Sir/Dr Shina Peters
In his own words-
I am Shina Peters. As regards my birth, there are some mysteries surrounding my person. I would not want to go into the spiritual aspect. My father’s name is Emmanuel Adakun Peters. My mother’s name is Victoria Asake Peters. I attended Ebenezer African Church School, Itokun Ota, Ogun State. For my secondary education, I attended Baptist Boys High School, Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo and St. Peter School, Abeokuta. I had a friend called Sakiru Alashe and up till today, we are still together. His father was the owner of the house that my parents were living in then, and that was where we were brought up. Normally, I stayed at Iju Quarters but I always come to Oshodi on holidays. Sakiru and I were like twin brothers because if my father gave me pocket money for the day, he would also give the same amount to Sakiru, and Sakiru’s mother also did the same. Whenever she was going to buy clothes for Sakiru, he would make sure she bought mine also. Then we had what we called Olushina and his 12 Fantastic Brothers Band. Though, we never used the normal electronic musical equipment, what we did then was to use sticks to make guitar.
That was at age eight or nine. I got carried away as the pianist of the church because I was a band leader in the church, and besides, my mother loved singing. She bagged seven trophies in her lifetime for singing. Maybe that influenced my going into showbiz. So, instead of going to school and writing my examinations, I got myself busy with music. They bought mattress, pillows and others for me to go school, but I refused. So, I woke up at 2 a.m one day and I told them I was not going to school; that all I wanted to do was play music. But because of my decision not to go to school, my parents woke up everybody in the house that night including the landlord. They told people ‘Please come and help us beg our son to go to school’. With four of my other friends in that house, 6, MacCarthy Lane. If you go there now, you won’t find the house there again because of the curse I placed on the house. How could a parent wake everybody in the house because his son had decided he wasn’t going to school in order to have time for music? The landlord then said, ‘If you are not going to school, that means you have been cursed from outside and we wouldn’t want you to influence the other children’.
They also poured Schnapps gin as libation, saying they didn’t want that type of thing in the house . They went and called Sakiru; my friend, and told him what I was planning to do. He asked me why I wanted to do that. He said he would become a doctor and he would employ me. Some weeks after leaving the house, I came back glorified and I said; Ile yi ma di ahoro ni (this house will be abandoned). That house has now been eroded by gutter. The house used to have 16 rooms and what is left now is just two rooms. I have said this more than a million times that those that I mentioned their names are still alive and can testify to it. Sakiru is still with me.
When I left home, I went to Temiogbe Motel, Oshodi. I can remember, a prostitute then called me and I was living with her. She would lay her wrapper on the floor for me to sleep on. For weeks, I was with her. So, it happened that the woman kept her money under the pillow but she forgot it was under the pillow and she now said I took the money. Fortunately for me, one Sergeant Ajagbe who was my father’s friend saw me and told me they had been looking for me at home. In a nutshell, that was how I started going to Mayflower Hotel. After that, I had an accident. I also served as a house boy. I was Ebenezer Obey’s house boy. I was in charge of his clothes and his shoes. Meeting with Ebenezer Obey
It was before I started going to the hotel that I met Evangelist Ebenezer Obey. I had gone to him to tell him I wanted to play music but he said I should go and bring my parents, so they could stand as guarantors. But anytime I was on holidays, I was always going to his place to take charge of his clothes and shoes. When he was not at home, I always discreetly played his guitar. Prince Adekunle had an accident and there was this man called Akanbi, he’s still with me up till today. It was this man that came looking for me and found me with Prince Adekunle. He now said I should henceforth be called Prince Adekunle’s son as a publicity stunt. That was how I became Shina Omo Adekunle (Shina, Adekunle’s son). But he didn’t adopt me. It was just a gimmick. So, people started calling me his son and it did work. It really worked. I now became Shina Adekunle. Shina Peters and critics
It has always been tough. It’s always Shina Peters, but how many people can fault Shina Peter’s music? Name anyone. But they took me from the angle of being a human being, not as a talented artiste, and that is affecting my talent. Journalists and people have not been fair to me. I didn’t tell anyone I went to school or that I went to Cambridge or Oxford. I stopped at primary six. I should be praised for even having people like Segun Awolowo, Lanre Tejuoso, Dangote as friends. People have been misconstrued so many times- but I thank God I have evergreen hits. Shinamania album sold more than Ace but nobody knows. After Shinamania, there was Dancing Time. But my problem started with Dancing Time because the rate I was moving was just too fast and they tried to clip my wings. Showbiz is a mafia business and I learnt that from Chief Chris Okunowo. Then, at the Nigerian Music Awards, I bagged so many awards but Dancing Time could not get me anything. I travelled to London, America and on arrival, I released the album Experience which got me back my four awards. I’ve seen it all. Origin of Afro Juju
The Afro Juju thing is an example of the way God uses people. You may think that what you are doing is not right but when God wants to turn water into wine, He will. Afro Juju up till today is God’s work. At the age of 16, I’ve been going to court. I faced three cases in a day: false information, breach of contract. Then finally, I waxed an album under Skylak Records: First record Ye, Oluwa, se bi omo pe omode ni mi (Lord, but you know I’m a child). That was after parting with Segun Adewale….
