Ajala The Traveler
Luck rules our lives and what the future holds for us is certainly unknown to anyone, the best prayer we all should always have on our lips is that “May our future be better than our past”. Like the Yoruba’s would say -”Alejo l’owo”- meaning Money is a stranger, if you are chanced to have it, take good care of it like a lady fresh from puberty which means “Spend it wisely” because you don’t know what tomorrow holds.
Moshood Adisa Olabisi Ajala, popularly known as Ajala the traveller in his hey days, wanted to capture the world but was eventually consumed by his passion.I know many must have been hearing the name “Ajala The Traveller” but you do not know who and how he got the name. Chill while i take you through the life of this great man who was one of those that put Nigeria on World map.
Ajala The Traveler was born in 1934 in Ghana, into a Nigerian Polygamous home, of 30 Children and four wives. He was the 25th child of his father. They relocated back to Nigeria, when Olabisi was an infant and he had his secondary education, at the Baptist Academy, Lagos and the Ibadan, Boys High School, Ibadan.
At the age of 18, Olabisi proceeded to the United States of America, to further his education. In those days travelling abroad was easy. It was either USA or the United Kingdom. He was admitted into the university of Chicago as a pre-medical student whose dream was to become a medical doctor and return to medical practice in Nigeria cum to open people’s eyes to the fact that traditional medical practice is fetish as he detests the practice.
Not long after he got to the states, he seems to be interested in something else which seems to be bigger than Medicine to him, to become a traveller and perhaps, travel around the world. He abandoned medicine, for a street life. In 1952, he became an instant star, when he went on a lecture tour across the United States of America, with his bicycle and stunning Yoruba Agbada outfit, with a matching cap to fit.
He travelled from Chicago and covered about 2, 280 miles in 28 days, ending in Los- Angeles. The success of this trip, encouraged him to explore the world further and he became a self-appointed Nigeria’s cultural ambassador, to showcase Nigeria and educate Americans about the prospects in Nigeria and that Africans, then the whites thought Africans walk about naked or covered in leaves and loin clothes.
Ajala visited about 87 countries, with a Scooter Vespa motorcycle in six years. He visited countries such as Israel, India, Australia, Iran, Russia, Ghana, Cyprus, Egypt and so on, where he met some of the greatest leaders in the world, such as Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Niki Khrushchev of the USSR, Mohammed Ressa Shah Pahlavi of Iran. He had movie relationship with Ronald Reagan who later became president of America and visited Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the then Prime Minister of Nigeria and many more eminent people across the globe.
Ajala’s endeavour, exposed him to the world of movies. He featured in the movie- “White Witch Doctor”, produced by the 20th century fox motion picture with a bumper payment of 300 Dollars per week. He played the role of “Ola”- a companion of “Loni”, a famous African hunter, played by Roberts Mitshun. In 1955, he signed a movie contract with the Eagle Lion’s studio of Hollywood. He had several television appearances in impeccable African traditional attires. He was attractive, handsome and charismatic and he became an instant attraction, to so many women. His marital exploits, features different women across the globe.
The year 1953 was like a festering sore for Olabisi Ajala. He was arrested on the charges of forgery, grand theft and worthless cheque by the police. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, but rather claimed he was also duped by an ex banker- Arnold Weigner. The court sentenced Ajala to one-year jail term and immediate deportation after service of sentence. The sentence was aggravated for the fact that Ajala had abandoned his studies at the Santa Monica Junior College and the student Visa had been invalidated for lack of regular school attendance. Olabisi Ajala refused deportation and protested to the immigration authorities in the United States and that he would be killed by his father, if he was deported back to Nigeria on the grounds of tribal execution.
To make good his protest against this deportation order, he climbed an 80- Foot radio tower, where he screamed that he would jump rather to death than being deported. He protested on the tower for about 24 hours, turning deaf ears to the pleas of the immigration Authority and passers-by. He eventually caved in to the pleas, by scaling down from the high tower and jumping down from the heights of about 15 Feet. He was lucky to have sustained a sprained back. After the tower episode, he embarked on a strike, which he termed a 30-day Ramadan fasting, that he had to observe, as a devoted Muslim. Despite all these protests and desperate efforts to stay in America, Ajala was flown to London, instead of Nigeria. He had earlier wished to be flown to Canada, but the Canadian immigration, did not approve his application.
