Home Entertainment Examining Festus Adedayo’s Intellectual Interrogation Of Ayinla Omowura’s Miscreancy-Celebrity Journey | Maroof...

Examining Festus Adedayo’s Intellectual Interrogation Of Ayinla Omowura’s Miscreancy-Celebrity Journey | Maroof Asudemade


In a matter of days, a biography on Waidi Ayinla Omowura, Eegunmogaji, adequately written by Festus Adedayo, PhD., shall be unveiled to the public. No one ever envisaged that a time like now would come when Apala genre of music as sung, especially by one of the most maverick vernacular musicians in Nigeria, Ayinla Omowura, would become a subject of scholarship and intellectual interrogation.

Biographies are usually a solicited or commissioned type of specialised writings. But in the case of the brand new effort on Ayinla Omowura by the diehard columnist and public critic, Festus Adedayo, he took it upon himself to chronicle the life and times of the maverick musician. For the first time, arguably, the public should be ready to read and savour a biography written without any consideration of censorship and sentiments of subjectivity.

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Waidi Ayinla Omowura had uncommon virtuosity in his brand of Apala genre of music. He was a darling of the commercial drivers, the butchers, the artisans, hooligans and other lovers of Apala music in Nigeria and the west coast of Africa. There were two famous kingpins of Apala music around then. One was Haruna Ishola. Coming on Baba n Gani Agba’s heel was Ayinla Omowura. Though Ayinla Omowura did not struggle to take control of the wheel of Apala music kingship from Haruna Ishola, Ayinla Omowura was in a class of his own. He was a glaring contrast to the older Haruna’s cool, slow and measured cadence in the delivery of his Apala genre. Ayinla Omowura’s musical cadence was fast and furious. He had a caustic tongue that only the Ibadan people are notorious for. Ayinla’s Apala was fast, feverish and frenetic. His Apala genre was steeped in deep Yoruba philosophies, touching on subjects of marriage, friendship, social interactions, respect, obedience to natural order of things, to mention a few.

Waidi Ayinla Omowura was a social miscreant, living a reckless life without direction until a drummer who had a musical band sought him out. Even when Ayinla attained musical success with EMI, selling over fifty thousand copies of his albums in a day, his vileness did not desert him as he continued to revel in his reckless life unabashedly. Yet, he was a man of vice, using his musical virtuosity to preach virtuousness. Nagging and disobedient housewives did not escape Ayinla’s razor-like tongue. In actual fact, husbands who loved Ayinla’s brand of Apala genre played his albums to whip their nagging wives with Ayinla’s sharp tongue into submission. Body bleachers were not spared either by Ayinla as he scolded them for wanting to be yellower than the Asians or whiter than the Europeans while he advised women bleachers to at least bear two children before they would bleach as bleached skin could hinder baby delivery. Ayinla sang on arrogance, adultery and other immoral acts.

This writer wasn’t a fan of Apala and Ayinla’s brand, especially. But as a student of scholarship, the recent incursions into indigenous music like Fuji, Apala and Juju by some modern-day scholars, intellectuals, journalists and art enthusiasts have awakened the writer’s interest in these vernacular musical genres. This writer used to think that Ayinla Omowura’s brand of Apala music attracted only the hooligans, the commercial drivers, the butchers and other local ‘alatikas’, flying their signature local cap, bent towards their forehead. This writer was, however, astounded to realise that Ayinla’s Apala was not exclusive to the ‘alatikas’, the educated elite also found soothing pleasure and had avid interest in Ayinla’s music as shown by Festus Adedayo’s perfect understanding of Ayinla Omowura’s songs and lyrics.

By writing about the life and times of Ayinla Omowura, Festus Adedayo has not only written to sensitize people, especially youths, on how to manage success, whichever path they took to achieve it, he has also embarked on the rejuvenation of cultural values and virtues known only to the Yoruba. What is equally apparent in this soon-to-be-unveiled effort by Festus Adedayo is that the Yoruba culture, tradition and philosophies, especially the proverbial use of Yoruba language, already headed for extinction are being brought back to life.

Festus Adedayo, PhD. is not alone in these reawakening adventures. Professor Saheed Aderinto, a professor of History in an American University, is currently traversing the south west, visiting actors and participants in Fuji genre and conducting research on Fuji. A wiz-adult in journalism, versatile and cerebral Oladeinde Olawoyin of The Premium Times, has a dedicated column for vernacular musicians and their genres of music.

There is one important lesson to learn in these intellectuals’ newfound sojourn into local art and music, and it’s that whatever pastime one indulges in at childhood may become a source of career pursuits in future. Festus Adedayo, Saheed Aderinto and Oladeinde Olawoyin did not begin to listen to Apala and Fuji when they’re already adults. They made a pastime out of the entertainment while they focused on their academic studies, even as teenagers. Today, Festus Adedayo, as well as others, is using his avid knowledge of local songs and entertainment to resuscitate the moribund cultural values and virtues peculiar to the Yoruba and placing Yoruba art and music on the world map again.

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