What if I told you I was a social event and night party freak? I had a soldier uncle whose obsession for good music was second to none. With his four-legged Panasonic Record player which looked like a modern-day student fridge, my uncle would provide music entertainment to the neighborhood for 24 hours whenever he came home on a break as he was then being moved across all Army Barracks nationwide.
Ayinla Omowura, Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade, Yusuf Olatunji among other evergreen musicians must have made fortunes from my uncle who had all their song released as albums in his kitty. Trust me, it was in the early 80s when power supply was relatively stable. There was even few appliances in our homes to consume electricity unlike in this modern era. Music was part of us and every musician was a Star.
Wakeel Adekunle Akanfe was my most beloved cousin who took me to live with him in Lagos in 1994. He was a hardworking tough guy who ‘ruled empires of socialites’ before he died at his prime in October, 2015. He took me to Apapa Quays where I was a dockworker for two years. Akanfe introduced me to the world of Fuji music and through him, I got familiar with music characters such as Lateef Ilori, Musibau Alani (Omokekere), Shaura, Dare Ayinde (Omo’ga, Mushin), Sir Shina Akanni (Fuji Scorpido), Toyin Adio (Mr. Performer) among others.
Inside Apapa Terminal, I was exposed to many bad ways but I chose only a few and these included; addiction to Fuji music (I was a regular face at Faslak Hotel Apapa where K1 used to perform every Thursday), night party, crazy haircuts, wearing of neck chains, purchase of expensive but inappropriate clothing materials, reckless spending on guests. I hated consumption of hard drugs before opening up containers for loading/offloading operations and I would not take any Wharf rat for a friend.
Meanwhile, we had enough to rent a decent room apartment but preferred the shanties in the slums of Ijora-Badia. Life was fun from Ijora 7up to Gaskiya College Road to Amukoko Round About. Our ‘Abete’ was notorious for harboring all cadre of thieves, gamblers, drug addicts and sex workers who would offer their services to ‘trusted’ customers at different occasions only to come with records and claim their accumulated charges at the end of each month.
There were occasions when argument would ensue as a result of attempts by either of the customers to present correct account of number of times they both met before the pay day.
Whether you tagged them repugnant or found their activities repulsive, the characters in Ijora-Rail line and environs (Safejo Road, Matiminu Street, Sari-Iganmu Road, Brewery and Costain) at that time cared less. In their domain you would see giant rats that preferred to swim in the canal or stagnant waters as well as mosquitoes that were as big as mature cockroaches. Hausa traditional wrestling (Dambe) was a big attraction as you would not know whether it was a sporting activity or an exhibition of charms and magic.
I remember informing you that I was a party/freak and distance or paucity of fund was never a problem. I could borrow cash from anyone to attend social funds mainly because of music and dance. Then came a day I was to attend a ‘Freedom’ ceremony in Ibadan. A never-do-well tailor disappointed me as he ran away ostensibly because he did not complete my dress – a white guinea brocade fabric chosen as uniform for the event by the celebrant.
I put that disappointment behind me and hit the road for a trip to Ibadan at about 7pm. At Ojota Inter-State Terminus, I saw beautiful shirt made of flower design in the hand of a tall guy who hawked knitted fabric and I bought same for a ridiculous price. I found my new shirt so irresistible that I had to remove the one on me and put it on inside the commercial bus.
With a sun glass put on the forehead, a gold chain dangling on my neck and my new colorful shirt on a straight black Wrangler Jean trousers which matched my pair of Reebok Snickers, I was sure of a ‘cynosure of all eyes’ status at the occasion. The Lagos-Ibadan Express Road was devoid of the ubiquity of Worship Centres-induced traffic snarl at that time and I got to my destination at about 10pm.
I arrived to the wargalore, ace of virtually everyone at the venue as most them adorned the white Guinea Brocade uniform and dancing to the energy-sapping lyrics of Obesere Omorapala… “Iwo oojo’gede Obesere Commander… Aijo’gede ti je, o je ma’jelo ko si nnkan… Omorapala gbaasi… O je ma’jelo ko si nnkan!”… And later the local DJ changed the music supply to Kwam 1’s Fuji Collection… “Olokun mu yenye, Orin mi Ayinde Ade… Ojo a da’joo’jo, t’afefe nse’gi oko weruuweru… Igi’nu oko n’leri… …n o ba toro’gun wa’ye o… Eeh eeh! N o ba toro’gun… Emi a joooooooooo!
Immediately people sighted me, I emerged the VIP they had been expecting and it became a hugging galore. We danced and hugged simultaneously until some of them began to notice a weird coloration of the white garments they were putting on. Who could have been splashed us with color paints? They wondered. Before we knew it, about ten people had been badly affected with ‘color transmission’.
We were all jolted by the development and the DJ had to put off the music supply to enable us unravel the mystery of magical Kampala on the people. Suddenly, one saucy lady came towards me and started shouting; “Wasiu, Iwo ni! Iwo ni joor! Aso buruku re lo ba gbogbo aso wa je!”. As a matter of fact, my new shirt was fake… It could have been that it was tied and dyed in an emulsion paint or something.
The observation was true… I was the culprit! The dance floor was immediately vacated and began to seek solution to the broadening stains I had stamped on their individual white attires. It didn’t take long before most of them started heaping despicable hisses at me ceaselessly. I left the party unannounced and without taking any food or drinks. I removed the ‘shirt of shame’ immediately after my escape from possible mob action and threw it away into a nearby drainage.
I was later told the party could not continue. I didn’t come to Ibadan until about six months after the ugly incident.