Ajala The Traveler in his mid-life, was an advertising and entertainment guru. He was a very notable publicist. He promoted the music of many Nigerian musicians, including Chief Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, with whom he later had a brawl where he sued Barrister to court. Ajala, as Ayinde’s music promoter, had helped Barrister to organise Media promotion and also played major roles in securing shows for Barrister. Ayinde Barrister, felt that Ajala was too exploitative, unbending on his numerous demands and bills. Ayinde Barrister, felt the only way he could extricate himself from Ajala’s numerous demands, was to wax an album, where he called Ajala fine bara (beggar).
Ajala The Traveler felt highly embarrassed, insulted and defamed by the “fine bara” album and also saw it as a huge damage to his integrity. Fine Bara, suddenly became his nickname. The innuendo was striking and direct. Ajala had to go to court to sue Barrister for defamation. Chief MKO Abiola, Chief Ebenezer Obey, Alhaji Buari Oloto and M. Ola Kassim, had to intervene, to mitigate the crises from further degeneration and an armistice was signed between the warring parties, as a cessation of hostility.
Ajala The Traveler, following this spirit of settlement, filed a notice of discontinuance in court and he withdrew his suit. Sooner thereafter, Ajala’s influence, popularity and fame began to wane. Olabisi Ajala could no longer sustain the life of opulence, showmanship and glamour. He had no building he could call his own and he had to relocate to a rented apartment in a two-storey building on Adeniran Street, Bariga, Lagos. To get to Ajala’s dingy apartment, you need to climb two stairs of the top floor and you would be confronted with the way life had treated this globe trotter.
Ajala suffered an irredeemable stroke. It was a yearlong sickness in pain, agony and melancholy. Alhaja Sade, who then lived in Ikotun, a suburb of Lagos and his numerous children scattered across the globe, could not save the situation, except Olaolu, who was then a teenager, then in Baptist Academy, Bariga, Lagos and Bolanle, who was also in secondary school tendered him. Ajala could not take adequate care of himself, because he had no money and the stroke became terribly worst and devastating until he breathed his last. The lesson learnt is that when fortune and opportunities smile on you, they must be held with a hand of steel and never allowed to slip off. Ajala perhaps, returned the smile with an unwelcoming and uncaring mien, and thus, a life that ended tragically on the 2nd of February, 1999, at the general hospital Ikeja Lagos, as a result of paralysis from stroke at the age of 65 years.
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Gbenga Adeboye: 5 things to remember about late legendary comedian
Gbenga Adeboye, late comedian and broadcaster popularly known as ‘Mr Funwontan’, hit stardom before comedy became a big industry.
The ace broadcaster and master of ceremony, died on April 30, 2003, after losing the battle to a kidney-related ailment.
Here are five things we remember about the multi-talented comedian.
HIS NUMEROUS NAMES
At birth, he was known as Elijah Oluwagbemiga Adeboye, but as at the time of his death, it became difficult to keep track of his names.
The names were as a result of his exploits in humour and music.
Some of the names are Funwontan, Alhaji Pastor Oluwo, Abefe, Jengbetiele, Itu baba Ita, Alaye mi Gbengulo.
MAN OF MANY TALENTS
Before his death, he was a versatile entertainer. An orator, comedian, master of ceremony, broadcaster and songwriter.
His programmme on Lagos State Broadcasting Corporation gave him the pseudo-name Funwontan.
Some of his songs did not go the usual ‘words and melody’ way, as he carved his own style of singing.
MENTOR TO MANY TALENTS
During his lifetime and at his death, he was described as a generous and carefree person.
Alaye mi Gbengulo, as he was called by fans, was a mentor to many. Some of those who hold him in high esteem are: Abbey Fagboro, Ereke ni Soobu, Bashiru Adisa better known as Baba Gboin.
Fathia Balogun, Nollywood actress hit limelight when she featured as a dancer in one of his music videos.
In her album titled ‘Omo Majemu’ translated as ‘Convenant Child’, Seun Adeboye, his sister, narrated how he lived before he hit limelight and how Wednesday was special in his life.
According to her, Gbenga Adeboye was born on Wednesday, September 30, 1959; began his education on Wednesday, had his first trip to America on Wednesday, and his first radio programme on a Wednesday.
He died on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 and was buried on Wednesday, May 14, 2003.
EXPLOITS WITH DEATH
Tales of his exploits with death, which he narrated in one of his albums sparked controversies. According to him, he died and had an encounter with God.
