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TALENT is a Miserable Orphan | By Sayo Aluko

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This morning, I was in the bathroom with my friend, Mr. iTunes Music player, and as usual, he was on shuffle.

Funny guy. He has mastered the art of sifting through my over 2000 songs like a McCoy, going from a zero to a hundred in a blink.

I mean, nigaa goes 🎵Ijoooba orun, lere oniiigbagbo o🎵in one minute, putting you in celestial mood, and the next thing you’ll hear is, 🎵talo ka pata iya Teacher lo n’Ibadan, kapaichumarimarichupako, zanku, leg work, zanku, gbe bodi e 🎵.

Most times I’ll just smile and be like, “guy, guy…guy!!! how far na! Nawa for you o!”, and then just vibe on.

Back to this morning, I think I was in the middle of that eternally attendant tedium of scrubbing the back when he blazed in with the ranking single – Say You Believe Me – from the 2008 #PlanB reunion album by the Platanshun Boiz trio.

🎵 Baby believe me when I say, na you dey matter for my mind….Girl anytime I look into your eyes it’s like sapphire and diamond inside….The reason why I trip for you is that you truly truly under-under-understand me so so…And there’s many other reasons that makes me dòbálè for yoooou more and more…🎵

You should have seen how my soap-rigged self burst out moves, turned the sponge to a mic and sang along, after I had initially hailed my guy [I’m sure I’m not the only one who hails the Music Player in those moments when it comes through with one correct song].

“Washeere my niggaaa!”, I twale-d.

But as I vibed to this gem of a jam, I got re-struck with the legend of Augustine “Blackface” Ahmedu.

Re-struck because I mean, any and every knower of true sound must have been once or many times stricken by this guy’s apparent talent.

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Blackface was [is] easily the most talented of that trio. His voice was [is] the scarce type. He gave different. He wrote 80% of their songs. He sang, rapped, hooked. He had the swagger we loved to see. Oh! That his creamy voice.

Below is an excerpt from a 2016 article by Obinna Fred:

“all three members of the Plantashun Boiz, their managers, record label executives and even music industry insiders are still very much alive and can explain to you the numerous roles which Blackface played in not only naming the group, creating the “Face” personas and also writing a bulk of the music, [not just] anybody can do that…”

He was [is] the most talented, and this is neither an unpopular opinion nor is it an alternative fact [thank you Trump!]

But we all know the other story. At a point, Blackface was rumored to be somewhere on unhappy street, blowing last ashes off cigars of miserable, while staring at bottles of fermented anger. We all know this story.

He didn’t really make it. Especially when compared to Innocent ‘TuFace’ Idibia, the most successful act from that group.

[No, pause. This isn’t one of those look-at-your-mate, inspire-to-aspire-to-expire articles o!]

I put ‘Say You Believe Me’ on repeat, and as largely usual in most Plantashun Boiz’ songs, Blackface sang most part of it. Right there, I couldn’t just stop thinking about whatever it was that stymied the “blow” of Blackface’s talent.

After a while of thought, the only way my mind could explain this was via a sentence – TALENT IS AN ORPHAN – without the right people, talent is nothing.

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One could argue this stance for ages, but is quite clear that something wasn’t right about the kind of people who surrounded Blackface. How the hell did someone this talented didn’t get to that zenith where we’d have seen even more of him?

I had to accept that among many other reasons blinded to me, this fact of a lack of right people was top for me.

I wanted to blame the beast of piracy for Blackface’s mishap, but I realized it was a common denominator to most, if not all Nigerian recording artistes. Boom! I was back to the arithmetic of people.

What if he had his own Efe Omoregbe like TuFace does till date? What if he had his own Mama Burna as Burna Boy does, lifesavingly at that? I kept asking myself.

From Blackface’s striking legacy, I couldn’t but help acknowledge that Talent needs its parents – the right people – around it to survive the long haul.

The right people who will:
• curate the right influence around the talent
• bear the weight of the dream bore by the talent
• help find paths to survival for the talent
• become team, a beam, and not burden for the talent
• become family and like-minded advisers for the talent
• become comrades who can say NO to the talent’s vices and make it live.

Talent is not TALENT without [the right] People.
Talent is an ORPHAN without [the right] People.
Talent will end up LONELY without [the right] People.

One is forced to ask – What kind of people are teaming and teeming around one’s purpose, vision, and/or talent?

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I heard Blackface is back on his grind now though, and I had to go to his Twitter page to see those efforts – I wish him the best and can’t wait from whatever cooks from that kitchen.

