In a few days, Thursday, 22 September, 2022, the lithe, lyrical superstar shall be 76 years old, without a hint of waning in musical glory or dwindling in pomp and pageantry. The immensely popular and ‘world-famous’ Nigerian global export, Chief Sunday Anthony Oshola Adeniyi Adegeye further sketches his legendary status into our consciousness – even after almost 60 years on this melody lane – throwing us into nostalgia and reminiscences.
Such is this week’s focus which rummages into a volume of an encounter we had with King Sunny Ade, KSA, a few days before his 53rd birthday in 1999. His thoughts, desires and remonstrations are still fresh and poignant…unwrinkled by the passage of time… much like any of his numerous evergreen melodies. Join us, please:
Have you ever lost your voice?
Yes. Not really lost, you know. It was just like faint. If l do about one week non-stop, and there is no space, no time for me to rest, yes it can. I have lost my voice twice.
How did you react? Did you panic, or what was your reaction?
It was like you feel that the heaven is going to fall because when you are talking they won’t hear you, when you want to sing, you can’t. It happened one day, we were there that day but you wouldn’t notice. It was at the National Stadium when I was made to perform after Lagbaja. There was a band again and then I came. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my voice. What I did immediately was I turned back to the band boys and said give me ‘F’ quickly, instead of ‘G’. Then they put me on G, and then I said, give me F … then they lowered me back to G. That is where I now changed the actual song I wanted to sing. I started singing slow before I could regain my voice, taking almost 30-35 minutes. It was like ‘what is wrong? What is happening?’
Your life history is very well known. But sometimes when you look at all these things, do you think there is nothing that has not been written about you?
Well, I would say like my mother used to say, ‘I’m your mother. I delivered you to the world, so the whole world will not like you’. Whatever anybody wants to know about you they are free (laughs) because I don’t have any skeletons in my cupboard. I am not hiding anything. But the only area is, you know, backstage… people see what is happening on the stage, they see you dancing. Like this question now, ‘have you ever lost your voice?’ It is a one in a million question. But at the backstage it is only a few people that used to ask… when you see the people on the stage, you know that the beauty of the stage, the lighting, the effect of the dressing; but before you get to the stage and after you get off the stage, what is actually happening at the backstage?
Probably, I am alive or dead when the show is about to commence. You remember that Raypower II show, I mean when Lagbaja was coming with his horns, I tried to dodge in order for him not to see where I was sitting, but I heard the song he was singing, my song. How will I do it? And you, unfortunately, were sitting beside me and you were even showing me to him; the next thing I was thinking I would do was dance, but suddenly he just handed the microphone to me; so what would I do?
Clue : this day