Man and the Invincibility of Death, By Sikiru Ayinde Barrister

As parts of activities marking the sixth anniversary of the death of Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Fuji enthusiasts have continued to celebrate the late music icon in grand style.

A fan and relative of the late fuji musician, Gani Balogun, translated the lyrics of one of the late artiste’s album from Yoruba to English.

The album, Fantasia Fuji, produced under the Barry Black Music Company, was recorded in Yoruba language and released in 1991.

Until his death, Ayinde Barrister was regarded as one of the pioneers of Fuji music. The late musician, popularly called ‘Barry wonder’, was well respected for his deep and philosophical lyrics.

Below is the translated version of the second side (Side B) of the Fantasia album.

Mr. Balogun gave PREMIUM TIMES the permission to publish the translation.

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“Death, oh so powerful,

That no herbalist can do anything about it.

The majesty of death is so awesome
That even God does not review its actions.

If death should snatch one of God’s anointed,

And God gets angry enough to give him a query,

Asking why it should do such a thing,
Maybe then death would show remorse and just concentrate on the wicked.

But it is so powerful, a power it derives from the Almighty Himself.

But it is the same death that snatches a Muslim, will also snatch a Christian, even the Traditional worshipper.

If death collects bribes, it would have killed only the poor and leave the rich. But death do not care for bribes.

It is the same death that takes the poor that will also take the wealthy, so let us stop all the posturing.

If death is looking for a mansion to live in, it would have bypassed the landlords and snatch only the tenants, but death has no such needs.

It is the same death that takes the tenant that will also take the landlord, so let us stop the muscle flexing.

If death is afraid of bad publicity, it would have ignored the famous and kill only the masses.

But death does not give a damn.

That is why it is imperative to always remember that we came from Him, and to Him we shall return, no matter how long we lived on this Earth.

What is important is that we have accumulated a lot of good deeds when death arrives. So we can have a good report on judgement day.

Because death is a debt we all must pay, as everyone has sown his own garment of death.

My prayer to God is that for the young not to die before the elderly.

That the death that will snatch me, should first snatches mother, just like it took my father.

Once they are properly buried and celebrated, even if it is the next day, I am ready.

So who the hell is death threatening? Who is it that it is daring? When it is obvious that there is no cure, no escape, from dying?

And that once one’s time is up, that’s it.

Please let me finish my lunch and wash my hands. Let me go in and bid my loved ones farewell, are no excuses once death comes.

No matter how smooth a talker you are, how many languages you speak, death does not care, even as it understands all languages on Earth.

It would not even converse with anyone before snatching it’s victim.

Oh, Death is so heartless!

The death that takes the poor will take the rich, the same death that takes the man sleeping in the mansion will take the one sleeping by the roadside. Even the one that sleeps in the palace and the lunatic under the bridge, if we remove the Omnipotence of the Almighty, death is so wicked, it takes whoever it pleases.

If this is our fate, on the day we depart this world, all our hustles and ambitions also end.

The wealth you have acquired would be divided without any portion reserved for you.

The children you left behind, if care is not taken, would inherit none of your wealth.

Even if they inherit and then go on to become even richer than you, they too will grow old and die.

They will remove your body from the Mansion that you are so proud of, take you outside, dig a hole, and bury you inside.

Or is it your beautiful wife or handsome husband that is dear to you? Let us compare that to honey or okro. Honey will never be bitter, but okro, if not spoiled, will be cut to pieces.

If life is like this, you can now see how fleeting life is! Please tell me why we keep grabbing everything in sight?

My song is a message, my lyrics are lessons, when we get to heaven we become equals.

After all, if we have never been to heaven, we have been to Mount Arafat.

I want to be rich, I want to live life to the fullest.

The world is your oyster, keep enjoying yourself.

But remember, God begets none and he was not begotten, but he begot retribution.

The Almighty is not for anyone, apart from those that worship him, do good deeds,and acknowledge the prophethood of Muhammad Rasull lahi. It is only he that can truly have gained from this earthly journey.

Now you can see that death can be the subject of a sermon.”

Mr. Balogun, a fan of the late music legend, is a journalist and public affairs analyst.

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