In this report by Nigerian Tribune, Tunde Busari reveals how family, friends and fans celebrated late Dr Sikiru Ayinde Barrister’s 70th Posthumous birthday recently in Lagos.
Though none of them is a biological child of the late Dr Sikiru Ayinde Balogun (Barrister), whose posthumous 70th birthday was being celebrated, the passion with which they went about the organization of the occasion beat the imagination of their guests.
As early as noon, the elitist Shodex Garden, sited at Anthony, Lagos State, had witnessed the arrival of a sizeable number of invited fans of Barrister who came in twos and threes with expectations of catching fun with soulmates.
By 3 pm, it was a full house with dignitaries, including the ace fuji musician, Alhaji Kollington Ayinla, the veteran theatre practitioner, Adebayo Salami (Oga Bello), a petroleum marketer and close friend of Barrister, Otunba Adisa Osiefa, one of the wives of the late Barrister, Mrs Yetunde Balogun, among others on the ground
The organizer of the birthday bash, The Ayinde Barrister Legacy Group, demonstrated high taste in the choice of the cozy environment for the occasion. The group did same in the class of guests and musician on bandstand.
Made up of professionals from different fields, who share the same passion in the music of Barrister, the Ayinde Barrister Legacy Group was founded online in 2012.
It organized the inaugural Barry Day in February 2013 at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja while the second and third editions were also successfully held at the Ikeja Airport Hotel, Ikeja, under the chairmanship of the former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba with King Sunny Ade in attendance.
But unlike the previous editions which only featured a colloquium, the 2018 was deliberately designed to fete guests and fans of Barrister under a peaceful ambience in the all-green garden. The musician of the day, Alhaji Taju System relived the life and time of Barrister on stage with his voice and percussion which ignited nostalgia in the cheering audience.
Clad in a golden Ankara fabric worn by members of the group, the Ibadan-based System lived beyond the expectation of those who were not familiar with his style of fuji. It was an evening of full entertainment as the dance floor was engaged until the event was rounded off on a memorable note.
While performing the opening prayer, Oga Bello recalled his beautiful relationship with Barrister and prayed for the repose of his soul. In a simple white buba and sokoto, the respected thespian described Barrister as a rare musician whose works, according to him, would remain evergreen.
“I didn’t see Alhaji Barrister as an ordinary musician, I saw him as a prophet of God who was sent to deliver messages to the world. I am happy that he delivered the messages before he returned to God,” he said.
When Alhaji Ayinla was called to pay tribute to Barrister, he did not mince words, explaining some grey areas of their relationship, especially their regular altercations.
However, he said he was delighted that they reconciled before Barrister left the stage of life. Also dressed in the same ankara fabrics worn by the organisers, Alhaji Ayinla reminisced on his days as a young soldier in Abeokuta and how Barrister also joined and fought in the Civil War.
To Otunba Osiefa, Barrister was a friend indeed whose life revolved round humility despite his status as a global musician. He said Barrister did not need to see his friends at parties before he would sing their praise, adding that he also de-emphasised material benefits from friends and associates.
“I am happy for him and the group that organized this event. I have followed them from the beginning and found them to be very unique in showing true love to Barrister who probably did not know any of them. They are professionals who are doing well in their different professions,” he said.
Mrs Balogun also described her husband in superlative terms just as she also extolled the virtue of the organizing group. She appreciated the members and prayed for them.
“What you are doing is unprecedented and a sign that you shall also be celebrated in your lifetime. God will lift you up to your dream land. You shall always be happy. You shall not lack in anything you desire. So shall it be. Thank you so much,” she concluded.
The President of the group, Mr Wasiu Popoola expressed his satisfaction at the turnout of the guests and wished them a safe journey back to their homes.