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Thursday, January 2, 2020

The Fuji Legend

Late Alhaji Sikiru Ololade
Ayinde Balogun,  MFR
He named his fusion of music after Mount Fuji in Japan. Mount Fuji means mountain of love. But unhealthy rivalry both founded and unfounded from another musician who never accepted his supremacy never allowed the name "love" to radiate for decades while it all lasted.
As Sikiru Ayinde exited the stage by passing to the great beyond, so did his rival of decades also exited the stage while still alive.
The award winning music maestro
Because the object of his butt of insults, the selling point of his musical brickbats, and abusive songs with which he market and promote his brand of fuji music is gone.
And the younger generation took over the mantle of the centre stage from him while he is yet alive.
Or what is left of a man when his means of livelihood is gone? Yes, now that his object of abusive songs which his fans relish with fervent gusto is no more?
Barrister's Sakara wiz kid Waheed Oyadolu, the
chip of the old block of his father,
Oyadolu of the famed
Fuji Londoners
Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Ololade Balogun, better known by his stage name "Ayinde Barrister," was born in Lagos in 1948, though a native of Ibadan. His father, late Alhaji Abdusalami Balogun was a prominent Islamic cum political leader in the sprawling city that was once the capital of the old Western Region.
Sang for Late M.K.O.
Abiola's presidential
Campaign
His late mother, Hajia Sifawu Balogun (Nee Salawe) was left with the charge to take care of the young Sikiru upon the death of his father. The late musician tried his hands on many things before opting to join the Nigeria Army upon the outbreak of the Nigerian civil war in 1967. While in the army, he was actively involved in series of engagements between the Nigeria Army and its Biafran adversaries.
Fuji garbage days
Prior to that, the musician popularly referred to as Alhaji Agba, actually began his music career in 1958 as a member of the "Ajisari Ajiwere" group. The band was of the habit of waking up Muslim faithful to pray and make all the necessary Islamic rites during the holy month of Ramadan on the Lagos Island.
This "Were" genre evolved to become Fuji music which Barrister named after Mount Fuji, the Japanese Mountain of love. This occurred upon his disengagement from the Nigeria Army upon the completion of the civil war in 1974.
Corporate Barry Wonder
Owing to his desire to bring some innovative touch to his brand of music, he brought some form of infusion into Fuji with the introduction of instruments such as Sakara, Juju, Apala, Gudugudu and Yoruba praise poems.
Ayinde Barrister excelled as a musician because he was a gifted singer with imagination and great voice. He demonstrated the complexities of lives through his music. He was like an ancient artist who understood his craft very well.
Mount Fuji: The beautiful mountain in Japan, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister named his Fuji music after, before quarrelsome envious lyrical insurgents and charlatans turned it to "Fuji House Of Commotion"     
His music touched so many lives and a whole range of topics, namely, history, love, marriage, naming ceremony, prayer, truth, happiness, poverty, peace, trials and tribulations, death, chants, myth and magic, corruption.
Ex - Governor Segun Osoba
one of his ardent fans
Late Ayinde Balogun was also an activist who was at the vanguard of the fight for the enthronement of democracy in the country through his numerous works cataloguing the ills of military rule.
Among his best known songs are "Fuji Garbage," "Oke Agba," "Okiki," "Barry at 40," and "Esinmi Rascality." And we can never forget lyrics like "Ara Mecca Njo" that chastised Muslims who believes music has no place in Islam -- "Alomoko Abake Oloyaya," "Ijo Olomo," "Bi Iku Se lagbara to" ( to late Soccer Star Muda Lawal), among others.
Gone, but his fans will not let go.
A post humus celebration
 of the legend at 70
It is noteworthy that his vintage music creates a lasting impression in the minds of his fans, even when singing praise of himself or a member of his band like Oyadolu, Tunde Balinga, Alade Tajudeen "Deputy Commander" and the late ace drummer Alhaji Kamoru Akanji Ayansola, also known as "Igi Jegede."
He was awarded the national honour of the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic in 2003.
He died of diabetes related causes at the age of 66, five years ago, at St. Mary's hospital in London, United Kingdom.

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