To me, and as I said earlier, to a lot of people who legit sabi, Blackface will always be remembered as a pluripotent multi-genre artiste – who can rap, sing, create roots reggae music as well as dancehall, some sprinkle of Idoma tunes and sometimes gospel. I’ll remember him as a social activist who has always used conscious music as a weapon to speak for the vast majority of masses [we can’t forget the single with Alobai ‘Hard Life’ in a jiffy], and most importantly, a songwriter who penned arguably the greatest and biggest R&B song in Nigerian and African contemporary music history – African Queen.

PS: I have relieved my guy, ITunes Music Player, off its shuffle job today. It’s gonna be an all Blackface Naija weekend….

🎵…it’s a hard life wey dey live for Naija, ja ja ja…🎵

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How popular gospel singer, Dare Melody, band members narrowly escaped death

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Nigerian gospel singer, Damilare Odunuga, popularly known as Dare Melody and his band members have many blessings to count besides their achievements and fortune as they narrowly cheated death on Saturday.

Mega Icon Magazine reliably gathered that Dare Melody left Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital where he had successful outings at Celestial Church, Goshenland Parish and the New Seraph All White Concert.

The gospel artist explained, “the journey was smooth until around 4.15am when mh band’s vehicles were moving in convoy until they sighted the traffic at Mowe. As it became imperative, the vehicles’ normal speeds were reduced to barest minimum.

“At this point, I suddenly heard a loud, nasty noise, a 40 feet heavily loaded truck struggled with brake failure and hit my car from the rear.

“I’m simply bereft of words to explain how it happened, but it was in the wee hours of Saturday November 21, 2020.

“My band members and I left for Lagos from Ibadan where we just had successful outings at Celestial Church, Goshenland Parish and the New Seraph All White Concert”.

He narrated further, “ the situation left me unconscious, for sometime I never knew what happened and where I was. My car had been tumbled and squeezed.

“I later heard voices, particularly the ones shouting he’s our Chairman. That must be voices of my band members.

Still trapped in an obnoxious enclosure, Dare Melody added  that certain negative thoughts ran across his mind until rescue came from passersby who joined his band members to prise open one of the doors and pulled out the four of them in his car.

“It was like watching a movie with lots of stunts. We were all healthy, safe but this story is not sound.

“It was only one of the truck boys that fell off It, during the accident that got severely injured.

“Everyone at the scene blamed and even threatened to beat up the truck driver, claiming that truck drivers had caused deaths serially on that road, but for quick intervention of officers from Mowe Police station”.

Presently, the singer and music producer iis with grateful heart to God who spared his and others’ lives, especially during the dreaded “ember months.

Both his vehicle and the truck were taken to the Mowe Police station.

“Our plan was to get to Lagos early on that Saturday, settle at a relaxation apartment in Ilupeju before moving to Baptist Academy, Obanikoro where we later performed at a wedding ceremony.

“I give God the glory that I’m alive to tell this agonising tale. However, I passionately appeal to the government to quickly fix this road and ensure that its agencies thoroughly examine worthiness of vehicles on our roads. We have had enough of avoidable road accidents, our lives matter, please”, he submitted.

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PHOTOS: Ayefele gifts brand new cars to ace broadcasters in Ibadan

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Far-famed Nigerian gospel singer  and Chairman of Fresh 105.9 Ibadan, 106.9 Ado-Ekiti and 107.9 Abeokuta FM Radio Stations, Dr. Yinka Ayefele on Wednesday gave out two brand new cars to ace broadcasters, Komolafe Olaiya and Olalomi Amole in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

This was made known on the  official social media handles of Fresh 105.9 F.M

“Komolafe Olaiya and Olalomi Amole were today presented with car gifts by the Enigma, Dr. Yinka Ayefele”, the post read.

The cars which came in  different colours, as learnt, were reward for the duo’s hard work, dedication and commitment to the course of the radio station.

Over the years, the Nigerian music producer, Ayefele has been known for his generosity towards encouraging his staff regardless of their tribes.

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Lagos govt. grants pardon to Funke Akindele, husband over breach of COVID-19 regulations

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The Lagos state government on Friday granted pardon to actress, Funke Akindele, and her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, who had earlier  been convicted for an offence related to the disobedience of COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

The Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi, in a statement noted that the couple was granted pardon because they were non-custodial convicts.

The statement also revealed that 56 inmates from various correctional Centres were granted state pardon.

“A statement signed by the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, said Mr. Sanwo-Olu acted based on the recommendations of the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, under the powers conferred on the Governor by Section 212 (1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended,” the statement read in part.

“The 56 released inmates were recommended by the Advisory Council after due examination of their case files and consideration of the length of time served, the gravity of offence, old age and ill-health among other parameters.

“The Attorney General has also enjoined the beneficiaries to be good citizens and stay away from crime”.

It will  be recalled that eight-member Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, headed by Dr. Abayomi Finnih was inaugurated by Governor Sanwo-Olu in December 2019.

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