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My face is my selling point –Pasuma

Alabi Pasuma

Popular fuji musician, Wasiu Alabi Pasuma, tells Ademola
Olonilua about his career and fashion

Why do you want to release a hip-hop album?

The reason is simple; it is because hip-hop is currently
trending. Besides, hip-hop is not a strange genre of music
to me. I have been doing hip-hop for a while and I have
collaborated with the pioneers of modern day hip-hop in
Nigeria, speaking of people like Eedris Abdulkareem,
Tuface, and 9ice. I sang Jealousy with the Remedies in
1997, so it is not an unfamiliar terrain for me. I decided to
do a hip-hop album because my fans have been clamouring
for it. I have been on this project for about three years but
could not complete it on time because of my busy
schedule. I feel this is the right time to tidy everything up
and release the album.

But some critics might likely think you are doing this in order
to remain relevant

No, it is because hip-hop is trending. I don’t think there is
anyone that can scare me when it comes to fuji music.

Everybody knows that in the fuji industry, I am on top. I
dare anyone to try what I am doing; they should endeavour
to succeed in both the fuji and hip-hop genres. What I have
done only shows that I am versatile; leaving my comfort
zone to try my hands on another genre and I am making a
breakthrough there as well. If any fuji artiste thinks I have
been threatened to the extent of changing my genre, then
they should also come and make a hip-hop album. If you go
to parties and clubs, it is hip-hop that is mostly played and
that is because hip-hop has pushed other music genres to
the background except fuji music. The reason fuji has
remained unruffled by hip-hop is because fuji is deeply
rooted in our tradition. That is why hip-hop can’t shake fuji

Are you quitting the fuji genre for hip-hop finally?
I can never stop being a fuji musician; that is the genre I
would keep singing till I am old and die.

Some people have the opinion that fuji artistes are violent
people, are you?

I am a different person when I am on and off the stage. I
believe that when I’m on stage, I’m in my office and I do
not take nonsense from anybody. I don’t believe in violence,
I am a gentle person. Some people believe that when they
come to my house, they would meet miscreants, but that is
not the case. In my house, I only accommodate my family
members and my people. I really hate violence and I hate
being associated with such.

What is the significance of the silver teeth in your mouth?

It is a normal thing for Muslims who go on pilgrimage to
Mecca to acquire such teeth. I have just two silver teeth and
they have been there since I went to Mecca in 1995. They
are permanent and cannot be removed.

Do you plan to acquire more silver teeth?

It’s a good question, but I don’t think so.

How have you been able to maintain the same style of beards
for over 30 years?

I have tried all I can to have a lot of facial hair like Rick
Ross but my beards are not just co-operating with me. I
have used different kinds of creams but all to no avail, so I
gave up and managed what God gave me.

In terms of dressing, what do you feel comfortable wearing?

I prefer wearing casual clothes like jeans and T-shirts.

Whenever I have an event to attend, I make sure that I stick
to the dress code. My dressing depends on my mood.
What are your thoughts on suit and tie?

It is a good mode of dressing especially for those in the
corporate world. I also wear it when I have corporate gigs.
It is a lovely mode of dressing for men, it makes one look

What fashion item can’t you leave home without?
I cannot leave home without my wristwatch. On few
occasions when I forget it at home, I either go back to get it
or I collect my personal assistant’s watch. I believe it is
very important for a person to keep up with time and that is
why I feel the need to always wear a watch.
How many wristwatches do you own?

I have lost count but I think I should have about thirty

What would you not be caught dead wearing?

I don’t like wearing shorts but on few occasions, I indulge
myself. It has been like that for a while. I prefer wearing
jeans. I have nice legs but I am not used to wearing shorts.

I like wearing jeans. I love wearing slippers a lot because
they are very free.

You don’t seem to like flashy jewellery…

I am not a gold freak. I think I am too old to be seen
wearing flashy jewellery. It is for the younger generation. I
have done all that in the past. Then, I used to wear lots of
rings, earrings and chains but right now, age does not
permit me to do such any more. I feel that as a role model
in the society, there are some things I should not be seen
wearing. It is not that I do not have the money to buy them
but I just feel I have got to the age where I have to forfeit

What is your selling point?

It is my face. Most people like me because of the way I
look. They all say I have a fine face. I cherish and make
sure I maintain my face very well. People often tell me that
it is difficult to deduce my age by looking at my face. I think
it is by the grace of God because it is not everybody that is
as lucky as I am.

What do you do to stay fit?

I would say it is by the grace of God. Also, I do not eat
anyhow. I eat only twice in a day, my first meal is always
by 1pm while my last meal for the day is by 8pm. I think
that is why I do not have a pot belly. I watch what I eat and
make sure I stay fit by exercising when I have the time.
Do you drink or smoke?

I don’t drink or smoke but I like women.

There was a time you were always wearing green, what
fashion statement were you trying to make?

That was when I was a Globacom ambassador. I was doing
that to be identified with the brand I represented at that time
but my contract with the company expired about two years
ago. Anytime they need me for photo shoot, I oblige them. I
have been with them since 2008 and I signed a two- year
contract with them and it expired in 2013.

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