The Afro Juju years When I sang Ye, Oluwa,se o mo pe omode ni mi… I was not given attention. I now said, but why. I sang another one. Let me tell you, there are things I’ve done in the past that people are now appreciating. Like photo journals that is now the vogue. I started it. Then people would come to my shows and after, see their pictures in a magazine. If only people will give me my credit. After all the court cases, my house got burnt in 1982 but I thank God there are some of us that were discovered. The beauty of it all is consistency. I like that Johnny Walker’s advertisement that says keep walking and that is what I’ve always done. So far, it is your person that is being faulted and not your career. If people still appreciate your music, then keep on working. No, I sang hard work, it didn’t work. I sang Ko te mi fun mi (Build my own for me). That was when we had landlord/tenant tussles. This was before the Ace album was released. Accident before Ace Our recording company bought us cars, then money was still good. I had an accident with mine. I now went to meet Oba Dapo Tejuosho, up till today, he is the only Godfather I had since my childhood. In fact, if he does not include me in his Will, it will only be by hair’s breadth (laughs). I told him I had an accident and he gave me money to get another car. I went to BEWAC to get a Range Rover. I was driving one day on the Costain Bridge (Lagos) and the road looked as if it was 50 different routes. I didn’t know where to take, and I had a terrible accident with the vehicle I had just gone to buy, I had not even obtained a number for it. That was the end of it. He then bought me another Lancer. That is why my songs are spiritual and physical. The accident just came like that. And to cap it, my entire house got burnt. Everything got burnt, it was just the clothes on my body that I had left. I thank people like Oba Dapo Tejuosho, Dr. Olusola Saraki and the late Chief M.K.O Abiola and co. They assisted me, so I’ve always been extremely lucky. Afro-Juju genre
I just sat down to think about what was in Fuji music that was almost relegating Juju music to the background. I discovered it was the percussion. I listened to disco music, I saw it was the fast tempo. I then mixed them together, and that was how Afro-Juju was born. I wanted to satisfy everybody. So, I mixed the combination of Afrobeat with disco and added some percussion. And thank God, the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti advised me never to sing in English but in pidgin English-and that is what I’m enjoying till today. I go outside the South West to play, before I even say make una dance, they would have echoed it. So, it was all God’s plan.
Relationship with fans Respect is reciprocal. I don’t think it’s me. I thing they just love me for what I am. I’ll always say the truth. I don’t believe in eye service. I’m a loyalist too. If I have today, fine. And if I don’t have tomorrow, fine.
Women as fans/sex symbols I’m not trying to compare myself with Jesus Christ our Saviour. I try as much as I can to convince myself that in showbiz, there is no way you are going to be successful without the backing of the women. Listen carefully, I felt that to make people see me as a sex symbol, I should get married and show that I’m loyal to my wife but at the end of the day, I found out that it was that particular aspect that people use against me. That because I was married to someone does not mean I should not talk to any other person. All other artistes go scot-free on this, but when it is Shina Peters, it becomes a problem. Relationship with Juju masters
I already talked about Evangelist (Dr) Ebenezer Obey. What can you, a house boy, say where your boss is? He is my boss. It’s just unfortunate that Dr. Obey left the stage for me and King Sunny Ade. I don’t see any comparison between King Sunny Ade and me. He is a living legend. All the respect in the world I give to him. So, anytime, any day, they will forever be living legends and my idols. Most painful experience The day I lost my father because I was not around. In fact, there is no one I love more than my father. Till tomorrow, I still love him. I love my mum too. My mum pampered us but my dad was a realist and all what he taught me as a father have taken me this far. Happiest moment The day I heard a boy (Clinton) crying in New York. Because it took us almost 20 years to have a kid. Because of the many stories that flew around then, people even said I was impotent. The trauma nearly killed me. For me, seeing my wife pregnant, taking her out of the country and being there when Clinton was being delivered, I would say this has been the happiest moment in my life. First car I bought my first car at the age of 12. It was a Beetle 1500 with registration number LA 101 SP. Thanks to Mr. Demola Kazeem (Mut-Mokson)
Relaxation Since that special day in my life when my third child got married, I started having this fear of may be age is telling on me. I now think twice before I do anything. I used to listen to people’s advice, but I have to contact my God first. Despite all the odds and all that has happened, for me to survive and still be alive, I relax freely by thanking my God for all He has done for me. Problem with Juju music What do you mean? I want the whole world to know… (voice rises in anger). Must you play for the Yorubas alone? Because you are living in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Kwara. That is what is happening in Nigeria. That was what I proved to all critics in Abuja. Please, be fair. Is Juju a Yoruba thing? That is why if anything is happening in Port Harcourt, you hardly hear Fuji music. It is because we are living amongst you, that’s why you feel Juju music is dying. To prove to you that Juju is not dying, the Igbos honoured me with a chieftancy title last December and on the eve of the celebration, I’ve performed for the governor. To recognise me and what I’m doing, the Igbos honoured me. So, when you talk about Juju, it’s because people try to limit it to Yorubas alone. And I think my friend, KWAM I has taken Fuji out of Yorubaland. Michael Jackson is the Michael Jackson of the world and not only of America. All the new Juju musicians should only work hard.
Future of Juju music I’m consulting my boss now (King Sunny Ade) and we are planning something and everyone will get to know. Other vocations All I do is showbiz. Best food Sea food.