Kwam 1 - King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal
The prolific Fuji musician, Wasiu Ayinde Adewale Omogbolahan Anifowose (popularly known as K1 De Ultimate), who initially sang Koranic chants and rhymes 'were,' (music of Yoruba origin, which is simply used to encourage Islamic faithfuls to prayer and religious awakening) is known for introducing western instruments, such as keyboards, saxophones, and guitars to Fuji music.
K1 De Ultimate was born on March 3, 1957, and he grew up in the Agarawu area of Lagos Island (Isale-Eko), though originally from Ogun State. He is an Ijebu-Ode prince born to the Fidibope ruling house of Ijebu-Ode. His father is from Ijebu-Ode while his mother is from Ilupeju in Ondo state.
He attended Jamatu Islamiya Standard School in 1967. He started his secondary education at The Government College, Isolo, Lagos, and later moved on to Saki, Oyo State. He could not complete his secondary school education as a result of the untimely demise of his father in his first year. Though not formally educated, K1 is self taught and knowledgeable, and can throw light on any global issue. He strongly believes that the best education is often through self-education and life experiences. He feels that in spite of the successes he has achieved, it’s still painful to him that he doesn’t have an academic degree. According to him, if he hadn't become a Fuji star, he would probably have studied Law.
The legendary singer discovered his interest in music when he was eight years old. Though his parents initially opposed his choice of career, he did not let that deter him, and by age 15, he had won various local musical competitions. He was a member of Ayinde Barrister’s band (the Supreme Fuji Commanders from 1975 to 1979).
The Fuji legend has several wives and children. To him, polygamy is not out of the ordinary. Report has it that he has fathered over 38 children, but he says he has less than 20. When asked of the number of his children, he said, "l’m blessed with children. lslam does not allow counting of children. Children are children, as long as you are sure you fathered them and you are responsible for them." Meanwhile, five of his children are into music. They are Musty, Honey B, Sultan, Femi, and Farouk.
In 1979, he released his first solo album 'Abode Mecca' and in 1984, he had his greatest musical success so far, with the album, titled, Talazo 84, which introduced a new, turbo-charged style of music that became known as the Talazo system. He has released over 82 albums do date.
In 1994, he was crowned the King of Fuji music by the Alafin of Oyo in Ibadan, and officially renamed King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal the First (KWAM 1). In May 2001, he was granted the title "Oluomo" (golden child) by the Oba of Lagos, King Adeyinka Oyekan II.
On politics, he said, “I’m in politics already but I have never sought elective office. I believe we are all politicians, as long as you interact with people.” He also said he’s a card-carrying member of the APC. It was rumored in 2009 that he was running for a senatorial post but he debunked the news, saying, “I’m not contesting for any political office.”
In addition to his music business, he owns Brampton Gizalink Group, which specializes in construction, dredging and sale of musical equipment. Recently, he added a modern confectionary company (Anjola Bakery) to his chain of businesses.
His music over the years has won him many awards such as FAME Musician of the Year, Best Fuji Artiste, Best African Artiste at the WOMAD Festival in Reading, UK, the Headies Hall Of Fame award, and many others.
He has an active charity organization called Kwam1 Foundation which has helped a lot of people. According to him “It’s very important to give back to the society in your own little way.” He’s also a lover of animals like pythons, dogs, tortoises, crocodiles, peacocks, ostriches etc.
By Oluwatobiloba Banjo