For K1 De Ultimate, It’s 60 Sound Bytes and Still Counting
“We are sometimes born into wealth, but not ability. Ability must be acquired by earnest desire ;it is not inherited.” —Paul. P. Parker.
Nothing epitomizes the effective convergence of God’s grace and natural abilities in the life of man than attainment of success and being able to maintain it. On this note, the lives of some leading light of various fields of human endeavor are always in the limelight, just like proverbial golden fish that has no hiding place.
For lovers of music in Nigeria, Fuji occupies a pride of place as it depicts a very special part of the social life of the Yoruba speaking people of Nigeria. As a brand that started with were, a wake up song for Muslims at dawn during the Holy month of Ramadan, Fuji music, created by the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister has gone through series of evolution to become the toast of millions of followers. However, one man that has remained a constant face of Fuji Music for close to forty years is the widely acclaimed King of Fuji, K1, an Ijebu-Ode prince, born at Idumagbo area of Lagos Island as Wasiu Adewale Omogbolahan Olasunkanmi Ayinde Anifowoshe on 3rd March, 1957, to the Fidipote Ruling House.of Ijebu Ode
K1 was admitted into the secondary school , but due to the untimely demise of his father, he could not complete his secondary education and was thus forced to pursue life outside of the academics. Providence however took him to the musical group of the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister where he became an instrument ‘parker’, but in fulfillment of destiny, an event that happened in 1974 permanently altered the course of his life when Barrister went on a foreign trip to England and the entire band members had to wait until his return before being active again. This, the young Wasiu Ayinde was said to have resented: he resolved there and then to go into Fuji music as a professional, thus heralding the birth of his own musical group. Though he debuted with his first recorded album titled Iba (Tribute) in 1980 on the label of Adetunji Omo Aje records, owned by the incumbent Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba(Dr) Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, K1 however burst into the nation’s entertainment scene with his landmark hit album, TALAZO’84 in the year 1984 and has never looked back ever since, with strings of successful hit albums in quick succession like Tala’86, Dance For Me, American Tips, Fuji Collections, The Ultimate, Consolidation, History, Statement, among others.
Some common features of K1 ‘s professional life over the years are the core values of hard work, consistency, focus, loyalty to people and above all, his quest for constant improvement of his personality and his musical group as a brand which resulted in his ever re-branding and repackaging himself, starting with Wasiu Ayinde Barrister,later changed to Marshal The Ultmate, KWAM 1 and later, K1.
Suffice to say at this point that k1 was about the first indigenous Musician of Yoruba extraction to employ a trained Management expert to oversee the affairs of his organization when he hired a UK trained, London based Management consultant, Dayo Adekunle Olomu of D.O & Associates as his Artiste Manager and this paid off with his increased “acceptability across different strata of the Nigerian social establishment. This is rooted in the age-long maxim “Only the Deep can call to the Deep”.
Again, it is to the credit of this Fuji impresario that Fuji Music was rescued from the sinking effect of Juju Music with the sterling performances of the likes of King Sunny Ade,Ebenezer Obey and the Afro Juju introduced by Shina Peters through his hit record ‘ACE’ in 1989 which made modernization and relaunching of Fuji Music an imperative if it was not to go into extinction and k1 responded to fill that gap by releasing the first real fast track Fuji Album titled ‘American Tips’ in 1990 which marked a significant turning point for Fuji Music as Fuji from then on expanded its frontiers to become the toast of many more educated Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora who practically abandoned Disco to identify more with K1’s new brand of modern Fuji.
Many more younger artistes were inspired to take Fuji Music as way of earning livelihood and fame, and this is one of the greatest achievements of K1, the architect of modern fuji and it will be a disservice to talent and vision to attempt to rob K1 of the credit for revolutionizing Fuji into a classical brand with millions of followers and fans. One important lesson Nigerian youths can pick from the life of this iconic Nigerian entertainer and Fuji King is the power of vision and the tenacity to pursue it. As at the time he began his career in Fuji, that brand of Music was perceived (rightly or wrongly) as an exclusive preserve of uneducated and low class Nigerians, compared with other genre of Music in the land, but the story changed with the persistent and consistent rebranding which K1 spearheaded, thus pushing Fuji to the top chart of the Nigerian entertainment industry.
One could recollect with pride, the pioneering effort of K1 which endeared him to the corporate world earning him consistent place at corporate events like the famous Benson&Hedges Golden Tones and the prestigious Havannah Carnival Gigs, organized by the Sigma Club of the University of Ibadan where he remains one of its longest performing artistes after the likes of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti and the king of World of beats, king Sunny Ade.
It is one thing for providence to smile at man, it is another thing to be blessed with what it takes to nurture and maintain it for years, this is what K1 has done with his continued relevance in the entertainment cycle for close to four decades now. Attaining Golden Jubilee and still staying strong and relevant could only have come from God’s Abundant Grace and it is on this note that i join the numerous fans of the undisputed king of Fuji to thank God for making him light unto several others.
Considering the long chain of individuals and organizations making their living from Fuji as singers, producers, promoters, record distributors, marketers, management artistes and other value added service providers, then this is no mean achievement for Alhaji Wasiu Adewale Anifowoshe and I believe strongly that he deserves a National Merit Award for working hard to create direct and indirect jobs for many others with his God-given talent.
Adegoke, a former Chief Press Secretary and legal practitioner, is based in Ibadan