Life and Times of Late Sikiru Ololade Ayinde Balogun, MFR

He stepped into our earth on the 9th of February, 1948, through the family of Salawu Balogun in Ìbàdàn; his father was a butcher and his mother a petty trader. He later grew up to be the founding father of the popular Yoruba genre of music called “Fuji.”

He had a substantial amount of education, relative to the era in which he went to school. Sikiru was a student of Muslim Mission School, Mushin and The Model School, Mushin, both in Lagos state, before he sought further knowledge in Typing and other commercial related courses within the confines of Yaba Polytechnic, now known as Yaba College of Technology. He graduated and began working as a Typist for the Nigerian Breweries, preceding his enlistment into the Nigerian Army as a Clerk during the Civil War — he was an active soldier, who was of service at the 10th brigade of the 2nd division of the Nigerian Army, fighting in Abagana, Onitsha, and Awka respectively. On his return from the war, he was posted to Army’s signals headquarters at Apapa, before he was posted again to Army Resettlement Centre, Oshodi.

His music career flagged off officially, when he retired from the Nigerian Army in order to become a full-time musician. He then gathered a band of 34 percussionists and vocalists called the “Supreme Fuji Commanders” and in the year 1966, he released his first LP, the discography that will precede over 70 more discographies from his immeasurable musical talent.

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The early years of his career, saw him focusing on the Islamic society, which was due to the presence of key Islamic components in his genre of music. His clientele was usually the Muslims around Èbúté-Mẹta and Ẹkọ. His first record label African Songs Limited, produced a few of his early records: Bisimilahi (1977) and Ile Aiye Dun Pupo/Love In Tokyo (India Sound) (1976) before he set out to launch his self owned label named “Siky-Oluyole Records”.

In the early 80s, due to his consistent delivery of quality lyrics filled with traditions, cultures, and moral underlinings, Ayinde and his genre of Music became accepted by every religion in Nigeria, such was the impact of the great musician. This period also marked the dates where he released records under his imprint: Iwa (1982), Nigeria (1983), Fuji Garbage (1988), and New Fuji Garbage (1993). In the early 90s, he recorded a successful amount of shows in London.

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Ayinde due to his voracious knowledge of Yoruba musical culture knew about other genres: Apala, Sakara, Awurebe, e.t.c. and infused them into his songs, to create his trademark style.

It can be said that his music was always sociological — we can find his commentaries on societal issues, national problems, and political worries thriving within the composition of his sounds. His music was also home to upholding traditional Yoruba values: good conduct/behavior, respect, moral uprightness, and the daily struggles against existence.

In 1995, Ayinde released an album “Precaution” that spoke about the problems of his country, Nigeria, and how the leadership can truncate these problems. Unknowingly to him, it was this album that would fetch him his national honour of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR), from the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, in 2006. Asides from these awards, Ayinde during the chronology of his musical career, amassed other awards.

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In life, the concept of immortality isn’t in the physical existence of mortals. As much as mortals strive to bring into reality the existence of immortality using billions of dollars pumped into scientific research — human beings are yet to conquer this phenomenon.

But as living beings, we can also be immortal, an example is Ayinde Barrister who sadly passed away, on 16th of December, 2010 — he died on that day, but his impact in music lives forever. His indelible footprints in the world of music, especially Fiji and the creation of the Genre which will always be attributed to him, stirs his immortality.


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Oyo Affairs is an independent news media with the main focus on Oyo state news, politics, current events, trending happenings within and around Oyo state, Nigeria

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