A book on the late fuji music giant, Dr Sikiru Ayinde Barrister has just been published by a media practitioner, Tunde Busari. In this interview, Busari, who is founder of TheTaboid.net, a digital and paper news magazine, speaks on topics surrounding the book, My Journey with Barry Wonder.
You are known as a fan of Barrister. Did it ever cross your mind that you would one day write about him?
The honest answer to this question is that I never ever thought of it. I was okay with the fun I derived, and still derive, in his music alongside my fellow fans, some of whom we have come to relate like children born from one family. Yet we never knew one another as lovers of Barrister’s music until after Barrister had passed on December 16, 2010.
What then was the turning point?
Readers of my column on my Facebook wall deserve credit for the success of this book, because, save for their unrelenting calls for this book, it was not in my future plan. I would not have touched it, especially having bought his biographies by other authors like his media consultant, Elder Dayo Odeyemi, who is a widely respected authority on Barrister information. They had a long history dating back to the early 1970s. So, whatever such a personality says and writes about Barrister, can hardly be disputed. But my realisation that a writer has a strong pact with his readers, which is to meet their expectations, was actually the turning point, after which I went to my library and engaged in a deep reflection on all I know about Barrister. I asked myself some sensitive questions on the main focus of the book, so that it won’t be a rehash of previous books I had bought and read. It took me some time to come up with what we now have as My Journey With Barry Wonder.
What do you mean by rehash of the previous book?
I believe that readers don’t deserve one book in different volumes. I just said that I had read two books, both of which are Barrister’s biographies. I believe doing another book with the same theme will be disrespectful to readers, because Barrister had even sung about his profile in his CDs, hence the choice of my title, which is my personal experience with him from when I probably should not have given attention to activities outside my school work. His fever caught me early and till date I am in it.
What is different in your content?
My content does not tell the story of when, where and how Barrister was born. No! It is an exploration of some unreported sides of life and body of his music, his percussion, his drummers, his instrumentalists, his back up staff, and his fans. Invariably, this book is about my story, using Barrister as a case study, so to say. For example, a chapter tells the story of my direct contact with him during his live performances. This chapter is exclusive to me, and would, hopefully, wake other fans up to probably also come up with their own accounts.
How many chapters and pages are you looking at?
There are 14 chapters packaged in 509 pages, and each chapter offers readers a variety of topics such as dissecting Barrister, his soul mates, end in sight, drummer men and other revealing topics. We can say that what I have put together in the book is a detailed narrative of my long fraternity with his songs and sound with a view to bringing out some unknown peculiarities in Barrister. To be honest with myself, I actually did not know that I had this much about him in me until I made up my mind in 2020 to write. It was when I made up my mind to write that that information which I could not ordinarily recall, were coming to my mind. In the book, there is a chapter which reveals a certain incident about me in relation to Barrister. It is exclusive only to this book, and readers would see to what extent I have gone on Barrister matter.
Were there challenges you faced in the course of writing?
It is natural that one must face challenges in a work as this; it is more when the task is intellectual engagement which requires 100 percent attention and concentration. I had other things on my table, especially the building of my new company, TeeTee Management Limited, which publishes TheTabloid.net. So, you can imagine how I was able to strike a balance to avoid conflict. Of course, I had occasions when I could not go further because of pressure from other assignments. But I give glory to God for his support all through.