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Did Ayinla Omowura kill Epo Akara’s band members in 1975? | By Festus Adedayo

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For 45 years now, a subsisting rumour has circulated in the Yoruba music world, gaining the currency of reality everyday. It is the allegation that a fatal accident in 1975 which involved Ibadan-based musician and Awurebe music crooner, Dauda Epo Akara and which killed two of his band boys – Dauda and Omoboade – had the hands of late Apala music maestro, Ayinla Omowura, in it.

The accident generated so much hoopla. Ayinla reportedly placed a spell on Epo Akara’s vehicle. The theory was that, having cursed a Dauda, Epo Akara’s powerful native drug neutralizer rebounded the curse off him, which then went to Dauda, his band member.

Taking the speculation a notch higher, it was said that a few weeks after the accident, Omowura went to Epo Akara’s Popo Yemoja home in Ibadan and on meeting his father, congratulated him for having effectively soaked his son in phials that deflected his incantations off his head.

In memorializing the accident where 14 of them travelled and had an accident at Alapako, outskirts of Ibadan, Epo Akara sang, Awa merinla, awa merinla r’ajo o…

In my book, Ayinla Omowura: Life and Times of an Apala Legend which will be on sale from May 6, 2020, I sought to take the wind off the sail of this allegation. Sule Epo, one of Epo Akara’s band boys, whose stage name was Oyinmiyinmi, in an interview, described this as mere rumour and indeed, baseless.

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He described the duo of Ayinla and Epo Akara as bosom friends and attributed the unfounded allegation to the handiwork of their foes. He said that Ayinla never cursed Epo Akara or the vehicle the band was travelling in and that the accident was caused by a huge fog which affected the visibility of the driver.

Another person interviewed was Sakaniyawu Ishola, one of Epo Akara’s band members. He joined the band in 1973. He was with Epo till his death. Sakaniyawu was in the ill-fated vehicle and he confirmed that the band boys were dead drunk on the journey. He said that on the said day, the Epo band had gone for a marriage ceremony which took place in Ilupeju, Lagos. The band met Omowura singing at the event as he was engaged to sing for the afternoon. According to Sakaniyawu, the Epo band got there at around 3pm.

“As we got there and our musical instruments were being brought down by the parker boys, Epo Akara went and met Ayinla Omowura where he was playing on the bandstand and the two brothers embraced and greeted each other. When we also began our own play, Ayinla came to the stage to salute Epo Akara. They both greeted each other again. That was what I saw,” Sakaniyawu said.

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Asked how true the claim was that on that day, many of the people who had gathered to watch the gigs of the duo left Ayinla and flocked to Dauda’s stage, Sakaniyawu said it was true. He attributed this to the fact that many of those who were there had never heard the voice of Dauda before. Another source attributed it to the fact that many of those who gathered at the function were Ibadan sons and daughters who saw in Epo Akara, a gravitation towards home.

Could a line of a song by Ayinla, to wit, “won ba wa laba won fe sako, ori ere ni moto won mi a jabo – they met us in the village and are gallivanting; your vehicle would have an accident!” be the link of Omowura to the accident? Ayinla sang that song in 1973.

It couldn’t have been directed at Epo Akara because the accident under reference happened in 1975.

Epo Akara, great musician and one of the best from Ibadan, literally died unsung. His house beside Guru Maharaj Ji’s den is uncompleted. The state government never did anything to memorialize him.

Ayinla’s lot is different. Ex-Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State changed the face of Omowura’s home in Itoko, probably an acknowledgment of how he put Egbaland and Ogun State on the map of world musical history.

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Omowura’s children I interviewed for my book were full of profuse praises for this past government in Ogun. Will Governor Seyi Makinde do same for Epo Akara?

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Entertainment

PHOTOS: Odebunmi facilitates  film making training for constituents

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The lawmaker representing Ogo Oluwa/ Surulere Federal Constituency, Hon. Segun Dokun Odebunmi has facilitated an empowerment training program for members of his Constituency on Film Making and Cinematography for self reliance.

Odebunmi, who also chairs the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values on Thursday informed that the training was part of  his quest for human development.

Remarking, the lawmaker justified the training as  one of the ways of encouraging the youths to think out of the box and make use of the technology advancement to create another source of income.

” I grew up in this community and I know what majority of our people are passing through especially now that the economy of the world is being challenged, people need multiple streams of income and I am making  use of every opportunity to assist my people by training them on how to make use of their talents and make more money through entertainment”, he said.

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the  National Assembly for the opportunity, urging the participants to take the advantage to better their lots .

The lead speaker, Mr Maruff Ajibolu charged  participants to take full compliment of the training as Nigeria’s creative industries are slowly breaking new grounds and currently recognised as among the biggest globally.  This he noted led to its marking as a priority sector in the FGN’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan with a very high projected income  over the coming years and also led the Federal government to grant most segments within the creative industries including Nollywood conditional access to pioneer status incentives which include holidays from the payment of companies’ income taxes as well as withholding tax on dividends from pioneer profits for an initial period of three years.

