Everybody knows Fuji star, K1 and Lord Mayor Akinpelu are close friends. Anytime Mayor attends any owambe party where K1 is playing, he is usually one of the 1st set of socialites the Fuji King will eulogise. He in fact has a special number he has composed for Lord Mayor in which he traced his roots to Ikorodu. He also revealed his Muslim name. In the song, he made it known that he and Lord Mayor are friends. Whenever K1 starts singing at parties, the Lord Mayor usually acknowledges by wriggling to what has become an anthem specially composed for Mayor.
Though K1, is older than Mayor with a few years, they both related like agemates. They both have tremendous respect for each other.
What has also helped their relationship is the fact that they have been friends for years.
Recently, when City People interviewed Mayor at 60, he revealed why he loves K1 so much. “I don’t hide the fact that I love K1 so much”, he explained. “There are 3 artistes that I will say I am very close to. The first one is Queen Salawa Abeni. I got to know Salawa Abeni through my sister, (Bisket) Bisi Okeowo Shaba. She was like a god mother to Salawa.
She was the one taking care of Salawa when she just left the marriage with Kollington, through her we met. And we became close. The 3 of us were close, so she became my adopted sister.
I am also close to Sir Shina Peters because when I started at Prime People I was covering society. So we used to go to clubs and cover events. We used to go to see Shina Peters at Stadium Hotel in Surulere. It was the Society Reporters and Entertainment Reporters that were reigning then. They were the ones that really shaped the career of artistes.
Usually when we get there he would create corner for us. So we became quite close and we assisted in promoting him, to the extent that whenever he wanted to release an album he will invite some of us, myself, Kunle Bakare, FAJ, Dele Momodu, Gbenga Okegbenro, Kayode Ajala to listen to the album. All of us, we were like a team then. We used to follow Sir Shina Peters. But I was closer to Wasiu than all of them because I have known Wasiu for a long time. I grew up in Surulere.
I grew up in Ekololu as a young boy. When Wasiu left Lagos Island, he moved to Ekololu.
There was one guy then called Spinero who lives with his family in Ekololu and Wasiu lived there. So, we used to see ourselves as young men then but we were not very close because my father treated us like Aje Butter then, he didn’t use to let us go out. If I come from school, I was in Children Home School then or Adeola, I will just be at home.
But we used to occasionally see ourselves on the street. When I was in UNILAG, I used to go to Lagos Island to watch Wasiu. He was then upcoming artiste. He used to be a young artiste then. Wherever he played all the young people would be there.
All these boys would fight and atimes they can become rough. All these young boys always start a fight and they would start throwing bottles.
We have been very close since then. In my hall then in UNILAG, there was a guy who loved Kollington. Though I also love Barrister. I was a Wasiu person anyday, anytime. When I became a Journalist, the relationship got strengthened and I was able to make contributions to the growth of his career. He himself has always supported me. He never fails to tell people that though this guy is a journalist, he is my friend. I remember when we were young journalist he did an album where he praise sang me and that was how many people got to know that Mayor is Wasiu’s friend. He always calls me from time to time to discuss his music. He also shows loyalty to me in everything I do.”
“K1 and I have been close since I was a young boy. I have known him since the 70s.
What does he like about K1? What are his qualities?
“One thing I love about him is his loyalty. Wasiu is a very good man. He is a very loyal friend. People say he is arrogant. To some extent, yes. But 2 things I like about him is that Wasiu is a damn good professional. He is extremely talented being. He has one of the best IQs from all the people I have ever met.
It is always difficult for an artiste to remember songs that he sang a long time ago. It takes a talented artiste to remember. If you ask Wasiu to sing songs from an album he released in 1980, he will sing it word for word without missing a line. That is the key to his success. Most of his fans he knows how to keep old friends. He takes his career seriously. He knows how to re-invent himself. He usually bows to a superior argument. At any point in time he always has good people around him. He has been a real superstar since 1984 when he released Talaso 84 and he has been consistent since that time. It is only himself and King Sunny Ade that have that privilege of reigning uninteruptedly for that long.
He is also a very loyal guy. Some people atimes complain that atimes you will want to spray Wasiu and he won’t look at your face. No. No. No. I disagree. This is a man that is extremely loyal. And I will prove it. There is a show that I do every year. I call it Couples Nite. And Wasiu is the one that used to headline it. He normally headlines it. Several times, he has come back from abroad to come and do that show, pro bo no, without collecting anything. For instance, there was this show then Benson & Headges Golden Tone, which used to be the biggest promoter of music in Nigeria. Then Wasiu was the biggest act. So, they took him on a tour of UK, and he told them, without me even knowing that look, there is this show that I do yearly. I must come back to do that show and they put it in the contract. He flew back to Nigeria to do Couples Nite and he went back. The one that he did that I won’t forget was a particular year that he had a relapse in the lung surgery that he did. But a lot of people didn’t know. I didn’t know. Percy, was his manager then. Percy just called me and said I should hold for Bobo. We call him Bobo. Wasiu now explained to me. He said Mayor there is a problem, I had a relapse in my surgery and I had to see doctors in Canada, unfortunately they are telling me they cannot see me till the following Tuesday and our show was Sunday. He said he is sorry. I said no, this is health matter. I said there is no big deal to it. I said when I get to Coliseum, the venue of the show, we would announce to everybody. People trust you. They know that he was always fulfilled his promise. We have been doing it for almost 20 years. He has not missed any year.
I told him, I just announced to them that look Wasiu cannot come, this year because of circumstances beyond our control. I said I will tell people straight up, so there is no problem. Just take care of your health and make sure that you are okay. We concluded on the phone. Then suddenly on a Thursday preceding the show, he just called me from Canada said he has looked at that date and he has to make it. I have told the doctors that I have to come back for that show. So, I am going to leave Canada tomorrow, which was a Friday and get to Lagos on Saturday. I said no, no, no, don’t do that. He said I shouldn’t worry, he came. That was what he did. He travelled on Friday from Canada. Got to Lagos on Saturday, did the show on Sunday and went back to Canada on Monday.
There is no loyalty that is greater than that. Its not as if we are paying him one huge amount for the show that made him to come, because he does not want to miss money. Noo!
It is pro bo no. He doesn’t collect any money from us. But its loyalty. That is how you tests loyalty, that oh, this guy is my guy. He is doing this show I am supposed to be there. I must be there. So, he is very, very loyal to his friends. If he considers you to be his friend, he will do anything for you.