Wasiu Olawale Sadare, Journalist and Media Consultant writes from Ibadan, Oyo state
Majek Fashek: Nigerian reggae lord dies aged 57 in New York
Nigerian reggae lord, Majekodunmi Ifakiisheeke popularly known as Majek Fashek, who helped bring African music through his reggae, rock genres to world audiences with hits like Prisoner of Conscience, which included the multiple award-winning single “Send Down the Rain” has died in New York.
It was reliably gathered that the singer songwriter and guitarist died after battling with cancer for almost a year.
Fashek’s manager, Uzoma Day Omenka who confirmed the sad news on the singer’s Instagram page on Tuesday morning disclosed that he died 11.45 pm June 1, 2020, Nigerian time.
According to him, the ‘Rainmaker’ died in New York, where he was receiving treatment and not in London. The manager added that the doctors advised he should be moved close to his family, which informed his being moved to New York where his wife and children live.
Uzoma informed that the singer, Majek was separated from his family for 10 years until last year September when he reunited with them on the advice of his doctors.
“We moved him from London to New York last September on the advice of the doctors that he should stay close to the family. Majek reunited with his family last year after 10 years of separation. He died in their company, ” he added.
Anigilaje Hits The Market
As part of activities marking the 40th anniversary of the exit of an Apala icon, Alhaji Waidi Ayinla Omowura, an album titled ‘Anigilaje’ has been released in his honour.
Packaged by a university don, Professor Oyetola Oniwide, who is also the presenter of ‘Orin Apala’ on Family FM, Abeokuta, Anigilaje is a collaborative effort of the sensational Fuji star, Alhaji Sefiu Alao, an Apala singer and daughter of Ayinla Omowura, Queen Halimat Omowura, a surviving member of Omowura Band, Chief Sikiru Oyewole and a former member of the band, Alhaji Kemuye Ramoni. Ayinla Omowura’s lead talking drummer, the 95-year- old legendary Alhaji Ramoni Adewole Oniluola spiced the record with his unique drumming dexterity.
With versatile Sefiu Alao taking the lead as vocalist, the 13- track Anigilaje features tracks like, ‘e je ka f’orin se ‘ranti’ where the late Apala maestro was eulogised for his contribution to the music industry. The trio of Oyewole, Halimat and Kemuye sang separate tracks like: ise ere, ka f’adura siwaju ohun gbogbo and others.
The immediate past governor of Ogun state, His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun was highly appreciated for his unprecedented effort of renovating the Itoko, Abeokuta residence of Omowura. The track ‘Amosun se bebe’ is a dedication to him.
Anigilaje also has a philosophical message of admonition for Nigerians. It cautions the populace against being wasteful, especially in this period of austerity. ‘e ma f’ounje sofo’ delivered the message.
It will be recalled that Late Alhaji Ayinla Omowura was murdered by his estranged band manager, Fatai Bayewumi during a barroom brawl at Ago ‘ka Abeokuta on May 6,1980.
Rise And Rise Of Abeni Agbon | By Tunde Busari
Before I am wrongfully accused of bias, queuing behind female artistes, find time to watch Baba Wande film titled AGBABIAKA and see this woman known as Abeni Agbon at her best form of interpretation.
If you’re not impressed, go and watch ALABI ANIYAMETA. If you’re still not satisfied, three things should be given a serious thought. One, you’re lacking appreciative sensory organs or they are malfunctioning. So you don’t know difference between right and wrong. Two, you’re hater of the face of that woman. Three, you keep in your system incurable phobia for Yoruba films.
Despite known reasons to write Yoruba films off, there still are some pieces which you watch and pick few beneficial lessons and tips. And when an actor plays his or her character perfectly, I instantly enlist in the group of his or her fans until he or she proves otherwise due to complacency or abuse of stardom.
That is my connection with the outspoken woman who incidentally also comes from Osogbo like Iya Osogbo and yours sincerely. Perhaps you need to be an indigene to fully appreciate Abeni Agbon’s acting prowess, especially her diction which is the tongue of my people back home.
To restrict her is to cast Abeni Agbon as a Lagos woman. She may want to be professional by adhering strictly with what she has in her script. However, her delivery, with due respect, won’t sound 100%. That’s the power of our Osogbo tongue.
Baba Wande earns his attraction to viewers by his accent and comportment which are natural comedy content. If Iya Osogbo is asked of another actress to be so named, it is doubtful that she won’t pick Abeni Agbon who is also versed in incantations when featured as a warrior or witch.
In AGBABIAKA, she is the wife, the only wife of Baba Wande, always his match whenever he engages in his usually embarrassing talk in the public. Her actions in all scenes are real and inspiring. Same she does in ALABI ANIYAMETA in which she is the first wife to Yinka Quadri, a wealthy man in his community. There are two other wives but all the three are never friends for 24 hours. They must fight and trouble the peace of the household.
I never come in contact with the film from which she derived her Abeni Agbon stage name. Notwithstanding, I know stage name doesn’t follow actor off locations. The actor must have done justice to the character.
I am confident that Mrs Toyin Oladiran has her traditonal role for keep in the age young female artistes don’t seem to appreciate use of rich Yoruba language. They prefer admixture of bad Yoruba with bad English to give them worst expressions, thereby endangering mass communication. In this circumstance, Abeni Agbon will always get invited to locations.
She, however, needs to do adult classes to upgrade herself. Staring reality of her limitation in face, Lady Waka Queen Alhaja Salawa Abeni put aside her fame and became private class pupil. Today, she speaks acceptable English on live television.
If Abeni singer could do it successfully, you, Abeni Agbon can as well do even better. God bless the work of your talent.
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