Fuji music was created from “Were Music.” “Were Music,” was an Islamic type of music played by the Muslim children in Yorubaland to wake the faithful for fasting or Suhur during Ramadan period in Western Nigeria.
This musical genre was made known in the South-Western Nigeria by the likes of Alhaji Dauda Epo-Akara.
On Monday 13th June, 2016, stakeholders gathered together to discuss the way forward in the only genre owned by Nigeria. The participants at the maiden edition of the Fuji Roundtable, powered by Goldberg Lager Beer, from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc, have identified Fuji music as a unifying factor for Yorubas living in the western part of Nigeria and beyond. As a result, they agreed that the music deserves due attention and concerted efforts towards taking it to the next level.
The participants, who converged in Lagos on Monday at the event held at the corporate headquarters of Nigerian Breweries, said the music has, over the years, contributed to the socio-cultural development of the people living in the region.
In his keynote address, a published Poet, writer and newspaper columnist, Olawale Obadeyi; noted that Goldberg had appropriated Fuji music as a veritable platform through which cultural values could be used to validate the essence of Yorubas living in the region and beyond.
Obadeyi traced the origin of this genre of music to the period when Were, the local brand of music was in vogue among the Muslim faithful. He acknowledged that the music has grown astronomically over the years featuring different artistes who have contributed in different dimensions to its development.
He said the innovations brought into Fuji by those artistes have deepened ties across boundaries in the region. “Each Fuji artiste, evidently, is pushing the limits of creativity. The horizon of Fuji music has been astoundingly widened”, he stated.
While delivering his opening remarks at the programme, Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Lager and Stout brands, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Emmanuel Agu; said the importance of music to any country cannot be over-emphasised. According to him, the role of music in nation building is monumental as it fuels the mind and the creativity of listeners.
In his words: “Music transcends all boundaries of communication. Music and its rhythm define our humanity considering the universality and essentiality beyond language barrier. I believe it is important for one to have an open mind in order to be in touch with that sense of understanding. Music cannot be separated from our socio-cultural life and as such it is a social connector which has the power to suggest circumstances, moods, and moments. It has general appeal to human senses.”
Agu said that Fuji music exerts a strong influence on the social life of the Yorubas. He stated that through the music foreigners can easily feel and connect with the culture of the Yoruba people. The influence that Fuji music exerts on the social life of the Yorubas is therefore very strong irrespective of their locations.
Giving the rationale for the event, the Portfolio Manager said the company always strives to champion, promote and associate with the culture of its host communities. His words: “This is what Goldberg has been doing with its initiative of Fuji t’o Bam since 2012 when it inaugurated the concept. We respect people’s cultures and values.”
He stated that the Goldberg Fuji t’o Bam initiative has successfully brought to life the twin socio-cultural tradition of companionship and celebration. “The initiative readily identifies and celebrates the rich musical tradition of sustaining the cultural values of the people in the region. The indigenous musical platform, which is currently in its fourth edition, had in the last three editions led to the discovery of budding Fuji talents and artists.
“I have strong conviction that our gathering here today would in no small way help in contributing ideas to the development of the Fuji music and the culture of the Yoruba people,” he stated.