The late fuji maestro, Dr Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, has been described as a ‘god’ worshiped by a cult of his fans across the world.
Chief Tunde Busari, who just published his perspectives on Barrister, My Journey with Barry Wonder, made the statement in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, just as he declared that Barrister’s music has served multiple purposes to him and other fans who follow his music faithfully.
He said it was against that backdrop that he decided to put his thoughts together and chronicle his trajectory with the late Ibadan-born musician in 2020.
Chief Busari, publisher of theTabloid.net, an online and conventional news magazine, revealed that about three Barrister books had already been written, adding that My Journey with Barry Wonder changed from writing another biography of the Fuji music exponent, to his personal encounter with him and his music.
However, Busari admitted that the original idea behind the book came from friends and followers who had seen him share information related to Barrister through his social media messages, especially through Facebook.
“My expressive opinions on Barrister appear to connect better with my readers who would like, love, comment and send me additional complimentary words, including what could pass for garnished appraisals. I can recall a respondent, who wrote that he knew me to be close to Barrister at his Fuji Chamber residence. Here was a man I never met beyond that surprise comment on my wall. So, I am grateful to these people for their push to do this book,” he said.
Divided into 14 chapters in 509 pages, My Journey With Barry Wonder, Busari said, was his own intellectual contributions to the development of indigenous music in Nigeria.
He, therefore, appealed to others to also document their experiences with their favourite musicians in order to preserve their legacies for future generations.
“If you ask me, I will say that I am fulfilled now that I have left something which the next generations will pick to understand my relationship with Barrister based strictly on his inexhaustible music talent. In the course of writing the book, I discovered that Barrister might not realise all God had given him, in terms of depth and capacity to compose timeless songs, which are still sought after 11 years after his transition,” he said.
Busari added that Barrister deserves the intellectual attention he had given him because he had recorded many firsts among fuji musicians, including the Federal Government of Nigeria’s recognition of his contributions in 2006 with a national award of the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR).
“I am not comfortable that 15 years after Barrister received the national award of MFR, fuji genre has got no mention at the podium. This should be a challenge to living fuji musicians to study what Barrister did right to have merited it and what has made it impossible for others to get it, after all, Juju genre has two awardees. Basically, the book is to enlighten the reading public, especially fans, fuji musicians, entertainment journalists and other stakeholders in entertainment industry,” he remarked.