Mr. Fuji, Sikuru Ayinde Barrister would have been 68 years old today
Today is the late Fuji musician’s 68th posthumous birthday.Alhaji Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Ololade Balogun, better known by his stage name Ayinde Barrister, would have been 68 years old today, only if he was alive.
Born in Lagos on February 9, 1948, the prolific late Fuji musician died at the age of 62, on December 16, 2010 in London. The news of his untimely death of diabetes related causes at St. Mary’s hospital in London was a sad news to many Nigerians. And about 6 years after, his memory lingers on.
Barrister’s death no doubt dealt a great blow to Nigerian music industry and indigenous African music as a whole especially nowadays that African music is fast becoming an imitation of the U.S. Hip Hop music. He was certainly one of the greatest Yoruba musicians of all time.
Alhaji Agba as he was fondly called, is responsible for the introduction of Fuji music, one of the oldest genres of music in Nigeria. Named after Mount Fuji, the Japansese mountain of love, the word was really used because he liked the sound of it. Fuji music is a combination of the were, juju, apala, and traditional Yoruba praise poems.
Barrister developed the sound after a short span in the army during the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970). Upon his release from the army, Barrister formed his group of up to 25 members, The Supreme Fuji Commanders.
Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister did a tremendous job of popularizing his craft by taking it all over the world; he started touring the European continent, especially Britain, since the early 1970s. Also, he brought his trade to the North America, particularly the United States of America in 1984. All these tours happened before any subsequent Fuji players ever left the shores of Africa.
The Ibadan-born musician was highly successful during his era. He made millions in albums sales and charged premium performance fees at special concerts and parties. In his lifetime, Barrister was a darling of many music lovers who eagerly snapped up his albums.
Among his popular works are ‘Fuji Garbage,’ ‘Fantasia Fuji,’ ‘Current Affairs,’ ‘Oke Agba,’ ‘Okiki,’ ‘Barry at 40,’ ‘Esinmi Rascality,’ ‘Omo Nigeria,’ ‘Fuji New Waves,’ ‘Ore Lope,’ ‘Suru Baba Iwa,’ ‘Ise Logun Ise’ and ‘America Special.’