Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Memoir : 28 Years Ago

By Oloye Lekan Alabi

On Tuesday,19th January,1993,exactly 28 years ago today, I presented the above-named prize to the Management of the Federal Radio Corporation (FRCN),Ibadan,Oyo State of Nigeria,to keep alive the memory of the best-known Sakara music icon,Yusufu Olatunji,a.k.a ‘BABA L’EGBA’.

The presentation was to mark the 15th anniversary of the passage of the sakara doyen,who died on 15th December,1978.May his creative soul continue to rest in perfect peace.Amen.

Yusufu Olatunji,an older friend of my late father,Pa AbdulRahim Oladosu Alabi, alias ‘RIGHT TIME’,performed with his Sakara Group,at my naming ceremony in Ibadan,on Friday,3rd November,1950.

In my speech at the 19th January,1993 presentation,I said I was dedicating the “AKOGUN PRIZE FOR SAKARA MUSIC” to be won by listeners of FRCN’s popular weekly Yoruba programme,”EJO NGBORO”,produced by Mr Sola Lala, because”Baba l’Egba’s compositions are mature,sweet and captivating.

He and his talented group of professionals gave,and still give in their records, pleasure to their teeming fans all over the world.

“Baba l’Egba,was,without doubt,a gifted musician,accomplshed instrumentalist on the goje and molo,philosopher and natty.”

In that speech,I admonished contemporary musicians to borrow a leaf from Baba l’Egba, refrain from profane compositions, immorality, loose lifestyles and prodigality.

Seven years after my presentation,I,with the backing of Aremo Olusegun Osoba-led Ogun State Government,King Sunny Ade,MFR,then President of PMAN, late Baale Tajudin Yusufu-Olatunji, Baba l’Egba’s oldest child, established the YUSUFU OLATUNJI FOUNDATION,in 2000,of which I am the founding Chairman.

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