March 3, 2024

Fuji and Creativity: The Saheed Osupa I Know

Akeem Alao

I was born at Ketu in Lagos State. I started elementary school at Ayedere before I was transferred to Alaba Suru to continue my primary school education. That was Olaniyonu Primary School.

At that tender age, I had been introduced to Fuji music— Ilori, Wasiu Ayinde and some local ones. My uncle’s friend, Brother Akeem, whose stage name was Akinwale Sudan, belonged among the locals whose popularity did not escape beyond the Iya Tuwo area. I used to attend his shows because my uncle would never want to leave me alone at home. So I usually went with him. I played a vital role at every show.

I always sat close to one of the drummers. When sprayed with naira notes, I picked them and kept them in his pockets. I enjoyed this throughout my primary school days at Alaba Suru. Being nocturnal engagements, it never interfered with my regular consistencies at school, but it weakens my intellectual vitality. I thought of nothing but Fuji music. I sang it when doing house chores. I sand it when hawking on the streets. Even my soliloquies were fuji lyrics. Can such a mind retain any academic exercise?

Akinwale Sudan who was a Fuji artiste then had spurred me to like Fuji music. But Osupa came to change the narrative with his philosophical ways of handling music.

While in Junior School One, some lyrics in some of the live performances of Osupa caught my attention, and I became enamoured with him. I became a true blue fan.

One invaluable quality I cherish about him is creativity. Osupa combines linguistic ingenuity with an ear for tunes. His creativity is second to none.

I cherish his king of music because he promotes originality. His plagiarism-free lyrics remain my source of creativity. This means Osupa’s creativity teaches creativity.

Literature students can attest to this. His songs are littered with literary terms. He deploys innuendos, metaphors and ironies to pass didactic messages to his fans.

Read the innuendoes in this:

Ọmọ ẹlẹ́lẹ̀ kan lóhun gbádùn acting mi
Ó ní kí n kọ́hun póun fẹ́di actress
Ó wá mi wá ní mo bá ṣe audition fún…

In communication, innuendoes are deployed to deodorize obscenities. The few lines above contain some coded words— ẹ̀lẹ̀, ọ̀daràn, ẹ̀wọ̀n…

Another thing about his music is that it is meant for mature people. It takes a mercurial mind to interpret the embedded codes.

Language departments from different higher institutions are attracted by his lyrical aesthetics. They have researched his linguistic sophistication. It is natural and inborn.

I am a language person. So, I have to love his style of rendition. In today’s Fuji industry, he is truly the first-class king. Those who understand the power of language will ever appreciate his musical skills.

Osupa entertains. He praises and criticizes where necessary. He uses stories to teach morality. The thematic intention of his lyrics is to effect a change in society.

He is àkàndá ènìyàn. (A special being). He is a blessing to humanity.

©️ 𝘼𝙠𝙚𝙚𝙢 𝘼𝙡𝙖𝙤 2022

Akeem Alao teaches at Landmark College, Ikorodu . He can reached via 07085303977 or alaoakeem34@yahoo.com

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