Ijo Yoyo is my Greatest Hit - Kollington

Date: 2013-03-15

Fuji star, Kollington Ayinla, reflects on his exploits  as he is set to mark the 50th anniversary of his music career, writes AKEEM LASISI

The fuji music scene, which has been relatively quiet in recent times,  will ‘bubble’ soon when activities marking the 50th year ok fuji master, General Kollington Ayinla, begin.

The Ilota, Kwara State-born musician is the only surviving member of the tripod credited for the birth and development of the traditional genre.  While the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister was reputed to be the fuji creator, the late were singer, Dauda Epo Akara, was also recognised as being instrumental to fuji evolution since were, traditionally used to wake Muslims  duringRamadan, was later transformed to fuji.

Kollington has not been as active as he used to be. But he has a history and repertory so rich that he remains a central force in the industry.  Besides, since Barrister’s death about two years ago, Kollington, otherwise  called Kebe n Kwara, Baba Alatika, Professor Master, among other titles, remains the rallying point for other fuji singers.  It is thus not surprising that a good number of them have already risen to the occasion of his 50 years on stage.

At a forum where Ayinla unveiled plans for the celebration in Lagos on Wednesday, younger fuji acts, such as Adewale Ayuba, Abass Akande Obesere, Pasuma Wonder and Safejo Amama, were present. All of them said they were ready to do everything possible to make ‘Baba’s’ 50th anniversary on stage groovy.

The programme, being packaged by A Plus Global Music, will hold at Times Square, Ikeja on April 28. While the likes of King Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey are expected to lead other performers at the event, Kollington will also exploit the occasion to present a new album.

Although he got into music a few years after Barrister, Kollington, for decades,  was  his major contemporary, with Wasiu Ayinde as the number three man then.  Barrister and Kollington were friends, but they also presented one of the fiercest  seasons of rivalry  in the history of music in Nigeria. Apart from the fact that their rivalry indirectly aided the growth of fuji, they reconclied before Barrister’s passage. Indeed, it was a case of abrupt parting at a time that love and friendship were regained.

Part of Kollinton’s contributions to the development of fuji is that the fast tempo of the beat of many of his albums makes it more danceable. Also, he is more or less the genesis of ‘asakasa’, the erotic slang songs that Obesere later popularized.  While he also notes in some of his albums that he introduced bata and piano into fuji, his music is of a significant socio-political essence as he never fails to capture the mood of the nation.

In a telephone interview with our correspondent on Thursday, Kollinton recalled that a national musical award he won in 1965, which was presented to him in the State House in Marina, Lagos, is one of the things that boosted his instinct to become a professional musician.

Asked which of his numerous songs/albums he considers his best, he says he believes all his works are very good. He, however, conceded that Ijo Yoyo remains his greatest hit.

Kollington says his new album to be presented during the anniversary is ready but he does not want to disclose its title yet.



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