ON Sunday, December 20, 2015, the family of late fuji creator, Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Balogun, famously known as Barrister organized a fifth memorial concert in his honour. But the entire family of the fuji maestro was utterly disappointed for the poor turn-out at the event which held at Times Square Events Centre, Ikeja, Lagos.
Not only that, almost all the expected fuji giants, including K1 de Ultimate, Pasuma, Saidi Osupa, Obesere were conspicuously absent. This didn’t go down well with Barrister’s bosom friend, General Kollington Ayinka who left the venue unhappy.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with him, Salawa Abeni, Shina Akanni and some family members who all expressed their degrees of disappointments about the said fuji artistes.
Kollington spits fire as fuji stars shun Ayinde Barrister’s fifth memorial concert
‘They are all a bunch of ingrates’
Five years after, how do you still feel about the death of your bosom friend, Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister?
How else do you expect me to feel? His death has been a great loss not only in the entertainment industry but Nigeria as a whole. I felt bad when I heard that all the fuji artistes were not coming and I came here and met it so. I am not happy at all, wallahi.
What’s your comment on that specifically?
What happened here today has shown that we don’t have enough fear in the association and that also amounts to the fact that our organization is not solid enough. I believe beefing among the fuji stars is part of what has caused what happened here today. This show is never expected to be like this. It’s bad and I am not happy at all about what I met here today. It really saddened my heart that the event held in honour of the founder and creator of fuji which all of them are benefitting from today could be handled the way they did. I couldn’t believe it. It’s unfair, they should just stop the habit. If they should do that kind of thing to anybody, it wouldn’t have been Sikiru Ayinde, the creator of fuji through which they have all become famous and rich. And they’re still benefitting from it. This is a genre that my friend and myself suffered for since our childhood. What I witnessed today has left me unhappy. They have all disappointed me. I feel bad, really bad.
But we learnt they all demanded money from Alhaji Lati Alagbada, the expected marketer of the event before they could perform. How true is it?
So I heard. I was told they demanded performance fee from Lati Alagbada. That’s rubbish. Why? How could they have demanded money to perform at the fifth memorial of the creator of the genre they are all proud of today. In fact, I expected that none of them should have any excuse for not coming here today.
Even, if there’s any one of them that couldn’t attend he should have asked his colleagues to carry him here and honour the invitation. Things shouldn’t be like this. And we all said we will be remembering Sikiru Ayinde all the time. Now, see what they have done today just five years after. If they could do this to my friend, the creator of fuji, that means there’s no one who would be spared. It’s a sad thing paying him back this way. They all need to have a rethink.
What do you think is responsible for this low turn-out?
I have said it all. All what they did might have caused this poor turn-out because there was enough publicity for the show. They advertised it on radio and television stations. So, why did these fuji artistes behave that way? It’s unfair.
If things are still like this in the house of fuji, when will all these undue beefing and feuds end?
I don’t know. Left to me, I have done my best to ensure that the genre is crisis free and become a very big and united family. But I don’t know what’s exactly wrong with them.
Some people are saying maybe K1 de Ultimate was not carried along by the family and he might have instructed other fuji artistes not to show up?
That’s not true. Is it K1 that will instruct anyone of them to come or not to? Where did K1 himself start his career? Was it not through Sikiru Ayinde that K1 became what he is today?
But some are also saying that K1 might have not been properly informed about the event?
Does he need to be properly informed if he still respects and values his origin as far as this genre is concerned. The moment he heard of it, he should be the one to take over the whole thing. As far as I am concerned, K1 is the most familiar person to Sikiru’s family. He is very much used to all of them. He’s supposed to be the chief host today. What happened here today has sent a big signal and it makes me fear. But let’s still hope they may come because if they don’t at the end of the day, it will be very bad of them.
But what do you think is the major lapse of this event?
Nothing. I don’t see any lapse at all in the preparations. All I keep saying is that it would be unfair if none of them comes at the end of the day.
What advice do you have for Ayinde Barrister’s children?
No other advice than for them to remain one happy family. There shouldn’t be discrimination among them.
Five years after, how do you describe the death of Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister in your heart?
It’s still fresh in my heart. His death has been a great loss to all of us and Nigeria as a whole. As I watch his son, Qudus performing, he made me remember my ‘father’, Alhaji (Dr.) Sikiru Ayinde Barriser. I was just crying. I really missed him. He used to address me as ‘Omo mi’ and everybody in the family also call me Omo Baba e. So, our relationship was bigger than whatever people may think. He was my father and I have missed all his fatherly roles in my life. I missed our relationship, no matter how anybody may interpret it. I will continue to pray for the repose of his soul. And may Allah continue to be with those of us he left behind, including his friend, General Kollington Ayinla. Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister was a great man and will be missed forever.
