ON Tuesday, January 18, 2011, ENCOMIUM Weekly was at the Okota, Lagos residence of king of fuji music, Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde Anifowoshe, a.k.a K1 de Ultimate. The talented musician opened up on several issues, including his relationship with his godfather, late Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, all the controversies trailing his latest album, Instinct and more.
How did you feel when you heard about Ayinde Barrister’s death?
I was shocked. Indeed, it was a rude shock, but we thank God Almighty for his life because he raised so many wonderful children, including myself that benefited from his largesse. It saddens our heart because we are not going to see him again. If we cry from now till thy kingdom come, the fact still remains that he is gone, but those good things he left behind will definitely stand him out. All he had done will definitely make his name remain indelible.
How would you describe him as an entertainer and as a father?
First, I will describe him as a father in very many ways because of what he stood for. Personally, his death is a big loss, but I thank God for his life. I also thank God for being around because if I consider the trauma I passed through sometime ago and God still gave me the grace to be around, I mean, I should be grateful to Him. I must tell you Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister was a wonderful father who did his best for his children, including myself. And as an entertainer, I am sure very many people that came across him or his works will agree with me that he was a perfect entertainer. He did a lot in the area of music development and he had a lot of laurels to show for it.
He used to address you as Mayegun General, meaning that the whole house of fuji music is in your hands. How is the genre going to be now that he is gone?
Definitely, he is gone, but he left a very big responsibility for a whole lot of people, myself inclusive. And we will definitely do all within our capability to see that fuji music continues to wax stronger and stronger. We thank God Almighty for him. He was so blessed. A lot of people were springing up and they were doing exploits. Myself, Ayuba, Obesere, Saidi, Pasuma and a lot more, including the younger ones.
You mean benefiting from his creativity?
Oh yes. That is exactly how it’s supposed to be. You benefit from those before you and those after you will definitely benefit from you also.
There is this rumour in town that K1 de Ultimate was not as close to Ayinde Barrister as he claims?
A reasonable person like myself cannot be commenting on rumours. For anybody that knows my relationship with him, they would definitely tell you that I was closer to him as an entertainer because I grew up with him. Any other entertainer came after me. I was the closest person to him. We don’t need to contest it. I will continue to give thanks to God for giving me the grace to pass through such a genius.
What role did you actually play when he was very ill?
I don’t need to be blowing my trumpet all over on that. I believe it goes beyond just blabbing. One thing I know is that I deserve a right of place in the man’s family and his estate of musical art. We just have to thank God Almighty for everything.
What exactly will you remember him for as his closest godson?
I will remember him for so many things that I can’t exhaust on the pages of papers, if I have to mention them from A to Z. What I know is that anytime we sat down, we always discussed issues, especially those that bordered on the development of the entertainment industry, human development, family issues. He was just more than a father to me and definitely he would be remembered for all those beautiful moments I had with him and those beautiful things that we discussed.
How would you describe his exit?
He still lives on because he had a lot of repertoire that will last for a very long time. I am very sure people will not forget a man called Barry Wonder in a decade because he was a fantastic and wonderful entertainer.
No matter how cordial your relationship with him might be, there must have been a time when you had a misunderstanding, can you recall one?
I believe the Almighty God will appreciate it when as much as possible, you say that which is good about our dead. So, it is not right for me to say I joined issues with him. I am not proud of anything that is not good and I won’t be proud to say that. A true son will definitely give thanks to God for whatever transpired between him and his father. But one thing I am sure of is that we had a wonderful relationship, father-son relationship that transcended any other issue.
What will you do to immortalise his legacy?
We will try our best to see that all he laboured to achieve will not decay. God will show us the way. We already have a good number of meaningful people that have put heads together to fashion out a beautiful way to immortalise him. Myself inclusive, and other notable people who have passionately taken that as a responsibility. So, I can assure you, the name will be rising and rising and his children and great grand children will have a lot to be so proud of.
Can you shed light on the many controversies that surrounded Ayinde Barrister’s burial, including burying him at night? Some even said it was an ordinary dummy and not his body that was inside the casket and so on?
We all understand the fact that the man died abroad and we all know of the procedures to bring in the corpse from outside the country. It is the same process you pass through when you’re bringing in goods. The same thing applies when you are taking goods or a corpse outside your country. You pass through security operatives and you must be able to convince the authority on what exactly you’re bringing into the country. We thank God that we were duly honoured regardless of the fact that we had to bring the body back from abroad and we all know that he was a practising Muslim. According to Islamic injunctions, you don’t delay burial when confirmation had been made of a dead one, but unfortunately, the burial was delayed because he died abroad. We brought him into the country and he was honourably laid before his family and everybody present. I am sure the children were fully convinced it was their father that was buried and the wives too were also convinced. I won’t be what I am and be commenting on issues I know is not worth commenting on. We gave the man a befitting burial in the midst of his family. The Alfas prayed for the body and people had the opportunity to see it. Many people may not have seen the body because the crowd was just too huge. So, we should pay less attention to the issue that is not worth talking about.
