ONE ON ONE WITH JUJU MUSIC MAESTRO “YEMITE”

ONE ON ONE WITH JUJU MUSIC MAESTRO “YEMITE”

Fakiyesi Opeyemi popularly known as “Yemite” is a Nigerian gospel juju musician based in Pretoria, South Africa. He is also a member and representative of Association of juju musician(AJUMN) in South Africa. Yemite is a graduate of computer science from the Federal University of Technology in Akure, Nigeria.

He arrived in South Africa in 2006 and he has worked with Nigerian musician based in South Africa with the likes of Kunle Ayo, Ayodel, Bolojay to mention a few. He has also shared stages with notable musicians from Nigeria with the likes of Sir Shina Peters, Yinka Ayefele, Pasuma wonders, Obesere and many more. He has released have four albums since 2010 and they are  Southy lawa 2008, Testimony(2010)-in which MegaD anchored the album launch, Glory(2014), Dominion (2015).

Yemite has performed in the Nigeria communities across the provinces in South Africa which include Cape Town, East London, Durban, Port Elizabeth and many more. He has also performed for notable personalities in South Africa like Chief Gabriel Igbinedion when he hosted king of Ashanti Kingdom, Alh Burba Marwă when he hosted Nigeria communities in the consulate 2008/2009. He was awarded best Nigerian traditional music artist 2017 by the Nigeria community excellence award.

What is it like to be a Nigerian in South Africa?

We have lost our integrity in South Africa due to our Nigerian brothers involving in the drug business, credit card fraud and internet fraud, whereby  South Africans see us as the first suspect in any crime. The following has created limitations for us to access the opportunities in South Africa.

When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?
I started my band in 2007 in South Africa. I got inspired by what’s happening around me, also gets inspiration from sleep when I dream.

Why Juju music?
I started miming King Sunny Ade, Evang Ebenezer Obey, Orlando Owoh, Sir Shina Peters e.t.c songs from childhood when I listened to my dad’s stereo turntables. I’m sure these musicians really inspired me to venture into the genre of juju music. Juju music is also educative because of the composition crosses across all spheres of life.

What can you tell me about your instruments?
Juju music is a combination of African percussion instruments with string instruments and sometimes wind instruments. The rhythm and melody of the combination of the instruments make it danceable to all kinds of people no matter the language barrier of the vocals.

Do you have any upcoming shows?
I have upcoming shows for the Easter celebration at the moment. I will be playing club eleven45 in Randburg for the EasterSundayy celebration, I’ll be performing at a private function also on Saturday 31st of March in Yeoville for the Yoruba communities. I want my fans to come through on Good Friday on the 30th of March for my performance at the Absolute Fabulous Bar in Troyville, Johannesburg.

Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you ever play any covers?
I like to perform the hit tracks on my four albums. I’ve released so far, I also blend them with evergreen juju songs from the legends.

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs?
My songs are on YouTube by searching for Yemite live, or on www.app.box.com

What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
My advice to an upcoming artist that want to venture into juju music is they should be tolerant. There are some free shows they will do at first when trying to introduce their brand to people. They should also rehearse more and listen to different kinds of music genres so that they can be versatile on stage.

What’s next?

I’m presently working on my upcoming album .

 

ENJOY YEMITE LIVE SHOW IN PRETORIA

 

Additional Reporting: Joshua Olusan

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Nigerians in South Africa
Nigerians in South Africa 2012 posts

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