SULE Alao Malaika is one of the respected and finest fuji artistes. With unequalled experience and countless intimidating albums to his credit, his simplicity and hard work has no doubt won him a lot of affection from lovers of his brand of music. In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, the bundle of talent revealed the factor that is responsible for his decision to marry two wives, the stress of being the king of new generation fuji music and more.
You have been in limbo for sometime now, what happened?
I’ve been around. I’ve been in the country. Normally, I spend much of my time overseas. But this time around, I decided to stay in the country for sometime.
How has it been, being in the country?
I’m really enjoying it. Unlike before when I spend two months here, one month overseas, I said to myself why can’t I stay in my country and see how it goes? And I’ve tried it and I found it lovely and interesting.
Can you comment on the belief that you are bigger outside the country than in Nigeria?
Could that be correct? No. that they like me in the Western countries does not mean that the people back home do not appreciate me. They do, but the only thing is that people out there don’t see fuji stars regularly. Anytime you go there, they appreciate you a lot because they don’t know when they would see you again.
You said you’ve been around, aside your normal engagements, what have you been doing?
I don’t think I do any other thing aside the music which is my calling. Before now, I was shuttling between here and various European countries, but now that I’ve decided to stay put in Nigeria, my fans know it and a lot of engagements come my way. I must also let you know that I’m busy like never before. And we thank God for that, I’m really enjoying it because it’s giving me much joy.
There is calm in fuji kingdom now and you’ve spoken on it here and there. But we would love to have the update. What’s your relationship with Saheed Osupa now?
We are all one in the fuji kingdom. And Saheed Osupa is my friend, so there is no problem between us. Let me say this, what happened between us then can happen anywhere. Don’t let us go far, Saheed is my friend.
How did you feel when you suddenly became popular and a lot of people find your music interesting?
I didn’t really feel special about it. But the only thing that came to my mind is that God has answered my prayers. It has always been my prayer that people should fall in love with my music and also find it interesting. I thank God that things are going on fine. It’s not easy for people to appreciate what you are doing. So, I feel happy that people accept my music.
What’s your own definition of the present day fuji music, considering the fact that it used to be for the street guys, but now you have upscale people as fans?
It’s unfortunate that people see fuji music as a brand of music for touts. I started thinking about how to change the face of fuji music when I was about starting. Contrary to their belief, fuji music is not meant for touts. I even wonder why they call some group of people touts after all, we are all human beings. And as you can see, fuji music has ceased to be what it used to be. Our songs are for different categories of people. Like my albums, Elevator and Motivator, that were released about three or four
weeks ago, if you listen to the music you will discover that it’s for different categories of people. I feel good and fulfilled that the corporate people now listen to our music. We love them all for their patronage and encouragement.
At a point in time, you were a monogamist, but all of a sudden you picked a second wife. Why was it hard for you to stick to one woman?
Marriage is a life commitment. It’s a difficult thing for we musicians to keep to one wife. But you would not know until you get there. So, from experience, I’m telling you that it’s not an easy task. It has always been my belief that if you have a wife at home you will be disciplined. You will know when to leave home and when to go back, since there is someone at home waiting for you.
What happened when I got my second wife…If you are going out with a woman, this issue of a second wife I did it deliberately because I really love her. So, instead of keeping an illegal relationship, I decided to make it official. And with the second wife, I think I am satisfied. The two that I have is enough for me. And I believe that I won’t go beyond that.
There is one other thing that I want people to understanding, I am not hiding the fact that I have two wives. The two marriages were celebrated elaborately.
From your experience, would you say it is possible for an artiste to relate with female fans without it ending in a relationship?
That’s why I said earlier that one has to be disciplined in this kind of business. If I discover that a female fan is going beyond the normal, I would immediately let her know that I cannot marry her because I have wives and kids. It can only happen if the lady understands me, I usually let them know that I’m married and that I’m not ready to take another wife.
You are the king of new generation fuji music and you had the coronation a long while ago, looking back, how fitting would you say the crown has been? How easy is being the king of new generation fuji?
It has not been easy. I’ve not seen any position that is easy. My father used to tell me that there isn’t anything good in this life that comes easy. No pain, no gain, and that you have to struggle to get the best out of whatever situation. I was in London when they called me for the kingship, I found it difficult to accept. I don’t like trouble, I hate anything that is controversial. When I called my dad to inform him of the development, he told that’s what I’ve been telling you that life is about struggle. He said since they’ve called me that all I need to do is to go to my elders like Alhaji Barrister, Kollington Ayinla, Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde, which I did. It was after meeting with these people that I accepted the offer. It hasn’t been easy because after the coronation, I encountered a lot of problems and obstacles, but we thank God.
Can you mention some of the problems you faced in the process?
Like people questioning you that why should you call yourself the king of new generation fuji and all that. But I like all those challenges. We thank God today that everything is in order. Even if I should open up to you what I went through you would pity me. Fine, the first two months I really enjoyed it, people were calling to congratulate me and all that. But when the problem started, I felt like…But with prayer, everything came back to normal because I believe in the power of prayer.
What were the things you suffered?
I don’t want to go into that. But today, I thank God.
You are one of the respected fuji acts, what inspires you?
I think that would be the love I have for the job. The fact that I love what I’m doing makes everything easy for me.
You are the king of new generation fuji musicians like Saheed Osupa, Pasuma, among others, probably fall in this category. Basically, would you…
(Cuts in) Okay, let me explain something to you here, in the older generation we have Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Alhaji Kollington Ayinla, Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde and otherse. For instance, if Saheed Osupa would come out to say he’s not in my generation, that means he’s in Barrister’s generation. And as a matter of fact, is Saheed Osupa in their generation? No, I’m very sorry to have mentioned names, I just used him as an example.
Pasuma, Saheed Osupa, Sefiu Alao, we are all in the same generation. For instance, in the school you maybe in the same class but not necessarily the same age. Is it possible for about 50 students in a class to be of the same age? But the basic thing is that they are class mates. So, all the fuji musicians in this category are my subjects.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m not working on anything. But I have two albums, Motivator and Elevator in the market. I don’t want to talk too much on this but what I will tell my fans wherever they are is that they should try to get the albums and check out what I have to offer them this time around.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, May 19, 2009