Muhammad Ali lost some flash, quick timing and a bit of his speed when he resumed prize fighting after about a four-year layoff, of course attending his refusal to be drafted into the USA Army in 1967. Some boxing analysts believe we were all denied the chance to truly see Ali in action, and all in his true prime.
Aare Akanni Shina a.k.a Arówóreyín, Ògo, Scupidio suffered about the same thing in the mid 80’s when he was out of circulation as he battled the demonic force of drug addiction. By the time he came back in the early 90’s, the Fuji landscape was already, pretty much taken over. Meanwhile, years before; the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, the King Of Fuji had reportedly, and publicly endorsed him as the crown Prince over another wonderkid, Iyanda Sawaba. By the time he came back, though with his immense talent intact, he still hung tight- but on a short limb as the scene was no more his for the taking.
I still look around in the oversaturated world of Fuji today, and it’s very hard to find a voice so fresh and sonorous, with its almost impossible range, pitch and perfect tuning even in the advancement of age, comparable to his. His slight rhotacism notwithstanding, infact that’s another reason I like him. His ‘r’ sounds vulnerably gritty, for he never could roll it efficiently around his tongue to spit it out.
In life, timing is much of everything. How are we certain Muhammad Ali would still be the ‘Greatest’ if he kept fighting all through his career, with no break, or wasn’t banned for all those years? Who could be certain Arówóreyín wouldn’t have been crowned the King of Fuji eventually if he never had that drug problem?
Whether that, or this, Sir Shina Akanni is still the Nightingale of Fuji Music. Who cares if he’s not the King or the Prince of a terribly diluted kingdom anyway!