King Sunny Ade (KSA), paid a surprise visit to a 9-year-old fan and it birthed one of the most emotional moments in the life of the music legend.
KSA said he bought his first guitar when he was 16 years old with personal savings and hid the instrument from his family who did not want him to go into music.
The 73-year-old foremost Juju singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist disclosed this in Lagos when he met a nine-year-old fan, Temidara Onafuye.
Onafuye, a primary school pupil based in North Carolina, USA, visiting Nigeria for the Christmas and New Year, had said she craved to see Sunny Ade because of her love for his music.
Fielding questions from the young girl, KSA who visited Onafuye at her family’s residence, said while he could play other musical instruments he had special passion for guitar.
“Apart from singing. I play guitar, keyboard, different percussion instruments including talking drum, “Sakara”, “Omele’, “Konga”;. all these make African music stand out. “I have passion for guitar, I see it as my baby and I cannot do without it. “Couple of years ago, I was rated 69th best guitarists in the whole world,” KSA said.
He continued: “I decided to learn how to play guitar on my own and I bought my first guitar when I was 16 years old. “I saved money and bought the guitar for myself. “All my family members did not want me to play music because they believed that musicians at that time were not serious people “Eventually. when I bought the guitar I hid it under the staircase.
“I was afraid to tell anybody that I wanted to go into the city for music training where I would be exposed. Luckily for me, I chose my keys and my style of music which is known as “Juju”.
KSA said he was inspired and impressed to hear that a young girl like Onafuye, who lived abroad could admire his music and be his ardent fan, even with the raving wave of “hip hop” and foreign music. He said he had to leave all his engagements to honour the young girl when her maternal grand father, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture told him about her. “I want to thank the Almighty God for allowing us to meet and I thank the minister for getting in touch with me. “When the minister informed me, I said I will like to see her, and I decided that, even if it is in Abuja, I will pay my flight ticket to see her before she travels back,” he said.
KSA specifically thanked the parents of the girl for nurturing and teaching her African culture, music and tradition, even outside the shore of Nigeria. Responding on behalf of the family, the minister said he was touched by the visit because very few people of KSA status would leave their busy schedule, especially at a festive season to visit a nine-year-old fan. Mohammed said he was also impressed with the parents of the girl for impacting African culture in her.
“Today is a special day, not just because Temidara is my grand daughter but because I am also a minister in charge of culture. “I am very proud that our culture will not die. “Kids like her are the torchbearers and It means that there is hope for our tradition,” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister’s wife, Alhaja Kudirat, the girl’s parents and other members of the family welcomed KSA and thanked him for the visit.
The musician signed his autograph for the young girl and promised to invite her as special guest to any of his concert in the U. S.