurant Franchise strategy to build a real Estate Asset. He was similar to Alfred Bernhard Nobel, who had earlier achieved as an Inventor of the dynamite though built everlasting legacy. Nobel through his initiative established an altruistic posthumous legacy as a result of the earlier condemnation of his contribution to the scientific world. Barrister is equally resembled Steve Jobs who, despite his humble background and early life hardship, founded NeXT 1985 after he resigned as a co-founder of one of the first commercially successful personal computer. The lives of these people could be compared to that of Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister because of his creative ability like Ray Kroy, he invented (Fuji), though was condemned too like Alfred Nobel, he became a person of consequence in life despite his very humble background like Steve Jobs. With all the stated qualities, they are opportunities that only possessed by a Hero or special Creature whose their creative legacies outlive them. However in their livelihood are always Antagonist tendency to their Protagonist abilities.
THE GENESIS OF FUJI MUSIC
Fuji is a nomenclature of a music genre, originated in Nigeria at the post-independence. It metamorphosed from a preceded genre called “WERE” that used to wake Muslim faithful during Ramadan period. As the name implies, “WERE” as some Etymologists affirmed it to have coined out from “Edi de were were” in the course of waking Muslim Faithful for “Sa’uri” (the midnight meal) during Ramadan. It was a periodic exercise by the then (WERE) practitioners but, unlike the Fuji, WERE was more adorned for fun than commercial purposes. Perhaps the main Founder could not be traceable like its off-shoot (Fuji) Music which was a sole effort of the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister referred as SAB. Like Ray Kroy, Alfred Nobel, Steve Jobs among other historic inventors who thrived by their creativities, SAB will always be remembered as enigmatic creator of fuji music and the world would always continue to acknowledge as initiator of an idea that which without might have been compounded the hazards of joblessness of thousands of youths on the street.
Meanwhile creativity faces a lot of challenges at the heel of envy and petty-jealousness mostly orchestrates by the destitute or evil ploys. There are people who poise to pull down that special endowment in their fellow creature or to distract such person from attaining his vision in life. Just like Mason believes ‘you cannot bring about change without confrontation’, it is a hard game to challenge the status-quo and scot free. Alfred Nobel encountered the bantering of a French Newspaper in which his contribution to the world of science was rubbished. Unless a Creative person is focused, the goals of his enemies would expectedly work out on him. However the Creative people, more often than not, are persistent; consistent; and persevered, destined to succeed in life because they are triggered by a certain mission. Thus, Theodore Roosevelt posited that “far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumph even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the great twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” If per adventure a Creative person is unperturbed of the antics of his enemies, such person would ever remain a genuine action hero. As the Calder posits, such hero is “…a doer and a translator of thoughts into deeds” and so also Ogunsola J.A. believes “He is a man of total and complete action, not of measures.” Thus is sufficed to believe SAB is a hero though acknowledged widely as such, R.I.P. the sole Creator of fuji Music!
TRACES OF CRISIS IN FUJI MUSIC
The birth of Fuji Music unarguably was in the sixties (1960s) when WERE was practically metamorphosed to Fuji by the creative process of SAB. This period coincided with the sway of rivalry and/or envy among WERE practitioners when competitions were at its height. Of course, those innovative among them were attracted
and crowned as champion hence quite rivalry among the Players as such. Example of this was the musical competition that held at Evan Squares, Onala in 1963 between SAB and Saka Olayigbade. The former who was younger at the age of 15 year old trounced the older latter to emerge winner. The incident was culminated to the duo endless rivalry afterwards to the extent that SAB reaction to this stance was his song “…1963 ta pade lojosi,kewu lafi sowon dolorin esin ooo..!” Another one was in 1964 of Coca-cola competition that really showcased SAB musical dexterity that unleashed incessant envy by his erstwhile WERE group leader (Muraina Ajao) that led SAB to part his way.
Though WERE then was a seasonal music, SAB creative prowess as Akintunde Akinteye (2012) believes his “knowledge of the Quran, which he was always using to punctuate his songs and the quality of his voice, also put him ahead of others.” One of the reasons to have inspired the birth of Fuji music was the creativity of SAB sought to commercialize music that would be consistent for his daily bread in lieu of seasonal succor which WERE represented then. Another perspective was the broke out of civil war that left WERE to be disbanded via imposition of curfew from dusk to dawn which lasted for 3 year, from 1967 – 1970. Emergence of Fuji at this period was the presumed last straw that broke the Camel backs by one of the bests of them all (SAB). Envy and petty-jealousness became so tensed against the incursion of the new musical genre unleashed as early as SAB waxed his first single in WERE music “Eje ka gbo t’olorun” in 1966. The record that waxed on the same day with that of King Sunny Ade (KSA) and another WERE Musician, a brother Cousin to SAB, Monsuru Akande’s first records under the Take Your Choice (TYC) recording company of late Chief Abioro Ishola. Meanwhile, it manifested barely at the birth of the new music genre (fuji) when it was least expected in the music industry. It was a shock to the then Ajiwere/Ajisari people and its waves did not even spared the Apala and Sakara’s Practitioners hence formidable forces against the new genre and its creator who was a lone ranger then. Though, history has it that KSA and Monsuru Akande, who was a SAB’s cousin and junior in AJIWERE were first released their records a week ahead that of SAB because of a circumstance.