A lot of people believed this place will be filled, especially with fuji artistes all over the country, but what do you think is responsible for their absence?
First, I think it’s because of the fact that we’re already at the end of the year. And a lot of us have one engagement or the other. For instance, yesterday I was engaged somewhere. Today as well, I have performed at a concert somewhere before I came here. I agree with you that it shouldn’t be like this being Alhaji Ayinde Barrister’s remembrance concert. But what’s important is that we have started somewhere. And we have known where we need to amend things. I can’t blame all the musicians who’re supposed to be here today but due to one reason or the other they’re absent. Whether the show flops or it measures to our expectation is not the issue, but the fact remains that we have started somewhere and I believe the subsequent ones won’t be like this. We would surely improve.
What advice do you have for his children?
Just like I said, I am also his daughter. And almost all the children he left behind, including myself are grown up. We only have very few ones among all his children that are still young. So, all I need to continue doing is to be constantly advising them when and where necessary. But just as I said, what happened today is somehow. And we have all identified our mistakes and such will be corrected. I am assuring you, next edition will definitely be better.
‘Barrister lives on’ – Rasaq Ishola Balogun, first son
How do you feel about today’s event?
It’s a good thing. It’s a kind of awareness because we’re expecting people to come up with something. At least, Barrister came from an institution called fuji and there are thousands of fuji artistes out there. They’re supposed to come up with something about Barrister. But after having waited for five years and nothing was heard from them, we just had to come up with our own programme. This is not how it’s supposed to be, but we’re happy that we finally came up with something. Even if he’s not Ayinde Barrister, the founder of the genre, if it were to be a younger colleague of theirs, they’re not expected to do what they did today. I believe no matter what, they should always learn to come around and rally support in every circumstance like this. But the fuji artistes have a lot of problems among themselves. All I know is whatever they want happened to someone is exactly what will happen to the rest of them. If you don’t start something good now, when are you going to start it? I am highly disappointed.
I am not talking because Ayinde Barrister was the head and founder of fuji, what I am saying in essence is that if at all it’s the youngest of them all that’s no more, I don’t think it’s the responsibility of the family to come up with something like this. At least, they all see how they do in the movie industry, why can’t they emulate that? I still pray that God will see them through. Let each and everyone of them think about it very well. They should all think it well that what will also happen at their back when they’re no more. Will it also be this?
But some are saying that maybe you people didn’t carry K1 along…
(Cuts in) I am not going to say anything about that. The only thing I will still say is that, they should all search their conscience not because of today but tomorrow. If it could happen to Barrister, that means each and everyone of them needs to think deeply and imagine what’s going to happen to them when they’re gone.
What was the major lapse in the preparation for the event?
I don’t want to say anything about that. Let’s believe today’s event is gone. This is just for awareness. We will definitely make amend in the subsequent ones. We should all celebrate ourselves either dead or alive. Fuji family is very big. I expected that this place won’t even accommodate them today. What’s the essence of their association if they can’t rally support for one another?
You’re the first born of Ayinde Barrister, how has the experience been like as a family head since the death of your father?
The load has been too heavy for me since Barrister’s death. The responsibility is too much for me to bear. That’s why I have been keeping my cool. Not that I am a gentleman but the situation has made me a quiet person.
How else do you still intend to immortalize Barrister?
Whether people like to immortalize him or not, the name he made will remain forever. He did much for himself before he died. Anything we do is additional. Barry lives on.
‘K1 is an ingrate’ – Barry Showkey
How do you feel about today’s event?
I don’t feel bad. Everything went the way we wanted but I am highly disappointed in some artistes that are supposed to be here but they’re all absent. That’s their problem. We thank God everything is okay.
A lot of people are saying maybe they’re not properly informed?
Whether or not they’re informed, would they say they’re not aware of it that Barrister’s death is five years this month? What they showed us now is that they don’t have any love or regard for Barrister. They want to spoil the music industry, especially the genre Ayinde Barrister created, and God will not allow them. That’s what I know.
Five years after the death of your father, how would you describe life and career now?
Everything is cool. I am progressing. But it’s only that I don’t like what’s going on in fuji as a genre. It’s like some people have made up their minds to kill the genre and kill Barrister’s glory. But by the special grace of God, that won’t happen. God is above them all.
What do you think were the lapses in organizing this event?
All I know is that, in a large family like ours, there is no way there won’t be a kind of misunderstanding but I believe everything will be corrected soon.
Are you aware if K1 de Ultimate was adequately informed and carried along about this concert?
