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What Are Friends For? A Tribute to KSA @ 73 By Oloye Lekan Alabi, Agbaakin-Olubadan of Ibadanland

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PHOTOGRAPH CAPTION  Evangelist(Professor)Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi,MFR,alias "Chief Commander"(right)and Otunba (Dr.)Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye,MFR,"King Sunny Ade (KSA)"at my 60th birthday lecture/luncheon.My humble self,the birthday celebrant,Oloye 'Lekan Alabi,Agba Akin Olubadan of Ibadanland and the first Culture Ambassador of the National Museum and Monument,Ile-Ife,is in the  middle. Obey's Inter-Reformers Band played at the ceremony,like in 1990,at my 40th birthday anniversary,while KSA's World Beats was on stage at my 65th birthday party in 2015.

Sunday September 22nd ,2019, is the 73rd birthday of  Otunba (Dr.)Sunday Adeniyi Ishola Adegeye,MFR,better known as King Sunny Ade(KSA).

Happy birthday to the “Master Guitarist”(Aljannun Oniguitar),who broke into national and international consciousness,with his”1966 Challenge Cup”chartbuster, and has since remained a frontliner in music.

I rejoice with him,as I wish him many happy returns of the day,in sound health,joy, honour and fulfilment.Amen.

This 73rd birthday tribute to KSA, leader of the World Beats,a band of juju music players,with the deftness of universal entertainment and showbiz,is a rainbow of my writings on the music genius from 1974,45 years ago,till date.

“1974, THE GROOVIEST YEAR EVER” – was the title of my summary of Nigeria’s social scene that year, in my column,”IT’S WHAT’S HAPPENING BY  ‘LEKAN ALABI”, published in the Sunday Sketch newspaper issue of Sunday, December 24th,1974.

I was then the Social page editor of the Ibadan -based “Sunday Sketch”,Nigeria’s second  best-selling weekend newspaper,after the almighty “Sunday Times”.

In that End-of-Year (1974) summary of the social scene,viz the performances of the frontline artistes,I,in synergy with a public opinion survey conducted by me,arrived at the ratings below:

1. The best musician of the year – Fela Ransome-Kuti(as he was then known)
2.The best band – The Inter-Reformers led by Ebenezer Obey
3.The most hardworking artiste – Victor Uwaifo
4.The largest crowdpuller – Sunny Ade (before he was crowned the King of Juju music in 1977,and became known as KSA)
5.The most steady singer – Tunde Nightingale (the O wa mbe (Juju music) Creator
6. The best-dressed musician – Sunny Ade
7.The best-dressed band – Fela’s Afrika ’70
8.The most dynamic performer – Joni Haastrup
9.The artiste with the largest number of LPs  Yusufu Olatunji (Baba l’Egba) and
10.The best composer – Ebenezer Obey.

I chaired the Planning Committee of “KSA Festival 2012”,during which Nigeria and the world celebrated his 66th birthday/50th year on stage/35th year of being crowned the King of Juju music by Iku Baba Yeye,Kabiyesi Alaafin of Oyo,Oba Lamidi Olayiwola,Adeyemi 111,CFR,at the Ibadan Tennis Club,in 1977.

On February 14, 2013, the Institute of African Studies of Nigeria’s premier university,the University of Ibadan,held an unprecedented “A DISTINGUISHED PERSONALITY COLLOQUIUM ON KSA AND AFRICAN MUSIC” ,in honour of the music legend.

I was honoured by the Institute to deliver the first of the two papers at the Colloquium,titled,”THE KSA THAT I KNOW”. The immediate past Ooni of Ife,the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade,Olubuse 11,was the Royal Father of the Day.

For further insight into King Sunny Ade,MFR,please read my tribute to him on pages 3 to 5 of my autobiography,”THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS”,presented to the public on my 60th birthday lecture /luncheon,on Wednesday, 27th October,2010,at the Ibadan Civic Centre,Agodi GRA,Ibadan,Oyo State of Nigeria.

Obey’s Inter-Reformers Band played at the ceremony,like in 1990,at my 40th birthday anniversary, while KSA’s World Beats was on stage at my 65th birthday party in 2015.

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