Fuji artiste, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, popularly known as K1, tells ‘Nonye Ben-Nwankwo why he keeps wild animals and other sundry issues
At various times, you have been called KWAM 1, Marshal, K1 the Ultimate and so many other names. Why do you keep changing names?
Showbiz calls for name changing. It is good to keep rebranding and doing things that are necessary when you want to make an impact. Now, I am K1 the Ultimate. But then, I still answer to all of them. People still call me KWAM 1 and I answer. Some call me King Wasiu and I still answer.
Do you still keep animals?
I do. I don’t intend to stop. I still have my snakes and crocodiles. I have two water pythons. They are very big. I love them.
But those are dangerous animals…
They are not dangerous. Nothing really triggered my love for these animals. I just love them. I have eagles; I have ostriches and other animals. They are a good company especially when I want to think.
Don’t they eat human beings?
No. They eat good food. They eat frogs and toads. They also eat fish.
The rivalry between you and some other fuji musicians is still talked about. Is it not high time you made up and unite?
I really don’t like it when people talk about this so-called rivalry. It has been over-flogged. In the first place, I am a senior colleague to virtually all the fuji musicians apart from Barrister and Kollington. Barrister is dead but Kollington is there. In music, he is older than me. In age, he is still older than me. It is a must for me to respect somebody who is older than me and recognise the fact that he was there before me. Even in the water, fishes have respect for one another. In the animal kingdom, there is respect among them. It is annoying that people talk about rivalry all the time.
But there is rivalry between you and…
(Cuts in) I am telling you there is no rivalry. I don’t see it as rivalry and it can never be. It can create another meaning to a lazy mind. I am not lazy and I am upright. I know what my targets are. I know my dream and what goals I have set for myself.
But you are seen as a controversial person…
I am not a controversial person. I am a very factual person. When people keep asking me questions about rivalry, you are tilting towards controversy.
Going down memory lane, when you were growing up, you had the ambition to be a lawyer, is that dream dead now?
It is not dead. We are still learning. If an opportunity opens for me tomorrow to study Law, I will take it. I will not be the first person to go back to school at my age. I see myself doing it one day.
But in your sober moments, don’t you feel sad that you didn’t further your education?
No way. I have never felt bad. I have seen so many successful people. I have seen those who passed through schools. We read every day. We hear stories every day of people who never saw the four walls of a classroom making impact in the lives of people. They say ‘show me your friend and I will tell you who you are.’ I have good friends around me that I can rub minds with. Whatever I have been able to put together so far shows my ability to learn from people around me and I learn very well.
We learnt that when you started your career, you didn’t have a good voice as such; so many people wanted you to quit music…
But that same voice that wasn’t good back then is good today. It is self-training. Find your level and when you do that, then you keep improving on it. That was what I did. People can now see if my voice is good or horrible.
You have more than 50 albums, are you not tired?
I am not. I even want to go into the studio again to work on a new album. It will be a super album. I am going to be busy all through next year so I have to finish with the album this year.
You are now collaborating with the younger artistes, could it be because they are the rave of the moment or you are using them to revive fuji music which seems not to be as popular as it used to be?
I, Wasiu, can fill up an arena. I don’t need to collaborate with anybody to draw crowd. Music is not just for one person. You just have to draw from here and there to suit everybody. I’m the senior colleague of these younger ones. We need to save our nation because it is drifting apart. We need something to cool the minds of people. We need something to make them feel that after darkness, light shines again. Politics has failed us, entertainment mustn’t fail.
Do you still praise-sing people who are even known to be drug barons, criminals?
Did you write it on their foreheads that they are criminals and drug barons? Do these people write it on their gates that ‘We are criminals, we live here?’ Would anybody go near them if they do such? So why do we keep talking about this? There is no way such people would put a signpost to advertise they are criminals. Everybody will appear to you as a good person. If for any reason somebody is charged with a criminal act, it has nothing to do with you or me. Criminals live amongst us daily. Come to think of it, praise-singing has been on right from the word go. Why are you heaping it on me? A man is even presumed innocent until he is proven guilty.
You don’t always want to talk about the number of wives and children you have. Don’t you think that there might be a heavy ‘war’ amongst your family members when you are gone from this world?
When King Solomon in the Bible died, there was no issue among his wives and children. If it didn’t happen in the time of Solomon, it will not happen in my time. How many kids do I even have? How many women have I known? There are so many people out there who even have more than we can ever think of. It is on record that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. If somebody like Solomon wasn’t crucified during his time, why do you have to talk about me? How many women have I ever touched? How many children do I have? Before you talk about me, let people talk about King Solomon.
But that was during the Old Testament…
Well, it might be that another King Solomon has come. I might be another King Solomon in the making.
Doesn’t it bother you when people talk and reel out such scandals about you marrying your ex-wife’s relative?
It doesn’t make any meaning to me. Do you read the Bible very well? The Bible contains a lot of things even for generations yet to come to learn something from. The Bible is a book of life. Talking about my personal life doesn’t make any meaning. If you start tracing the lineage of some people, you would even find out that some men may have married their sisters and nothing happened. It is not a big deal. If they didn’t kill them then, why would somebody talk about my marrying my ex-wife’s niece and such jargons? It doesn’t make any meaning. Life is about what suits you. I don’t want to be citing examples but the Bible has taught us so many things.
Do you regret being a polygamist?
No way! I don’t have any regret at all. I was born into it. I practise it very well and I am enjoying it. That it didn’t or doesn’t work well for some people doesn’t mean I should complain about it. My marriage is beautiful. I am enjoying my marriage with Fathia. She gives me joy and she gives me reason to be thankful.
So she doesn’t mind that women are all around you?
Every woman married to a man in my kind of profession should understand the nature of the job. Fathia, my wife, is just the lucky one. She is lucky she is the one I have pronounced. So many women are out there and they want me to pronounce and profess such to them. But she is the chosen one. I am proud to say she is my love. She earns it. She gives me support and understanding.
Don’t you even wish you weren’t this popular so that your private life would not be under scrutiny all the time?
I have never felt that way. I enjoy the popularity. I am just paying the price of stardom. I wouldn’t have wished for anything less than this. It is good to be popular. Jesus Christ is so popular. They give all glory to Him. The whole world gives glory to Prophet Mohammed. I am an artiste, people ought to learn something from me and they are doing so. I love the stardom.
Did you ever believe you would get to this level?
When I was five, I would gather my mates and we would be playing, I would use an empty can of milk and construct what looked like a microphone and I used it to sing to them. Music has been my calling and I never drifted out of the area. It prepared me for what I am today.
Did your parents support you then?
When you are doing something in the beginning, they might not like it but people might prevail on them to allow you continue your passion. I thank them for giving me the opportunity to achieve my dreams. I started earning money since I was young. I give thanks to God.