We understand that January 26, 2011 has been fixed for his final burial. As his son, what role are you playing that day?
A tree doesn’t make a forest. I am not the only one involved, we have a burial committee, including Evangelist Ebenezer Obey, who also happened to be his godfather. He also played a vital role in his growing up, but unfortunately, he died before him. Evangelist Ebenezer Obey is playing a big role in the burial. We also have Alhaji Buhari Oloto who leads the committee, Alhaji Adisa Osiefa, myself, Adewale Ayuba and very many others. And the government of Lagos State is fully involved. We chose to be briefing the governor and we have a standing commissioner, that is, Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, supervising the whole thing we are doing. I am very sure Lagos State government is fully behind the family to make the burial a befitting one because Ayinde Barrister was a celebrity who had put a better part of his life into the development of art. He was also in active service during the civil war. So, reference should not be made to only me because we are very many.
Let’s talk about another issue. What is the actual relationship between you and Obesere, Saidi Osupa and so on at the moment?
First, I don’t like taking issues personal. At the moment, we are all mourning the demise of a front-liner in our genre, a front-liner in the music industry. We don’t bend issues. I looked at my age, I discovered it doesn’t encourage me to be harbouring what should not be harboured at all. And to be a good rallying voice for every other person, definitely, I am expected to do justice. And I am trying my best. I believe I can only try my best.
Now, about your career, your live play, E se n pe. We learnt it has caused a rancour between you and some old women in Lagos, how true is this?
When you’re talking about live play, it has turned to what it is now, but as a very good artist that is working seriously for good marketing, I believe a live cassette is just a live cassette and I can tell you I have a new album in the market, Instinct and Senpe too is one of the hit tracks and it is doing well in the market. I don’t have any palaver with women, either as an individual or as a group. I am a lover of women and women are lovers of my music and my person. We have a fantastic relationship. Women are also my mothers and they form the bulk of my fans. I don’t just dare them. Going to the extent of insulting them, there wouldn’t be anything that will make me sound rude to them and I will never do that.
What of your former marketer, Babalaje. We learnt the album has also caused a serious problem between the two of you?
Babalaje marketed my albums over the years and I have every right to decide the direction I want my business to go, especially when it has to do with the marketing. Myself and Babalaje have a fantastic relationship and we are still very much together. It is only that at the point when people were bidding for the job, maybe one person out-bidded the other. The guy that distributes my new work has been working with Babalaje. We shouldn’t make any issue out of that.
In 2007, you released a jingle, so to speak, for Governor Raji Fashola (SAN), when he was campaigning for the seat. Do you also have any similar thing for him this year and now that he has been endorsed by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu?
We are very happy because Governor Fashola is doing very well. Anybody who had in one way or the other contributed to a wonderful cause like that should be thanking his star for being opportuned to share in the success of a great man like Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola who stands as a good example of what a dedicated person should be. A role model to the youths and also proud and exemplary father and husband. I am very thankful to God for sharing moments with such a man and I will continue to do just that inasmuch as I still see the man on course, doing very well to meet the yearnings of the people. I respect him a lot. I am working on a jingle for his campaign, just like I did in 2007 as you rightly said.
In line with your career and life, was there anytime you made a decision that caused a big regret?
Nothing like that at all. Everything in my life has been so perfect. Almighty God has made life beautiful for me.
With your busy schedule, how do you relax?
I relax. I just came back from the studio. I was only waiting for you because I knew we had an appointment. If not for that, I would have gone upstairs to sleep and I would lock all these doors. So, I take time to rest.
Sometime ago, a woman came out, claiming she is your only legal wife and not Yewande as you have been saying. What is your comment in this and your marital status too?
My private life has been in the open. I have never taken out anything from the fact that I have married and remarried. And I doubt it if I would be the first man that will find himself in that situation. I am a proud family man. I am married to Yewande Jarinat, the mother of my beautiful daughter, Isabella. And I respect even those women that have kids for me that we are no more in a relationship. Whether or not I like it, we are bound by the fruits that we have together and I owe it as a responsibility to be answerable to those aspects of my life. I won’t use any dirty word to describe any woman because there must have been a time probably that we had a fantastic relationship together. But just like I said, the only woman in my life is Yewande Jarinat.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, January 25, 2011