It was in 1974 that the news broke. Chief Bolarinwa Abioro, the Balogun of Ipokia, the Chairman of African Songs Limited, had taken his star musician to court! Everyone who knew KSA knew Abioro.
KSA was the second artiste to be signed on to the stable of African Songs Limited. Ayinde Bakare was the first.
The contract was for 5 years.
The new agreement was carefully worded. KSA and his band boys agreed to perform and record exclusively for ASL for a period of five years.
That was not all. On the sale of every album which price was then fixed at N6.00, KSA and his boys were entitled to a princely sum of 20 kobo.
Yes, you read that right.
African Songs would go home with the remaining N5. 80 kobo.
They were expecting their 20 kobo royalty on every album.
Well, when the time came for actual payment, it was then discovered that mathematically and arithmetically, it was not supposed to be 20 kobo.
That was when Sunny decided to ask Chief Abioro for a raise of the royalty payment.
But Sunny was not done. “Chief, this is not about contract. You are our father. Our request is for adequate compensation! Let’s leave the contract aside.”
They went to meet Prince Okunade Sijuwade who would later become the Ooni of Ife.
They also met with Chief Afolabi Joseph.
Even Chief Ebenezer Obey was also requested to intervene as well as Chief Nurudeen Alowonle.
They cited relevant sections of the unwritten Yoruba constitution.
They cited Yoruba proverbs.
They made reference to the story of Oduduwa.
Chief did not only dismiss the request for a raise.He opened another file on his table and brought out a new set of documents.Your guess is right!A new five-year contract!
Sunny Ade decided to release his record with another company. His plan was to use the album to bargain for a better deal with African Songs.
Baba Ibeji was composing fresh materials at home when the court bailiffs arrived. They served him with an order of interim injunction!
He remembered his years with Baba Sala.
He recalled how he got stranded with Baba Sala’s travelling theatre in Jebba and Kano.
Sunny Alade Records was born!
Chief Abioro was not leaving anything to chance.
He knew what he wanted from the court.
His lawyer had read the agreement between African Songs Limited and Sunday Ade.
I hope you are not sneering at the N1 million as being ‘chicken change’. Remember this was in 1974. The price of a brand new Volkswagen Beetle car was about N500 at that time. N1 million in 1974 was a princely sum!
The first application Gani brought before the court was for an order to compel African Songs to produce its statement of account over the preceding three years. The court granted the order.
My Lord Justice L. J. Dosunmu listened patiently to the parties. His Lordship also asked the witnesses some probing cases.
You recall that Chief Abioro was asking for N1,000,000 as damages for breach of contract. The court ruled that for recording with another company during the subsistence of the contract, Sunny Ade was liable. He was asked to pay N300!
The court having found that the contract was still subsisting, KSA was ordered not to release another album pending the expiration of his contract with Chief Abioro’s company,which was in 6months.
Apparently,As if reading Sunny Ade’s mind,Justice Dosunmu said he realized that Sunny Ade would need to eat and feed his family in the six months that the contract had to run. His Lordship therefore held that the injunction ..
His Lordship said that this was in order to avoid a situation where the King of Music would starve or be compelled to go back to Chief Abioro.
He had learnt his lesson.
Creativity and Business must go hand in hand.
I NEVER claimed to be the Author of the Write-Up.
I'm Only a Researcher who is all Out to Educate, Inspire,Motivate and Empower we Today's Youths.
I came across the Write-up the way it is,and tweeted it,bcus I believe there is a lot we All can learn from it: As I did.
I'm Glad to just learnt that it was Chief Onigegewura who wrote it.
And i just learnt too that the Case still continued until KSA was paid Millions in royalties (I will Research more on it,and update it,Ok)
And keep us Mentally busy and not just discussing BBNigeria, Analysing Arsenal - Chelsea Matches, Or Endlessly Criticising Buhari On Tweeter.
So,we Should not allow an Unintended Error to make us miss the Main Point and message imbedded in the Story.