By Ayodele Efunla
An unparalleled celebration of Fuji music took centre stage at the maiden edition of Fuji: A Opera. Pioneering Fuji founders such as General Ayinla Kollington, K1 De Ultimate, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall and other icons were present to celebrate Fuji at the commencement of the week-long spectacle in Lagos.
Fuji: A Opera explored the music genre and its sub-culture through archive footage, costume, memorabilia, and imagery.
The multi-platform exhibition also showcased an awe-inspiring futuristic presentation of Fuji, to promote a more positive contemporary image of the indigenous multi-genre fusion locally and globally.
Fuji maestro, General Ayinla Kollington and the Fuji Musicians Association of Nigeria cut the ribbons at the historic grand opening on Tuesday. Alhaji Kollington went on to immerse guests in the long and enigmatic history of Fuji with facts and anecdotes.
Highlight of the exhibition was Thursday’s moderated talk panel with King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall, exploring the past, present and future of Fuji music. The legendary Fuji singer took the audience through the rich and colourful history of the musical genre which he expressed to be one that is rooted in philosophy, activism, artistic virtuosity, and also needs reinvention.
During the two-hour lecture moderated by Lehle Balde and Yemi Shodimu; King Wasiu Ayinde had this to say, “I am so proud and grateful that we have something to call our own. Fuji music has become globally accepted. I’ve performed in world-rated concerts in the U.S, France, England, and many other countries. We’ve presented Fuji music at international musical expositions and festivals.
“Fuji is now big business and should therefore be taken seriously. I look forward to the younger generation embracing Fuji music, expressing themselves through it like we did and also birthing a successful livelihood from it.
“I thank Bobo Omotayo, Tosin Ashafa, Papa Omotayo and the rest of the team for their efforts towards reshaping the future of this genre of music through Fuji Opera.”
Creator of Fuji: A Opera, Bobo Omotayo, in a statement said, “We are extremely proud of the reception at our inaugural presentation of Fuji: A Opera. With this multi-media platform, we hope to connect Fuji with both its existing audience and a new generation by revitalizing and re-imagining Fuji music with a futuristic approach.
“The timeless features of Fuji music have become a reference for contemporary Nigerian pop music, and we ought to preserve it.”
Present at the lecture were members of the Fuji Music Association of Nigeria (FUNMAN), the press, Fuji scholars as well as newcomers who took turns to engage King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall in a Q&A session after the lecture.