Thursday, December 16, 2010
Fuji musician, Ayinde Barrister, is dead
FUJI music exponent, Alhaji (Dr) Sikiru Ayinde Balogun, popularly known as Barrister, is dead. He died on Thursday morning at St Mary’s Hospital, London, United Kingdom, after developing complications as a result of surgery he underwent recently to
extract excess fat from his body. He was 62. His death was confimed by one of his sons, Wale, popularly known as Barry Showkey, who spoke to the Nigerian Tribune from London.
About three months ago, Barrister was admitted to a German hospital where about 32kg of fat was extracted from his body. Before this, he had undergone surgery at an Indian hospital, but on his return to Nigeria, he developed some complications, and he travelled to Germany for further medical treatment.
While in Germany, news filtered through that Barrister had died. That news shook his fans and artistes who looked up to him for guidance, but he quickly came out to debunk the death rumour.
Barrister’s brand of music (Fuji), was initially believed to be for touts and bus drivers, but today, fans cut across all classes of the society, due to the modernisation of the music by Barrister and youthful artistes who now dominate the Fuji scene.
While Barrister was active on the music scene, there was great rivalry between him and Alhaji (‘General’) Ayinla Kollington, another veteran Fuji artiste.
Before becoming a full-time musician, Barrister was a soldier and he fought in the Nigerian Civil War. He so much cherished the memories of the war that he sang often about it in his albums.
In one of his albums, he sang that he feared nothing in life because he had been to the war front and nothing could be more terrible than that.
Also, Barrister loved his mother so much that he mentioned her struggles to bring him up in almost all his albums.
Barrister, also known as Alhaji Agba, touched the lives of his fans in one way or the other through his music.
His music is also very philosophical. In his lifetime, he was the subject of various rumours, innuendoes and distortions, but always came out stronger after each time.
Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Balogun was born in Lagos on February 9, 1948. After creating a genre of music, he named it Fuji, which he got from Mount Fuji, the Japanese Mountain of love. Fuji is a combination of the Were beat, Juju, Apala and traditional Yoruba praise poems.
Upon his discharge from the army, where he fought in the Nigerian civil war, Barrister formed his musical group, The Supreme Fuji Commanders.
He has his fan clubs spread across the country, especially in the northern part like Kano, Kaduna, Zaria, Jos, among other states.
Meanwhile Nigerians have started reacting to his death.
According to Yinka Ayefele, “the death of Sikiru Ayinde Barrister is still a shock to me. He was a great man and he created the Fuji music that is waxing stronger by the day. May God grant him eternal rest.
Former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, described his death as a big loss to the country.
Oyinlola, in a statement, on Thursday, said, the death of Barrister had left the nation poorer, just as it had robbed the entertainment industry of one of its pillars.
The Oyo State governor, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, said the late Sikiru Ayinde would be missed for the message of his lyrics.
In a condolence message signed by his Special Adviser on Public Commu-nications, Dotun Oyelade, the governor said the deceased was a world class entertainer when he was alive.