Within a period of 51 years, I have either reported, danced, or have one thing or the other to do with world-renowned juju music icon, Chief Commander, Professor(Evangelist) Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi, MFR and his fast-rising juju musician-son, Tolu.
I first danced(live) before Obey’s former International Brothers Band, sometime in 1970, at the Oyenuga’s party for their matriarch at Isalegangan, Lagos Island. I was a guest of Kola Oyenuga and Deji Wellington.
Pa Oyenuga and his bosom friend, Pa Daniel Oreyomi Adesina Oriade Wellington, were among the early pillars of Obey, when he broke away, in the early 1960s from his leader, the late Fatai Olagunju, alias “Fatai Rolling Dollar”, to form his International Brothers Band.
And a year after, at the 1971 Havana Night of the University of Ibadan Sigma Club.
Today, Monday,9th August 2021, Tolu kindly offered to deliver a copy of my biography, “OLOYE ‘LEKAN ALABI…..AN UNBELIEVABLE LIFE”, authored by Professor O.B.C Nwolise, a former Head of the Political Science Department of the University of Ibadan, to his dad, Baba Obey. The biography was presented to the world on 27th October, last year, when I became a septuagenarian.
My family, however, halted the birthday celebrations, out of sympathy for those Nigerians killed, or maimed, during the violent “end-Sars” protests in October 2020, particularly on 22nd October, five days to my birthday. Baba Obey was among the 17 artistes already lined up to play at my party.
And talking about birthday celebrations,I wrote a fitting tribute, “OBEY THE ALI IN YOU”, which was published in the Comet on Sunday newspaper issue of 21st April 2002, when the greatest boxer in history, the mercurial Muhammad Ali, my boxing hero, and Obey both clocked 60 that year. Ali on 17th January 2002 and Obey on 3rd April 2002.
Like father, like son, amiable Tolu, who is also versatile on the guitar and deep in philosophical compositions, is creative, humble, respectful and resourceful. Tolu celebrated his birthday last month. I won’t disclose who the Vice-Chairman is of Tolu’s band.
I chaired the 70th Birthday/Biography Launch/Idogo Town Hall Donation Planning Committee of Baba Obey in 2012, and the KSA 2012 FESTIVAL PLANNING COMMITTEE respectively.