Six years after the death of Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Fuji enthusiasts have continued to eulogize the virtues of the late Fuji Maestro.
Mr. Barrister passed away on December 16, 2010, at the St. Mary’s Hospital, London, after a protracted illness.
He was widely believed to have pioneered Fuji, a yoruba music genre. Fuji music has its root in “were”, an indigenous music used to rouse Muslim faithfuls to pray and feast during Ramadan festival in western Nigeria.
Iyanda Sawaba, a protégée of the late Fuji maestro, says Ayinde Barrister reshaped Fuji music into what it is today.
Sawaba eulogized the late Fuji icon, describing him as the “father of Fuji music”.
Reacting to a controversial account of the history of Fuji music by another popular fuji musician, Wasiu Ayinde (Kwam 1), Mr. Sawaba said the account was flawed because Mr. Barrister pioneered what is properly known as Fuji.
He said the late Fuji icon also contributed in no small measure to the spread of Fuji music beyond the shores of Nigeria.
Mr. Wasiu had released an album titled “Flavour” in which he gave account of the genesis of Fuji music, placing Ayinde Barrister in number 12 on the list of ‘pioneers’ of Fuji music.
The account generated controversy among Fuji aficionados and led Fuji artistes to debunk Mr. Wasiu’s account.
“For me, Sikiru Ayinde pioneered Fuji music. Wasiu himself can never deny that,” Mr. Sawaba said.
An Ibadan-based radio entertainment presenter, Muhammed Abolore, described the late Fuji genius as a gem whose achievements will never be forgotten. Mr. Abolore, who is a presenter of a popular Fuji programme titled “Fuji repete”, said, “The conferment of the award of OFR on the late Fuji musician further proved that he was indeed an icon. “May he continue to rest in peace,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.
Meanwhile, fans and lovers of Mr. Barrister have taken to social media to eulogise the late Fuji star.
When PREMIUM TIMES visited the fan page of the late musician on Facebook, there were many messages from supporters, fans and lovers who paid their tributes to the late musician.
A fan named Oladimeji Omega said, “Six years just like yesterday; your memories still linger in the minds of Lovers of your Fuji Music and your fan club alike.” Another fuji enthusiast, Alade Ola, said “It’s quite unfortunate that you left when the whole country needed you most. In spite of your absence, you sang, said and prophesized it all.”
On Mr. Barrister’s insightful lyrics, a fan wrote: “May your soul rest in perfect peace. We miss you in this present situation of our country because you sang about it in many of your albums: Current affairs,
Truth, Precaution, to mention but a few.”
Commenting on the vacuum Mr. Barrister left behind in Fuji music after his death, another member of the fans’ club, Musibau Olanrewaju, said: “Irreplaceable Alhaji Agba, your vacuum remain unfilled.
“It’s the sixth year since you left us. We shall continue to miss you and your words of advice, love and advocacy for peace in every of your music. Mr Fuji, rest in peace,” wrote Taofeeq Bolanle, another member of the fans’ club.
Fondly called Barry Wonder, Ayinde Barrister was regarded as one of the pioneers and revolutionists of Fuji and Were music.
After his first break into music in 1965, Ayinde Barrister went on to release over 70 studio albums. Ayinde Barrister had a couple of successful shows in London in 1990 and 1993 performing what later became known as the Fuji Garbage sound.
Late Fuji’s son, Omari, real name Damilola Umar Balogun, makes his musical debut with a new single titled ’1-2-3-4’ in 2015.
The song was produced by ace producer Lalah, who has worked with major artistes in the Nigerian music industry including Oritse femi, Pasuma and others. Omari is currently signed to Freeworld Musikilu.