He’s Now Born Again!
Are you one of those who have been wondering why not much has been heard about the Baba of Jazz music in Nigeria, Tunde Kuboye? If you are, we can tell you why.
For quite some time now, many people have been wondering what has happened to this ruggedly handsome owner of Jazz 38, a popular Jazz Club in Lagos. For whose who don’t know him, let’s tell you a bit about him. Until his wife, Frances Kuboye died 20 years ago, Tunde Kuboye, was one of the big names in Entertainment in Lagos, especially when it came to promoting Jazz. Then, he and his wife ran Jazz 38 located on Awolowo road, Ikoyi, Lagos. They later relocated the club to a permanent site at Lekki Phase 1. But then his wife passed on 20 years ago.
But over the last 20 years, a lot has happened to Tunde Kuboye. He turned 70 last year. He has become a grandpa. And he has become a born-again Christian. He actually runs a church at his Lekki location.
Last year, Tunde Kuboye revealed to City People that though he had stopped playing and performing Jazz music full time, he still remains a big fan of Jazz and would continue to support Jazz for as long as he remained alive. “Someone came up to me and asked me to play or perform something tonight but I decide to come on stage to reveal why I don’t play or perform anymore.
The veteran who turned 70 last year has aged gracefully. He is now a born again Christian and runs a church. He recounted his encounter with God at this Jam Session held that evening last year which he attended and gave his reason for dropping the instruments and following Christ.
He said, “The Lord as always called on me, but I refused to listen to his voice. You know, in Jazz, the ear is the most vital part of the body. For you to be a very good musician you have to learn to Listen. And there are 3 very important things you have to be able to hear: Yourself: The Audience and God. I refused to listen to God. He called out for me but I didn’t recognize his voice then. But thank God I later did”.
The veteran musician spoke carefully and slowly as he revealled a very vital part of his life, a moment he remembers vividly over the years and still thank God for. He said, “A long time ago, just before I stopped playing Jazz, we had this very big gig in Abuja, all paid for. And the pay was very big. But then, before then, the Lord had told me not to go for the show but I refused. We gathered the band and our instruments and did hit the road. Just before we got to Abuja, we had a very bad accident. 4 times the car rolled off the road. It was a sign from God but I didn’t harken to his voice. Nobody died. We thank God. We might have had some scratches here and there but you know the amazing thing? We gathered our broken instruments, taped them and still went ahead to perform the show like that. After that show, I decided to listen to the voice of the Lord and follow him. I stopped playing Jazz almost immediately after that”.
Tunde Kuboye also made a shocking revelation. He made it known that before he became born again, his Jazz career as a musician always kept him busy and he never had the chance to visit a church for worship for over 40 years as he was always on tour of different countries around the world. When asked if he regretted any of his moment as a Jazz legend of the 70s, he said “No, I don’t but I wish I had listened to the Voice of the Lord earlier”. The veteran musician also revealed that they had acquired a multi-million-naira land in Lekki where they still carried out their Jazz activities only that this time, it was used as a means to praise God. “The Jazz 38 Lekki now has a weekly program every Friday from 4pm till 8pm tagged ‘Praise The Lord – Live Music’ at the Jazz 38 Community Centre in Lekki Phase 1 where the Jazz 38 Extended Family Members, Musicians, Dancers, Gospel Artistes, Instrumentalists, Acapela Groups, Worshippers, Poets and many more come together to praise the Lord, via any means Jazz possible” he said.
This was his way of keeping the Jazz culture alive in the country after his legacy.
A lot has happened since he lost his wife. Tunde Kuboye has been mellowed by age. All his kids live in the US. They are Oluwatamilore, Babatunmida and Aagbaraoluwa kii baati.
His son, Babatunmida who currently lives abroad is in town. He is an Engineer by training. He is into Telecoms. He is a father of 2 kids.