Home News Dende’s ‘Dullness’ Was Smarter Than Our ‘Smartness’ | Maroof Asudemade

Dende’s ‘Dullness’ Was Smarter Than Our ‘Smartness’ | Maroof Asudemade


During our teenage years at our family compound in Isale-jebu, we engaged in many exuberant excitements. A particular event always returns to my memory and it has reshaped my thinking to a reality that smartness may reside in unusual places.

As teenagers, around the ages of 12 and 15, we used to convoke a seasonal Wéré band during every Ramadan period when we would embark on itinerant entertainment to neighbouring compounds, singing Fuji-like songs. There were six of us: Boda Waidi Ekudúdú (lead drummer), Waidi Òkolà (lead singer), Morufu (supporting drummer), Wasiu Àgbà, Tírí and Kamoru (back up singers). As we moved along from one compound to another, singing and drumming, during sahur (before dawn meal) period, people would give us monies until we would return to our compound to eat meal in preparation for the day’s fast.

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After we had plied the seasonal musical activities for two years or thereabouts, we all came to a naive agreement to form a Fuji band. Yes, we decided to form a Fuji band, though we were still students. This was an era when Juju, Fuji and Awurebe musical bands attended parties and musical jumps in Coastal buses fitted with Carriers on top, carrying their musical instruments. Around Isale-jebu, Oja-Iba, Isale-osi and environs then, reigning Fuji artistes included Nureni Akande Bonanza, Sikiru Ayinde Majester, Mubashiru Adigun Adeeyo, Tunde Ayinla, Bola Bollington and others. Our role model then was Admiral Tunde Ayinla who had that popular Ibadan troublemaker, Isiaka Alado, as his backbone.

In order to make our dream of having a Fuji band a reality, the first equipment we decided to do was Carrier. Many of the popular musicians then who did not have musical instruments and Coaster buses had Carriers round which they inscribed the names of their bands in bold letterings. Déñdè lived with an old woman in our family compound. He was our agemate but he was almost an imbecile. He could not attend even a primary school because of his near imbecility. Déñdè was later apprenticed to a welder whose workshop was opposite our compound. We approached Déñdè to do the Carrier for us and he charged us 10Naira! We had already saved up 9.50k and we gave the money to Déñdè with the promise to balance up when he delivered. Then, the unending lies and excuses began.

For two years or more, Déñdè, an imbecile we all thought was a fool, was deceiving us, the six ‘wise’ boys, that he had built our Carrier but that he could not bring it out from the workshop because his master was always around and that it would spell doom for him if his master found out he was getting jobs. Déñdè later exhausted his lies and we found out that he didn’t construct any Carrier, so, we nicknamed him ‘Déñdè the 9.50kobo Welder’.

The reality that wisdom/smartness may reside in unusual places didn’t dawn on me until almost forty years after the event.

Let me add this that three men among us, Tírí, Waidi and Kamoru, all related to me by a blood of consanguinity, had returned to their Creator. May Allah overlook their shortcomings and grant them eternal bliss in their graves. May those of us still alive live longer and continue to behave better.

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