As the debate over the evolution of fuji music gets hotter, the man at the centre of the controversy, Wasiu Ayinde K1 de Ultimate, has said that he is not out to discredit the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister or do anything that will affect the respect due to him.
Wasiu told an online television platform, FlipTV, in an interview that his argument about the evolution of fuji music is not to doubt Barrister’s fundamental contributions to the genre.
According to him, what he disagreed with at a forum where he made a statement that angered many of Barrister’s followers and family members is a submission that ‘fuji’ took its name from Fuji Island in Japan.
He said, “I won’t dare ridicule Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister. The man is late now, and, in Yorubaland, you don’t speak ill of the dead. I am so loyal to him that I gave him a befitting burial when he was alive. That was based on an arrangement I had with him.
“The bone of contention at the programme is about someone saying fuji music derived its name from Fuji Island. To that, I say ‘Capital No’. And I doubt if my late mentor ever said anything like that. Fuji means ‘faaji’. Our old people on Lagos Island used to ask, ‘Kin ni fuji e?’, ‘Kin ni faaji e?”
According to Wasiu, who recently celebrated his 60th birthday, he is not contesting the leadership of fuji music with anybody. On the title of the King of Fuji which he bears, he noted that both Barrister and another fuji big shot, Alhaji Kollington Ayinla, were aware of his ascension, with an indication that they endorsed it.
K1 said, “The late Alhaji Ayinde Barrister and Alhaji Kollington Ayinla were alive and they were there the day I was crowned the King of Fuji at NTA, Ibadan. They rejoiced with me. The picture of me taken with my late boss is still there and it is what I used on the cover of an album then. It was when I was crowned the King of Fuji that my mentor switched over to the title of Fuji Creator.”
In the interview with FlipTV, as monitored on its site on You Tube, Wasiu noted that he inspired the foundation of the Fuji Musicians Association of Nigeria, saying its constitution was drafted in his sitting room.
According to him, he did this with the belief that coming together will advance the cause of the genre.
He, however, said that he never solicited nor received money from anyone on behalf of the group.
Wasiu said he regarded Barrister’s children as his.
But he expressed displeasure at a situation where some of them would go out to castigate fuji musicians, saying such artistes had either betrayed the memory of Barrister or that they were not doing enough for fuji.
According to Wasiu, no one can do it alone; it has to be a collective effort.
Since the time the controversy broke loose, fuji artistes that include Saheed Osupa, Adewale Ayuba, Abas Akande Obesere and Iyanda Sawaba have outright disagreed with Wasiu, stressing that Barrister was the fuji creator and that the ‘faaji’ story was alien to the history of the genre.
A fuji patron and Barrister’s strong fan, Otunba Adisa Osiefa; his media officer, Mr. Dayo Odeyemi; as well Barrister’s children, have also vehemently tackled Wasiu, who has, however, also been supported by some people, especially in online discussions.