This petty- jealousness set in that a young Practitioner (SAB) made an inroad to have not only change the style of WERE but also named his innovative style Fuji music. Perhaps, this combined to their thoughts that, Fuji would later outshine WERE that the former from inception was more expansive and integrated. This called creativity in an ideal clime but chided against as insult from a young singer (SAB), hence most of them (WERE Elders) were indifferent to the new style. Most of these people, instead of joining him (SAB) to forge ahead, remained adamant or turning to other genres – Awurebe, Sakara, Apala among others. They believed that the new idea by the far junior singer (SAB) would not only proclaim him a Creator of the Fuji but would also project him Champion over them (Seniors in WERE) in the main time. Therefore, attitude of these Elders epitomized the twilight of the real raw WERE existence.
The Practitioners in WERE then were in three categories – those that were SAB seniors, those that his compeers (mates) and those that his juniors. In the coterie of his senior were Ayinde Muniru, Kawo Aminu, Jolly Lawa, Ayinla Yekini (SAB’s half brother), Muraina Ajao (SAB’s cousin and leader), Saka Olayigbade, Taiye Aileru, and other numerous to mention. His contemporaries included Raimi Ogidan, Taofeek Awoyejo, Aremu Barrister, Amao Barrister, Dauda Epo-Akara, Karimatu Igbarere, Risikat Awoyejo, Monsuru Akande and Ayinla Rasak (Kollington) among others. Although he (SAB), started it in 1958, had been in the system prior to the likes of Ayinla Kollington, Monsuru Akande, Amao Barrister, Aremu Barrister among others of 1960s categories. After WERE metamorphosed to Fuji, some of SAB Colleagues had to pass through his tutelage to have blended to the new trend.
POPULARITY OF THE GENRE
In the main time, specifically in the seventies (1970s), after the birth of Fuji and the set of WERE, the former was still battling with the JUJU, APALA and others. This time around, Fuji popularity protruded further to unsettle the Juju which had also been on ground before the birth of Fuji. The rivalry could have been tensed because of the exposure and influence of the Juju music and its players of that genre then. The ascendancy of Fuji might have been fettered in the wake of JUJU if not the role of Chief Ebenezer Obey who had hitherto been the SAB’s Fan and Adviser but the story is not the same with KSA, who barely the SAB’s contemporary in the industry. More importantly, the creative prowess cum innovative ability of SAB helped a lot in triumphant stride of fuji music. Earlier on SAB had been a lone ranger but the challenges facing from Juju, Apala and others sought combine efforts hence inviting Ayinla Kollington, who referred as GKA now and other who were more his contemporaries or his juniors among the defunct WERE practitioners. Aside from GKA who SAB senior in WERE with 5 years but his compeer after the latter invited the former to join the fray in the seventies (70s), there were other SAB juniors in WERE that were also turned to Fuji music. These are the coterie of Alhaji Isiaka Iyanda Sawaba, the man who also confirmed the mentorship of SAB over his career and life so also Akangbe Waheed, Fatayi Adio, Rocky Maitama, Wahabi Ilorin, Rahaman Adio, Love Azeez, Fancy Aye Alamu, the trio Easy Kabaka, Saka Danfo, Baba Miliki in Ilorin.
During these periods, research had it that Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde Anifowoshe and Tajudeen Alade were still passing mentorship and apprenticeship under SAB until 1978/79. Wasiu Ayinde Barrister then, who is being referred to K1 de Ultimate now, waxed his first record in 1981 where he serenaded SAB as the Fuji Creator. SAB through this period was still facing inter-genre attacks especially from Apala and Juju which were the main dominants then. The rift between SAB and Omowura Ayinla alluded to the fact of envy of the new music domination and its evangelist (SAB). Thus, in one of his Albums, after loggerhead of the duo, Ayinla Omowura attacked SAB thus “Aroju da’ko obun, obun ‘lohun se fuji nigboro…’, Ayinde maje’gbo ‘pe won ji e lorin lo, koje jebe oro apara ni…” Because that time, the musical quest of Omowura in Nigeria, specifically in South West, where he held sways that SAB started toppling, was equal to none. In his bravery reaction, SAB responded that “Olorin kan gborin jade koba wawi raara…, Ayinde po ninu olorin…”
This period was more of inter-genre rivalry because none of the then Musicians either in Fuji or other types had ever denied SAB as Fuji Creator. It was only that SAB was paving for inroad of Fuji in the musical scene while those Musicians from other genres were deflecting the moves. With the different diabolical missiles and sorts against each other left the story of victors and vanquished that outlived the period among the actors. This established further in the recent interview of Alhaji Fancy Aye Alamu on YouTube that during the transition from WERE or the inception of Fuji, there were diabolical attacks from all fronts against each other. SAB success in the 70s when he left the Army after the civil war to face his real calling was coincided with the oil boom of 70s. He went to holy land to perform his first pilgrimage in 1972 when GKA was not yet waxed any record. He had taken fuji music to UK and other places in the same 70s aside been crowned the Fuji Kings twice in 75 and 76 respectively. Anything about him was first before any other that trailing behind him in the new music called fuji. Thus, Fuji could be likened to oil boom which Nigeria embraced so dearly and gives her buoyancies as such until the patriotism died in the psyche of the management on how that could be of continual succor.
Ayinde Mosadi’ writes from Ilorin via firstname.lastname@example.org
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