I don’t want to talk about that. I don’t even know anything about him. Even if you tell him anything about Barrister, he doesn’t like hearing it. He doesn’t want to hear anything about him at all. And I don’t want to give him any respect also because of that. Somebody gave you the food you’re eating and you refused to see that person as your lord, that K1 is an ingrate. You can see Alhaji Kollington Ayinla here today. So, thank God for that. I am saying loudly, K1 would have been nobody without Barrister. Barrister made him. He picked him from nowhere and made him what he is today. But now, he doesn’t want to hear anything about Barrister any more. He has shown the whole world now that he’s Barrister’s enemy. He just used Barrister as a ladder that took him up. We don’t need to say much about that again. Everything is obvious now. And we don’t even need any of them anymore.
Would you say they have all disappointed the family?
No, they have only disappointed themselves. We are okay in our family.
‘Pasuma and Osupa have broken my heart’ – Folashade Balogun, daughter
Five years after, what do you still miss about your dad?
I still imss him a lot, especially occasions like this makes me miss him the more. This is one of the moments I actually realized he is no more.
How would you describe life without him?
Initially, it was hard. But as time went on, God started intervening. Glory be to God for that.
You were not in the university before he passed away?
Yes, but now I am a graduate. I thank God for that. I am now a law graduate. I obtained Bachelor’s degree in Public International Law and Comparative Law from the Institut Superieur Fopase (Fopase University Institute), Republic du Benin.
What’s your comment about today’s event?
I am not impressed at all.
Yes, I am not because of the turn out and the absence of all the fuji stars, especially Saidi Osupa and Pasuma. I am heartbroken. I won’t lie to you. I am not really happy about what they did. This is not how it’s supposed to be. I didn’t expect it.
What do you think was the lapses in the preparations for the event?
I just believe that it’s while you’re alive you see people around you but when you’re gone, everything is finished. This is the time to know who really loves my dad. Just like the Yoruba would say, Eni to soju eni ko le dabi eni to seyin. You can see what has happened, it’s crystal clear that all these fuji artistes only loved my father when he was alive. But to me, he’s supposed to be worshipped either in life or death. They all suppose to see him as their god as far as the genre is concerned. If not for him, they wouldn’t have been what they’re today. There wouldn’t have been fuji which all of them are feeding from today.
Are you sure they’re all properly informed by the family?
Yes, they were all informed. Each one of them was visited by my elder brothers and they all promised us to turn up. But I am surprised about what happened today. I don’t really know what could have caused it.
‘K1, others disappointed themselves’ – Sulaimon Balogun
How do you feel about today’s event?
We just have to give thanks to God, no matter what. We need to be grateful to Him because in every circumstance, one still needs to thank God. I say Alhamdulillahi for making today a reality. Almighty Allah is with us and with those that supported us. No matter how we see it, we still thank God. That’s just the truth about the whole thing.
Are you impressed by the turnout being Ayinde Barrister’s fifth memorial concert?
I am not impressed at all, but we still have every reason to thank God. All I know is that it’s the beginning of another greater thing to come. Our father was a legend, everybody knows that. But we believe next year’s edition will be better.
How do you feel not seeing all these fuji stars here today, including K1, Pasuma, Obesere, Saidi Osupa and others?
They didn’t disappoint us, they only disappointed themselves because this was a man that created what they’re benefitting from today, what they’re tapping to send their children abroad. If this man didn’t suffer for this genre they’re all enjoying from today, they wouldn’t have been nowhere to be found. They didn’t disappoint me, they disappointed themselves.
What was the biggest mistake you people made while planning the event?
Our biggest mistake was that we trusted the people we ought not to have trusted. The preparation for this event was under one month because those who promised they were going to do this and that disappointed us at the last minute. So, we had to take over the whole thing. To me, we tried.
‘No matter what, we still have to give kudos to the organizers’ – Shina Akanni
What’s your comment on today’s show?
All we need to do is thank Almighty Allah for the whole thing. We still have to appreciate the organizers of the concert no matter what. I appreciate all the children of Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister for what they’re doing today. A lot of people out there have forgotten doing something like this for their late one but for Ayinde Barrister’s children to have put this in place in honour and remembrance of their father, we have to give them kudos. They have done well. May his soul continue to rest in peace.
But your colleagues are not here today, does it mean Fuji Musicians Association of Nigeria (FUMAN) as a body was not contacted and invited by the family?
I don’t know anything about that. What I know is that I honoured my own invitation. Even, I just finished performing somewhere and I deemed it fit to honour Ayinde Barrister, that’s why I rushed here to be part of the event.
What’s your comment concerning your other colleagues who were conspicuously absent today?
I can only speak for myself, I don’t know of any other person.
What’s your advice to the children who organized the event?
They should just go back to the drawing board and re-strategise against next edition. We all pray that Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister be granted Al-jannah firdous. And may Allah protect all what he left behind, including his legacy.