+Why I Don’t Tell People My Real Age
The social media was agog a few days ago with the news of the birthday of Alhaji Ayinla Kollington. It was a few media friends of his that dropped the hint. Alhaji Kollington himself didn’t announce it. City People visited him last Thursday at his Alagbado residence and he revealed why he does not celebrate birthdays or tell people his age. Below are excerpts.
It was your birthday a few days ago. Congratulations, how did you feel on that day?
I feel delighted and happy with everybody around me. We didn’t have a party. It was an open house. People came in and left. I could not have had a big party because of the Coronavirus. But beyond that, I normally don’t celebrate birthdays. It is not my style to celebrate birthdays. I have never celebrated my birthday. It was the radio people who gave my birthday publicity on Facebook and Instagram. I didn’t do any party. Those who came ate and had drinks. No music. We marked it in a very low key.
Why don’t you celebrate your birthdays?
I have never celebrated my birthday. And I have never declared my age to anybody before. And I will never tell anybody my age. They will only be guessing. My prayer is for God to let us all live long.
When you were small, did you use to celebrate your birthday?
No. I have never celebrated it. I only go to play for people who celebrate birthdays (laughs).
Is it a family tradition or you have been warned before, when you were small not to celebrate your birthday?
There was no warning. There is nothing like that. I just decided not to because I don’t cherish the idea. I only celebrate when my child is doing wedding and I decide to do it for them. I don’t do parties, I don’t do birthdays. I don’t celebrate birthdays. The only time I had a big party was when my mum died, and we had a big party. Many people came to the burial. Since then, nothing else has happened.
It seems by nature you don’t like parties or noise yet you are into a business that has a lot to do with noise. How do you cope?
Yes, you are right. That is just it. I don’t like noise at all, at all. I don’t know how I cope. I am only doing a job that entails noise and publicity. Its God that blesses people. Whatever God says is your destiny you can’t change it. I am not the noisy type.
Do you listen to your old songs?
Yes I do. In my car, I do play my old tunes. I don’t like noise.
How did you feel when you heard about Coronavirus lockdown in March?
(Laughs) I was afraid especially when big, big people began to die. God has seen us through Coro. Coro is gone forever. We have a lot to thank God for that it didn’t spread beyond how it spread in Africa and even Nigeria. Haa! We have seen a lot. We have heard a lot. But Alhamudillai. We give all thanks to God.
I have seen a lot since 1984/85 up till now. Only those close to me know.
What has been your staying power?
God. Nothing else. It is God. God is my backbone. I have gone through a lot ooo. I have seen a lot ooo. (Breaks into a song). My philosophy is don’t be wicked. Don’t do anything wicked to people. Don’t be wicked to the next person. Once you are not wicked the rest is simple. What goes around, comes around.
What have you been up to since January 2020?
I had only gone to one show before Coronavirus came in. It was the day the lockdown began that I went for the show at Gowon Estate. It was a wedding. Since then, I have been in my house here at Alagbado. The government should please support us. All we have is God and the government for support.
We the Yorubas should rally round ourselves. We are not like other tribes. We are wicked. We don’t love ourselves. The North is united. The Igbos help themselves. But we Yoruba are terrible people.
Since when our late father of blessed memory, Chief Hubert Ogunde sang Yoruba Ronu, our leaders have not changed. They are not sincere. We are treacherous. We are bad people. And it has affected us seriously. Look at how we sacrificed Abiola. Where is Abiola today?