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I Ventured Into Fuji Music To Satisfy My Childhood Passion -Tokunbo Abefe



Tajudeen Abefe Hassan fondly addressed by fans as Tokunbo Abefe has paid his dues in the Fuji Music industry.

Abefe, who is a popular fuji musician in Kwara State started singing in 1983.

In this interview, he spoke about the factors that influenced his decision to become a Fuji musician and other issues.

What were the factors that influenced your decision to become a Fuji musician?

I had always loved to sing right from when I was young, so as I was growing up, it naturally became part and parcel of me.
When I was in school I used to sing and entertain my classmates. Though I had other things I was doing after leaving school, my friends however told me that I had a sonorous voice and advised me to venture into music fully. This was how I ultimately began a career in Fuji music .

Which school was that?

I attended Modern School, Ibokun. That was where I started and later I went to Lagos and after some time I returned to my town. I was a contractor, and I specialized in building construction.

Did you have the opportunity to meet with any popular Fuji musician, when you were in Lagos?

I thank the late Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister because he gave popularity to Fuji music and it was through him that other Fuji musicians developed his style of Fuji music. There were numerous Fuji musicians in Lagos, so I came to Ilorin, Kwara State to start my Fuji career. And I thank God for where I am today. King Wasiu Ayinde is a father figure to me because I see him as a role model. He is also my brother’s friend, Otunba Kola Oladipo.

When was the first time you met with Barrister?

Not that I have ever paid him a courtesy visit. But anytime he was in Lagos for any event, as a young man then, I always make sure I attend and watch him perform on stage.

There is this popular belief that Ijesha Indigenes cannot sing Fuji?

That is a fallacy. You know they do also say that there is no room for Apala music abroad and Alhaji Ayinla Omowura traveled round the world to play the Apala genre of music. There is no where you are today that you won’t come across Fuji music and there is nothing Ijesha people cannot do. Fuji music for me is a gift from God not that I went to train under anybody.

Was Ijesha the first dialect you came in contact with while growing up?

No. I only schooled there. When you are in Rome you behave like Romans, there is no where I will live without understanding their language. I had friends there and we had our childhood together.

What year did you start Fuji music?

You know you have to crawl before you walk, you cannot achieve stardom same day you venture into it. Anyway, it was in 1983.

Were you invited for a ceremony or it was unsolicited?

I used to play Fuji music from house to house then. I performed at various functions without collecting money because what we were looking for was to become popular.

When did you form your band?

That was in 1983 and we thank God that we are still together.

How many albums have you released?

Just one album, but I am currently working on my second album.

Do you have fans overseas?

I have lots of people overseas who listen to my music. I have my friends and helpers over there who are my ardent fans.

How will you feel if you have the opportunity to perform and entertain people overseas?

It’s something that I wish to do, I will therefore be very happy. I pray God will make such easy for me.

Have you ever performed in neighbouring countries?

Yes. I have been to Ghana. There is no state in Nigeria that I have not been to. I left Kwara State for Abuja and I was there for about 15 years before taking decision to return to Kwara State. I used to play at the Federal Civil Service Club, Mabushi, Abuja. It was Baba DIG Gazali Lawal, who was commissioner of police during the late Admiral Mohammed Lawal administration that supported me and asked me to move to Abuja. He is a passionate lover of my music so when he was transferred to Abuja he invited us.

Tell us about yourself

I’m from Iree but I was born and raised in Ilesha, I later traveled to Lagos. I spent some years in Ikirun before moving to Ilorin and God has always been with me since then.

You adopted King Wasiu Ayinde’s style of music. Why?

It is because I so much like King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal. When the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister was alive, I always listened to his music because the contents were filled with sermon. As a young man, when King Wasiu Ayinde came into the limelight I diverted the passion I had for Barrister’s music to him (Wasiu). King Wasiu Ayinde gave me the title ‘Oro Oluaye of Fuji’ and he prayed for me.

Give us details about yourself and the name of your band ?

I’m Tajudeen Abefe Hassan, and my band’s name is Abefe Marshal. I play at Ariya Garden, Kwara Hotel every Friday and I do play on stage with other musicians. We Fuji musicians consider ourselves as brothers.

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