Fuji music remains Nigeria original brand, say stakeholders
Participants at the maiden edition of the Fuji Roundtable have described Fuji music as the only Nigerian music brand that is devoid of foreign contamination, and over the years served as a unifying factor for Yorubas both home and in diaspora, contributing to the socio-cultural development of the region and beyond.
As a result, the stakeholders in one voice agreed that the genre of music deserves due attention and concerted efforts towards taking it to the next level. Powered by Goldberg Lager, a stable from Nigerian Breweries Plc, the event which held on Monday, June 13, at the NB Plc corporate headquarters, Iganmu, Lagos had in attendance, Chairman, National Project Committee of Fuji Musicians Association of Nigeria (FUMAN), Sikiru Ayinde Agboola (a.k.a SK Sensation), Akogun Gani Balogun, cousin to the late Fuji Legend, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister; Genaral Manager, K1 De Ultimate Band, Olasoju Adebayo, and Olawale Obadeyi, a Fuji analyst, who presented a paper on the evolution and state of the music.
Obadeyi, traced the origin of Fuji music to the period when it was ‘Were’, the local brand of music in vogue among the Muslim faithful. He acknowledged that the music has grown astronomically over the years featuring different artistes who have contributed in different dimensions to its development.
According to him, the innovations brought into the genre by the artistes have deepened ties across boundaries in the region. “Each Fuji artiste, evidently, is pushing the limits of creativity. The horizon of Fuji music has been astoundingly widened,” he stated.
He noted that Goldberg had appropriated the brand of music as a veritable platform through which cultural values could be used to validate the essence of Yorubas living in the region and beyond.
Agboola, who corroborated him, advised Fuji musicians and other stakeholders in the country to take the music to the next level, saying that it is the only surviving genre of music that has its origin in Nigeria and deserves concerted efforts from stakeholders to proffer possible ways through which it could be developed. “It is the duty of all stakeholders to take the music to the next level,” he said.
He commended brand and Nigeria Breweries for the support it is giving to the music. “The support by Goldberg is second to none and should be emulated by other companies in the country,” Agboola added.
For Balogun, the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister did enough to put Fuji in the right perspective before his demise, adding that he provided a platform for stakeholders to prosper. He, however, advice beneficiaries of the genre to ensure the music is given due support every time.
In his opening remarks, Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Lager and Stout brands, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Emmanuel Agu, said the importance of music to any country cannot be over-emphasised, adding that the role of music in nation building is monumental as it fuels the mind and the creativity of listeners.
“Music transcends all boundaries of communication. Music and its rhythm define our humanity considering the universality and essentiality beyond language barrier. I believe it is important for one to have an open mind in order to be in touch with that sense of understanding. Music cannot be separated from our socio-cultural life and as such it is a social connector which has the power to suggest circumstances, moods, and moments. It has general appeal to human senses,” he said
He adds, “Fuji music exerts a strong influence on the social life of the Yorubas irrespective of their locations. Through the music, foreigners can easily feel and connect with the culture of the Yoruba people.
Giving the rationale for the roundtable, Agu said the NB Plc always strives to champion, promote and associate with the culture of its host communities, adding that the Fuji t’o Bam initiative has successfully brought to life the twin socio-cultural tradition of companionship and celebration, since 2012 the concept that it was inaugurated.
He noted that the initiative readily identifies and celebrates the rich musical tradition of sustaining the cultural values of the Yorubas, stressing that the musical platform, which is in its fourth season had in the last three editions led to the discovery of budding Fuji talents and artistes.
“This is what Goldberg has been doing with its initiative of Fuji t’o Bam. We respect people’s cultures and values. I have strong conviction that our gathering here today would in no small way help in contributing ideas to the development of the Fuji music and the culture of the Yoruba people,” he stated.