In his keynote address at the roundtable which focused on Juju and Fuji genres of music, Professor Tunde Babawale explained that the rich cultural heritage of the Yoruba provided the foundation on which the music genres of Juju and Fuji are built.
Babawale, a former Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Black and African Arts and Civilisation, CBAAC, noted that the attachment of the Yoruba people of South West Nigeria to music and celebration has earned them the appellation of “Owambe”, a reference to their love for ceremonies and celebrations.
He traced the origin of Juju music to the old Saro (Olowogbowo) quarter of Lagos where the genre emerged from ‘asiko’ music associated with “area boys” in the quarter and added that the genre also incorporated Brazilian Samba elements and the guitar style of Kru sailors from Liberia.
According to the professor, the music of the culture such as Juju and Fuji has positively impacted every area of life of the Yorubas including the reduction of socio-economic tension and the prevalence of religious tolerance.
A prominent Fuji musician, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall (KWAM 1) thanked the organisers and speakers at the event for what he described as an educative initiative meant to preserve Fuji and Juju, vital aspects of the music and culture of the Yorubas.
Sir Shina Peters, a frontline Juju musician also commended Goldberg for providing such a platform to discuss indigenous music and called on other corporate organisations to emulate the effort.
Ambrose Somide, a radio broadcaster with Faaji FM and a panellist at the roundtable enjoined young musicians of Yoruba extraction to endeavour to sustain the genres for the promotion of the Yoruba culture.
While welcoming guests to the forum, Mr. Kufre Ekanem, Nigerian Breweries’ Corporate Affairs Adviser, who was represented by Patrick Olowokere, the company’s Corporate Communications and Brand Public Relations Manager, disclosed that the Ariya Repete initiative was borne out of the company’s respect for tradition and values of the people.
The special guest of honour, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Babatunde Enitan Ogunwusi, (Ojaja II), the Ooni of Ife, who was represented by Oba Adebiyi Asoya, the Asoya of Ile Asoya Kingdom, reiterated the need to sustain the current cultural revival among Nigerians as championed by Goldberg lager beer in the area of indigenous Yoruba music.
The Ariya Repete Roundtable, the first ever roundtable discourse on Yoruba music in Nigeria attracted stakeholders from traditional institutions, the academia, the entertainment industry and the media to provide informed thoughts on sustaining and promoting the rich heritage of Fuji and Juju music.