Barryfest 2022: A carnival to remember

Barryfest events of 2022 had come and gone but the memories left will continue to linger on for many years to come or should I say till the next one in 2024 God willing.

As a member of the organising committee, there was anxiety and excitement of a successful hosting of the first BarrtFest to be held collectively by the amalgamation of nearly all, if not all, the various fans groups operating diversely on social media before metamorphosing into physical groups.

Would there be a seamless outing?  Síkírù Ayinde Barrister was a complex person and anything associated with him always has a bit of mystery. The initial trepidation, though not openly expressed, vanished when a number of his fans started trooping into the Fuji Chamber on Friday 11th February, 2022 to kick off the first round of the series of the 3-day programmes, which was induction of notable fuji musicians into Fuji Music Hall of Fame.

It was a thrilling experience meeting with some people hitherto been seeing on social media coming together for the programme. The second day was scheduled for charity outreach at Ibadan. I joined Chief Asimiyu Sunny Sobowale, president of Barry Wonder Lives On, Mrs Abiola Saka (Sanmori) and Manbadru from Lagos hoping to be in Ibadan. The vehicle we travelled in developed mechanical fault on the road. We were at the mercy of expressway where hoodlums are reported to be rampant.

We arrived Ibadan late and it was a wonderful welcome from those who had been waiting and monitoring our movement. The love and kindness exuded by Barry fans were tremendous and indescribable. The amiable environment of Ilaji Hotels and Resorts, Ibadan is simply alluring. It was a welcome home from the stress of the day. We joined the Gala Night where people were gyrating to the music of the Fuji creator before we retired for the night.

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Sunday 13th February, 2022 was the grand finale of the festival. It was carnival-like and greatly beyond what words can succinctly captured. The crowd, without prompting, came from all over the world for a man many of them never saw in his lifetime. The love, camaraderie and unity of purpose were infectious. If heaven is determined by what happens on earth, Síkírù Ayinde Balógun is surely in a happy place.

Silently, I was praying to be blessed like him. Music from many fuji musicians is an icing on the cake. Barry was wonderful while alive but more wonderful in death. The after-effects of the festival celebration still linger on happily as I write.

There was visitation to orphanages and old people’s homes where donations were made in Barrister’s name. May The Almighty Allah accept all these and grant Barrister all its rewards.



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