When I was growing up in the 80s, there were only few musicians whose collections were practically in every home and their tunes mimed by old and young.

This was before the advent of Hip Hop or what is now referred to as Afro pop.

Highlife, Juju, Fuji, Afrobeat and Pop were the most popular genres of music back then and only a few artistes had them locked down.

Two of such were King Sunny Ade (KSA) and the goddess, Onyeka Onwenu.

I could practically sing KSA's songs from beginning to the end. My dad, who was a huge fan of the Juju king, never failed to grab of a copy of his albums.

Septuagenarian Juju musician, Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye, popularly known as King Sunny Ade (KSA), is a music legend that has seen and done it all.

He once said there is nothing more for him to achieve in life. This cannot be farther from the truth.

With fame and fortune came several albums, two Grammy award nominations, magical stage performances both home and abroad, numerous collaborations with local and foreign artistes including: Stevie Wonder, Manu Dibango, Youssou N’Dour and Salif Keita.

Sunny was unstoppable. Even Hollywood wanted a taste of him and Sunny gave them more than they could chew.

On the other hand, Onyeka Onwenu also referred to as the “Elegant Stallion” captivated the world with her beauty and powerful voice.

Her music career began in 1981, and her first album hit the stands in 1982. There have been about five more albums after that.

Onyeka is also a proficient actress, having actively taken part in a number of movies alongside top local acts. 

She even won an award at the 2006 African Movie Academy Award as Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

She has remained on top of her game till date. 

What They Owe Us

Despite the accolades and spotlight, one thing King Sunny Ade and Onyeka Onwenu are yet to achieve is building notable mentees.

The two music legends' whose classic records 'Wait For Me' and 'Choices' still reverberate till date since their release in the 1980s, are yet to mentor anyone per se to take over the reins of music from them.

Their music career undoubtedly has influenced several artistes but none of them has a son or daughter who is actively into music.

None of them can point to any performing artiste in the contemporary era and say when we walk away, you will see and hear us in these people.

Fela Did It

Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti gave us Femi and Seun Kuti; the late Isaiah Kehinde Dairo, gave us Paul I.K Dairo (Paulplay); Juju maestro Ebenezer Obey gave us Tolu Obey-Fabiyi; late Fuji music legend, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, gave us Barryshowkey and Barrymade. 

Others include late Highlife legend, Modupe Arthur Alade popularly known as Art Alade who gave us Dare Art Alade; Former music power couple Kollington Ayinla and Salawa Abeni gave us Rapper Big Sheff; and even Sir Shina Peters gave us Clarence Shot It.

Maybe the argument from those of us on the other side would be "must they have biological heirs"? The answer is NO! 

But do they have non-biologial heirs to the music throne they presently occupy, the answer is still NO!

What happens when the King's magical voice fades or the crazy legs stop moving as fast? What happens when the stallion gallops the last lap?

They won't live forever but their music will and we will keep wondering just what if they left behind a youngster moulded in their character and talent but infuses contemporary style?

No One Lives Forever

King Sunny Ade in 2016 celebrated his 70th birthday and 50 years on stage. One of the notable events that took place during this celebration was the auction of his vintage fender guitar for a whooping sum of N52.1million.

Onyeka Onwenu was one of the artistes that performed at that event. She performed the popular “Wait For Me”, a collaboration she did with KSA in the late 80s, to the delight of the audience.

The 65-year-old song diva, looking as elegant and graceful as ever, performed few other of her popular hits. People cried with joy in their hearts, it was truly amazing.

It was at that moment that I looked around and noticed that the beautiful ones to take over from these icons are not yet born. May things not fall apart.


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