•The Gospel Juju Star SpeaksOn How He Coped With COVID-19 Lockdown
•Says: Please, Let OWAMBE Come Back Oooo!
Yinka Ayefele, the popular gospel musician-cum-On Air Personality, is one artist that is highly respected. He began his music career in 1997, after surviving a motor accident that affected his spinal cord, but has never allowed it to way him down, he believes so much in hard work and dedication, and this explains why he is one of the most successful musicians in the industry, running three radio stations and remain one of the most sought after in the industry.
In this City People TV Instagram Live Chat with City People, Publisher SEYE KEHINDE, he talked about how he has coped with COVID-19 Lockdown transition from broadcasting to the music industry, how he runs his radio stations and why he feel fulfilled so fulfilled in life. Below are the excerpts.
How has it been for you in the last months?
It’s been so tight, we have not been able to go for shows, everywhere is lockdown, the band boys rolling in hunger. It’s been tough.
What are the lessons you have learnt?
I have learnt that it’s necessary for replanning, repackaging yourself and looking for something else to do, getting read to do something else apart from music, that I am sure to diversifying to something else apart from music.
Considering the fact that you have several other businesses you are doing, did it still affect you?
Yes, I have radio stations, hotel and we have people that patronise the radio stations, which has been lockdown especially the churches who run different programmes on the stations.
The hotel business is not moving as well as everybody is with their wives at home. People have not been visiting hotels, so things have not been easy at all. As a musician I have not been able to go to shows, no adverts for the radio station, everything has been extremely tough, I am even considering going into farming.
Have you ever had this type of experience in your music career, where things are so dry and tough?
No, I have never experienced things like this in my entire music career, I would say there have not been any weekend I did not go for shows, but in the last 3 months, it’s been difficult, aside the monetary aspect, I enjoy being on the stage, entertaining my fans, seeing my fans listening to my music, it’s really fulfilling for me, so to me, the last few months has been like being in detention for me.
Can you tell us about the lessons you have learnt so far?
Like I said earlier, everybody should learn to replan our lives, reset our lives generally. We have to think of alternatives if we are in a situation like this. What are the alternative steps for us to take that is the greatest lesson for everybody?
In terms of music, have you been able to come up with something new, you intend releasing soon?
During the lockdown I have been busy trying to put somethings together, I have even discovered touches to the pattern of my music these days. I have started preparing for my December release already and it is going to be great. I have more time to work on composition and arrangement this time around that is what I have been doing for the past 3 months.
What do you think would happen to parties considering what is on ground now?
Laughs!! Ahh, please help us beg them ooo, Owanbe must come back, Owanbe is part of our culture and it has to come back, I am talking about weddings, funerals and other parties. So we can’t wait to go back to our normal life the aso-ebi and Owambe parties. We can make a way of putting a lot of things in place to make sure everybody is safe. Though it might be a bit difficult for women with all their makeup, because they would want to flaunt their beautiful faces, so putting on mask on such might be a bit difficult, but for men, we are ready for it, so with putting all these in place we can still have our parties without stress, government can even suggest having our parties in an open field where we can maintain the social distancing thing, let us use field and open places for parties and if we need to use halls, there should be preventive measures put in place, if we can work on all these things, it would be better for everybody.
What are the things to be done that can create an enabling environment for everybody in your own opinion?
Yes, in my own opinion, I think the government should release churches, since markets are opened. People in the market are far more than people in the church. Also anyone going to church or parties will definitely freshing up and put on new clothes compared to the market, where people stay for us under the hot sum sweating, the time spent in the church is just 2 to 3 hours while people stay longer under the sun in the markets for hours. It is even better to release the churches, so people can pray and ask God to intervene in our present condition.
When you just heard of Covid-19, how did you feel?
I never knew it would take this long, so I thought it was a joke, I didn’t even believe that the pandemic was this dangerous, later I realised it was not a joke.
Where is Yinka Ayefele from?
He is from Ipoti, Ekiti State.
How did you get to Ibadan?
I got to Ibadan in 1984, after WAEC, I went to join my brother, that eventually brought me to Ibadan and that was in 1984 then I started looking for job before I went to OSCAS, Ondo State (Ondo State College of Sciences) to study Political Science, later I came back to Ibadan again to join FRCN Ibadan as a broadcaster, I started as their yearly father Christmas, but later I had the opportunity to go to the studio to present live programme, that was how my broadcasting career started, then later I got into my music career.
Tell us about your transition from broadcasting to music?
I have always been a musician, even before I joined broadcasting when I was in Ipoti, I was a member of a church choir, I play different instruments such as trumpet and all that I was a member of boys bridge, I even played trumpet for them, when I got to Ibadan, I joined the Juju musician group with Uncle Toyin of Magbe Magbe, I use to play tenor, from there I joined broadcasting, the music in my manifested with FRCN and with the help of Kolawole Olawuyi who knew I can produce songs, I started producing musical jingles for the station for his programme and that was how I started my music career little by little, so when I had an accident I just put some songs together to raise funds I never knew it will turn out to become what it is today, I just did it to raise funds, eventually, it turned out big and I give God Almighty all the glory, so that was how I moved from broadcasting to my music career.
If you look back, how does it make you feel, what have you achieved in your music career?
I have been able to achieve my radio station with my music career. The money I made from music is what I invested in my broadcasting career, especially my radio stations.
How do you manage 3 radio stations?
I have good hands, I have colleagues that are very good. Take for example in Abeokuta, I put Samson Akindele is the GM, I don’t have any problem. Also in Ado-Ekiti, I have good hands, also in Ibadan. So, I only supervise whenever I feel like, I still present programs though. So whenever I feel like visiting any of the stations, I do. God has been so faithful. Then there is this program I do on Tuesday, I do with one of my staff Niyi Obi, it is called “Let’s Talk About It”, also every Monday in Abeokuta and Tuesdays in Ibadan. One good thing about is that I have Abeokuta studio in Ibadan, Ado-Ekiti in Ibadan, we transmit from Ibadan, so virtually all my programme is transmitted from Ibadan, so it makes it easier for me.
Do you feel fulfilled?
Honestly, I feel fulfilled and I thank God, I have this opportunity, though it is not by my power, but by the grace of God. So I am really fulfilled, what else am I looking for again.
Do you have any message for your fans?
I want to really appreciate my fans without them, there is no Yinka Ayefele and I thank God, that I have them and whenever I see them, they encourage me to go on, and each time, I see them dancing to my songs and appreciating me and responding to things I do. It makes me feel alive, despite my pains, so I will forever be grateful to God and my fans for supporting Yinka Ayefele.
Do you have any regrets?
Well, I have put that behind me, I don’t have any regrets because the grace I have on me is more than any regrets, so I don’t want to think about any regret again. I have forgotten about the past and focusing on the future don’t forget to join me Sunday on all my social media platform for “Tungba Live”.