May 6: Adewale Ayuba clocks 54 today

by Duke Magazine

Adewale Ayuba (born on 6 May 1966), popularly called Mr. Johnson, is a Nigerian Fuji musician, entertainer, and an entrepreneur. 

He grew up as a child singer, and by the age of eight he had started singing at local musical competitions and fiestas in Ikenne (Ogun State, Nigeria). 

 He released his first album Ibere (Beginning) at the teen age of 17, and as a result had a steady rise to stardom in the Fuji genre of music in Nigeria. In early 1990, Ayuba signed with Sony Music (Nigerian) to record an album, Bubble, which was then released in 1991 and poised Ayuba into international limelight. Bubble marked the first time in history that a Fuji Music album gained widespread recognition, topping music charts for six consecutive months and winning multiple awards at the Nigerian Music Awards (NMA). It also won Ayuba the anticipated Artiste of the Year Awards, including the Album of the Year Award, Song of the Year Award, and Best Fuji Album of the Year Award—four in all. 

Ayuba released his second album titled “Mr. Johnson Play For Me” on the same music label. Ayuba got signed to Premier Music (Nigeria) before going for on his maiden West Africa coast tour where he performed in many African countries. The success of this tour projected Mr. Johnson to his first US tour, also in 1993, during which he performed in over ten states, including the great event of New Orleans Jazz Festival. He was subsequently awarded the Key to the City of Providence, Rhode Island by its mayor after performing to great concert in the city.

Excellent dancing style and colorful costumes, exultant fans and enough talking drums and percussion to remedy even a terminal case of sensory deprivation. During his wide-spread tour in the United States, he performed in major events that shot him up to a Fuji music icon across America.

He has also had Fuji musical tours in European countries of Austria, France, Belgium,  Italy, Germany, and Netherlands.

Ayuba has been crowned as the King of Bonsue Fuji, as he was the crooner of the class of Fuji music.

Several awards has Ayuba added to his cart in recognition of his great exuberance in Fuji music with an ensemble of different musical instruments and dancing styles. He was awarded the Millennium Voice of Nigerian Music (home and abroad) in Düsseldorf, (Germany) by Pan-Yoruba Group, Omo Oduduwa Association, in recognition of his valuable contributions to the growth of the music industry. His 2004 Ijo Fuji (Fuji Dance) earned him the Entertainer of the Year Award by the Nigerian American Community Association. The album also won him the Best Fuji Album of the Year Award at the Awards for Musical Excellence in Nigeria in July 2005. Thereafter, his “Mellow” album made him a recipient of Best Fuji Vocal Performance at the (AMEN) 2007 Awards. He is a winner of two Kora Awards.

Ayuba holds a doctorate degree in Music from Bradley University.

Ayuba aims to take fuji music to the whole world, just as Bob Marley had taken reggae to the whole world.

He also has a fashion line called the Bonsue Wears, which is the combination of shokoto and buba outfit.

The bonsue fashion line blends traditional Yoruba styles with the urban touch.

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