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Also remarking, a key player in the creative industry, Mr. Muyiwa Ademola also harped on the huge potential subsumed in cinematography and film making. The Nollywood star further noted  that the event was a rare opportunity, because it has always been either FG , CBN and World bank projects.

“It was designed to help people discover their talents and passion with the intent of turning it into a source of income”, Ademola added.

The training which took place concurrently at Resource Centre, Igbo-Ile Surulere LG and Ajaawa Town Hall, Ajaawa, Ogo-Oluwa LG, had other notable speakers which included, Mr Yemi Ogunyemi,  Mr Ojo Oluwatona.

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At 90, I can’t venture into acting again – Iya Osogbo

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Veteran Yoruba actress, Madam Grace Owoola Oyin-Adejobi, popularly known as Iya Osogbo on Tuesday said that she would never venture into the business of acting again in her life.

She also spoke for the first time about the day an excited fan nearly ran her into a gutter with her jeep vehicle on her way to the office of one of her children in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State.

According to her, this experience has remained indelible in her memory because her thought was that the day was going to be her last on planet earth, except in the end it did not turn out as she feared initially.

“The fan eventually came down from her car to let me know that she merely wanted to exchange greetings with me. She later enveloped ten thousand naira and dashed me.”

Iya Osogbo who was the wife of the late versatile actor in the Yoruba genre, Chief Oyin Adejobi made these revelations while featuring on Parrot Xtra Hour on Radio anchored by Olayinka Agboola in Ibadan.

The veteran actress added that she started her acting career some 67 years ago and she also mentioned that she had already made her name before she acted in the film titled “Eran Iya Osogbo” thereby correcting the erroneous belief her admirers had held before now.

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She said that unlike now when acting has become not only the in-thing and profitable, in her time, parents frowned at people, especially women who ventured into the profession as they were generally regarded as unserious types and therefore wayward.

Madam Oyin-Adejobi expressed her displeasure over the near-nudity being practiced by actresses in Nigeria, advising them not to be deceived by the pleasures of the world but to believe that they can succeed through dint of hard work and the grace of God.

On how she met her late husband, Oyin Adejobi who died in the year 2000, she said that both of them went to the same school and were also living on the same street, saying that right from the start of his career, he was never under a boss.

She said that apart from the death of her husband, the lowest point for her life was when her fourth child, a female died .

“It took me a long time to recover from that experience”, she said.

However, her happiest moment was when she gave birth to her first child, a boy in 1954.

Iya Osogbo narrated further that whenever their theater group went to stage plays or was showing a film in a cinema house, she was the one who used to sell ticket unmindful of what some miscreants might do, “as I know that they all love me adding that it was at Jebba that we raised the gate fee of our shows to twenty Kobo which had a lot of value unlike what obtains nowadays where the value of money is nothing to write home about”.

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She admonished younger generation of Nigerians on the need to work hard and be focused.

“I got to attain this age because of God’s mercy. In addition, the Almighty also gave me the wisdom of preserving my body and being moderate in all I have been doing. Our youths should emulate this too. They should learn to be God fearing too.”

Iya Osogbo, who featured prominently in productions like Orogun Adedigba, Kuye, Kootu Ashipa and others will officially turn 90 on Sunday. She equally announced that there will be no formal event to mark the occasion.

She added , “All my admirers including colleagues and family members have agreed to postpone whatever plan they have to celebrate my 90th birthday because we must obey NCDC’s COVID-19 prevention rules.”

 

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Burna Boy Unveils New Album ‘Twice As Tall’

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Nigerian Grammy-nominated Damini Ogulu professionally known as ‘ Burna Boy’ has released a fresh album, titled “Twice As Tall, ” a follow-up to his 2019 album, “African Giant.”

The 15-track album released on Thursday, featured Senegalese artist, Youssou N’Dour, O.G, Chris Martin, U.K. rapper Stormzy, afro-pop band Sauti Sol among others.

According to Burna Boy,  the “Twice As Tall” album is “a journey through a bunch of emotions and energies at different points in time. It has now morphed into something bigger than me. It serves as a bridge for mankind to show that we’re all different but still very much the same.”

In a post on his Instagram page following the release of the new album, the artist commended  those who played significant roles  in the success of the project, saying he is grateful for the “unreal talents” that went into the production.

The post reads, “I’m grateful for the unreal talents that came together from ALL over the world to pull this off

“Shout out to the OG @diddy for coming on board and sprinkling his own unique spice on this! I hope I’m able to spark something in you when you listen.”

Burna’s new album was produced by Diddy, Bose Ogulu and the afro-pop fusion singer himself.

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