He is regarded as a pioneer of Fuji and Were music. After his first break into music in 1965, Ayinde Barrister went on to release over 70 studio albums.
Full Name: Sikiru Ololade Ayinde Balogun
Born: 9 February, 1948
Birth place: Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria
Died: December 16, 2010 (aged 62)
Death place: St. Mary’s Hospital, London, United Kingdom
Burial place: Isolo, Lagos State, Nigeria
Known for: Revolution of Fuji and Were music
Also known as: Alhaji Agba
Children: Barry Showkey, Barry Jhay, Adewale Akanji Balogun, Agbeke Balogun, Damilola Balogun, Modinat Ayeloja
Famous as: Singer-songwriter, entertainer
Years active: 1965–2010
Albums: Fuji Garbage Series 3, Tribute to I.K. Dairo, New Fuji Garbage, Tala Disco ’85 and many more
Biographical and educational career
Sikiru Ayinde Barrister was born to the family of Salawu Balogun of Ibadan, his father was a butcher, while his mother was a trader.
He had his early education at Muslim Mission School and the Model School, Mushin, Lagos.
He briefly attended a Muslim school, Yaba Polytechnic, in 1961, but financial difficulties prevented him from continuing.
He later studied typing and other commercial related classes at Yaba Polytechnic.
Sikiru Ayinde Barrister started playing music at a young age as an ajiwere singer during the period of Ramadan; he continued playing music in between various jobs.
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Sikiru Ayinde Barrister worked as a typist for Nigerian Breweries and was later enlisted as a clerk in the Nigerian Army during the Nigeria Civil War.
He served in the 10th Brigade of the 2nd Division of the Nigerian Army under Col Adeniran and fought in Awka, Abagana and Onitsha.
On his return from the war, he was posted to the Army Signals Headquarters, Apapa and later to the Army Resettlement Centre, Oshodi.
He left the army to become a full-time musician and proceeded to start a full-fledged band of 34 percussionists and vocalists called the “Supreme Fuji Commanders”.
Music career and album release
In 1966, Ayinde Barrister released his first LP record. During this time, he usually played with his band at events around Ebute Meta and Lagos mostly to Muslim clients.
He released further records under the label African Songs Ltd before starting his own label Siky-Oluyole Records.
Among the LP’s released under African songs is Bisimilahi (1977) and Ile Aiye Dun Pupo/Love In Tokyo (India Sound) (1976).
By the early 1980s, Ayinde Barrister and Fuji music had become accepted by all religions in the country.
He went on to record various albums including Iwa (1982), Nigeria (1983), Fuji Garbage (1988) and New Fuji Garbage (1993) under his imprint.
Sikiru Ayinde Barrister had a couple of successful shows in London in 1990 and 1993 performing what later became known as the Fuji Garbage sound.
Sikiru Ayinde Barrister drew inspiration from the likes of Olatunji Yusuf, Lefty Salami, S Aka, Haruna Ishola among others.
He conceded seniority to the likes of Ajadi Ganiu, Jolly lawa, Saka Olaigbade, Baba Raliatu, Kawu Aminu, Ayinde Muniru Mayegun, aka General captain.
Music style and instrument
Chief Doctor Sikiru Ayinde Barrister has played an essential role in the evolution of the music of his country Nigeria.
He was leader of a 25-piece band, the Supreme Fuji Commanders, and a smaller group, the Africa Musical International Ambassadors.
Barrister has continued to be one of the leading purveyors of fuji, an exciting, amplified dance music combining juju, apala, and traditional Yoruba blues that he introduced in the late-’70s.
With his heartfelt vocals set to a rhythmic mix of talking drums, claves, bells, shekere, drum set, and Hawaiian-style guitar, he laid the foundation for fuji, which he named after Mt. Fuji, the Japanese mountain of love.
The style has been described as “juju without the guitars” and a “percussion conversation.”
The website www.rootsandrhythm.com described it as a “high speed assault by 12 wild percussionists.”
Barrister renamed the musical style “Fuji garbage” in 2000.
Family and Personal life
Sikiru Ayinde Barrister had about 16 wives and at least 62 children.
Alhaji Agba, as he was popularly called, lived with only one of the wives in his palatial mansion, Fuji Chambers situated in Isolo, Lagos, Nigeria. While others lived all over Nigeria and other parts of the world.
Some of the wives include: Yetunde, Bola, Bisi, Olayinka, Kehinde, Yemi, Mejidat, Faderera, Alhaja Morufat and Aisha, Balogun.
16 of his wives wore the same Ankara aso ebi when they attended the eight day fidau prayer held in his honour at Fuji Chambers, Isolo.
The fuji icon named one of his mosque after her deceased wife Alhaja Maimunat Balogun in the Fuji Chambers to immortalise her and as a practical demonstration of his love for her.
Some of the wives had between 3 to 5 kids each and the youngest is the daughter of his bosom friend named Adisa Pele whose marriage to the fuji king was controversial.
During his lifetime he rationalised his marriage to his friend’s daughter in one of his songs, saying it is not a new thing because it happened during the time of Muhammed.
He died at St. Mary’s Hospital, London, UK and was buried in his home at Isolo, Lagos.
He had a bitter feud with another Fuji singer, Kollington Ayinla in 1982.
Awards and recognitions
Ayinde was awarded the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR). He remains the only Fuji artist to be given the national honour till date.