King Sunny Ade (KSA) has embarked on a thank you tour to some eminent Nigerians for their various roles in the success of his 70th birthday Grandstand concert in December, called “Sunny on Sunday”.
Although it has been several weeks since the event held at Balmoral Marquee, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, the ‘Sunny On Sunday’ Concert left a huge mark as one of the most talked about events to be witnessed in the country.
King Sunday’s Vintage Fender guitar, designed by the artist, Victor Ehikhamenor, sold for a record N52.1 million during the historic event.
The legendary artiste crisscrossed Lagos and Abuja in the company of the Temple Management team, led by CEO/ Founder, Idris Olorunnimbe during his two-day thank you tour.
At each of his stops, the juju maestro donated KSA branded materials to his VIP guests which included the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN); Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Mines and Steel, Kayode Fayemi; the current and previous MD/CEOs of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede respectively; as well as the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Tunde Fowler.
Other hosts on the whistle-stop tour included His Royal Majesty, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi and Victor Ehikhamenor who painted his famous guitar
The final visit was made to Babatunde Folawiyo, Chairman, Temple Management Company, who revealed that the ‘Sunny on Sunday’ concert was the product of an 11-year old covenant between himself and KSA.
“I have always been a Sunny Ade fan,” Mr. Folawiyo said, “we have the bad habit, as a nation, of celebrating only the dead. It was one of the proudest moments of my life for Temple Management to have the honour to serenade a living icon such as KSA.”
The Founder/CEO, Mr. Olorunnimbe, added that despite time constraints, the Temple Management Company was able to deliver a technically flawless production.
Another major highpoint of King Sunny’s visit was at the Ministry of Information and Culture, where His Excellency, Lai Mohammed, announced that King Sunny Ade would be made one of the ambassadors of the ‘Change begins With Me’ campaign.
Announcing the appointment, he said: “We are looking for people like you (King Sunny Ade) that the younger ones can look up to. It’s not just that you have been around for fifty years but you have been around for fifty years without any single stain on your part and that is very hard.”
Alhaji Mohammed eulogized King Sunny Ade for elevating the juju music genre into an international commodity that is now accepted all over the world.
“Most people like you would have had one issue or the other that today their integrity would be at stake. Your integrity is as strong, if not stronger than when you started. So it would be a pleasure if you can accept to be our Ambassador of the ‘Change Begins With Me’.
“I want the younger ones to look at you and see that you can actually get to the top without cutting corners. That is exactly what you have done. You have never cut corners and you have gotten to the top,” he said.
While accepting the offer to serve as an Ambassador of the “Change Begins With Me” Campaign, King Sunny Ade pledged to partner with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to move the nation forward.
“You don’t need to say much. This is what I love to do and it has been in me. We are ready to do that officially throughout the whole world,” KSA replied.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) also explained that KSA has a valuable role to play as an ambassador and change agent.
“We are still suffering from regular attacks in the Niger Delta that affect our power generating capacity,” Fashola said, “King Sunny Ade is a national icon and he can help Government communicate our message in a language that everybody can understand.”
Written by Oluwatoyin Adeleye