•My Rating Of Nigeria’s Social Scene 44 Yrs Ago
“1974,the grooviest year ever”was the title of my article (a rating of Nigeria’s music/social scene that year)in my column,”IT’S WHAT’S HAPPENNING BY ‘LEKAN ALABI”, published in the Sunday Sketch newspaper issue of Sunday,24th December,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 1976)
(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 artste with the largest number of LPs Yusufu Olatunji (Baba l’Egba) and
(10)The best composer – Ebenezer Obey
I concluded my 24th December 1974 review in the Sunday Sketch newspaper thus:
“And so,Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope that all our artistes will,in the new year,put all they have got into show business and make the year yet another one of resounding success.
I must not fail to warn those performers who take delight in abusive,as well as insultive compositions,to desist,since they neither portray the artistes nor their music as mature.
to all the hardworking artistes,who have always endeavoured to raise the standard of music and entertainment generally,I wish you all the best of luck in the New Year.”
As the Yoruba say,”Iyan ogun odun, a maa jo ni l’owo”(20-year old pounded yam can still burn the consumer’s fingers,due to its ‘hotness’!)
My 1974 admonitions to our artistes/entertainers,particularly lurid/rude ones,are as relevant today,Saturday,29th December,2018,44 long years after. Ojo ti pe o!
Professor (Evangelist)Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi,MFR,alias “Chief Commander”(right)and Otunba (Dr.)Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye,MFR,”King Sunny Ade (KSA)”at my 60th birthday lecture/party at the Ibadan Civic Centre,Agodi GRA,Ibadan,Oyo State of Nigeria,on Wednesday,27th Octber,2010. We have been coming a long way.