Adeboye claimed to have been sent back to the earth by God to complete his unfinished business and was instructed to be buried with his Bible and hymn book.
Gbenga Adeboye: 6 facts about late legendary comedian
Gbenga Adeboye: 6 facts about late legendary comedian
Sometimes, when an all important person dies in the society, a part of that person remains here never to be forgotten. For some people, it is their wealth that lingers on. For others, it is their works and achievement. For someone like Gbenga ‘Funwotan’ Adeboye, it was his laughter, his happiness, the very core of his profession, that he left behind.
Needless to say, when Gbenga Adeboye was alive, his happiness was everyone’s happiness. He made big problems into teeny-weeny jokes so that when these little jokes are laughed over, these challenges and mountain-like distresses disappear all together.
Gbenga Adeboye died in 2003, at the age of 44, and since then, the entertainment industry in Nigeria has been echoing with the sound of his laughter and the rhythm of his care free, happy attitude.
Enough poetry. There is no doubt that many Nigerians are well acquainted with Gbenga Adeboye, the famous master of oduology and humour merchant that was at the forefront of comedy and entertainment in his days.
1. His birth and career
Gbenga Adeboye was born on September 30, 1959, at Ode Omu, Gbongan, Osun state. Nigeria. Although very little is known about his childhood, it is known that the late Gbenga started working as a freelance radio presenter for Radio Lagos where he started a very popular programme which was solely meant for Yoruba audience.
The name of the programme which started in 1981 was Funwontan. Later on, clips from the improvised and mostly impromptu shows were cut out and put in nine albums. Some of them include Orisunkunnu 1 and 2, Ph. D Beetle, Funwontan 1 & 2, Oro lati ori ite mimo 1 & 2, Versatility, Aiyetoro, Controversy, Supremacy and Ijinle.
2. Jack of all trades, master of all
Gbenga Adeboye was, during his lifetime, a man of many talents. His craft covered nearly every aspect of the entertainment industry and he excelled in all of them. He was a comedian (he pioneered stand-up comedy) who could make people’s eyes water with his jokes. He was a musician whose songs of ‘unusual genres’ contained in depth lyrics and melody that caused several people to genuflect.
Even more, Gbenga was an activist, orator, prophet, mimic, humorist, entertainer and master of ceremony. It was quite impressive how he was able to use his talent so well within a short time. Better still, through his words, jokes and actions, Gbenga addressed societal and political ills within the society.
3. Man with ‘a name of many colours’
Although Gbenga was christened Elijah Oluwagbemiga Adeboye, nobody exactly identified him by this one name. After his show hit limelight, the humour merchant began to be endued with so many names, too numerous to count. It was as if for every gig or show he did, he got a new name.
Some of the popular names he was identified by include Funwontan, Alhaji Pastor Oluwo, Abefe, Jengbetiele, Itu baba Ita, Alaye mi Gbengulo, One Man Battalion, Jengbentiele, Apagunpote 1, Abefe, Olayinka, Omo Baba Overseer, Awo itu, Baba Ita, Awo Baba Laisi Abesupinle.
About the last name – Laisi Abesupinle – Gbenga often used it a lot on air. He would dye his hair into white, mimic the voice of an old, age-stricken man, and then, attack the ills of the public (youths and adults) head on. That was quite something, right?
4. Godfather in the Entertainment Industry
Apart from his many achievements, Gbenga Adeboye also impacted the lives of many entertainers. He was not a lone ranger, rather, he embraced many people and made them as great as he was. For one, it is impossible to mention the person of Yinka Ayefele without talking about Adeboye.
Also, the likes of Abbey Fagboro, Ereke ni Soobu, Bashiru Adisa better known as Baba Gboin reverence Alaye Mi Gbengulo for the role he played in their career. Even more, Nollywood actress Fathia Balogun came to the spotlight only after she featured as a dancer in one of his music videos.
5. His Miraculous resurrection and death
Before Gbenga finally died on April 30, 2003, he made certain controversial statements in a recorded tape. He said that God had called him to glory at a point in his life. According to him, the purpose of his death at that time was to be shown several mysterious things by the Divine.
Gbenga claimed that he was later sent back to earth by God because he had to complete an unfinished assignment. As if he knew about his imminent death, the entertainer requested that he be buried with the Bible and a hymn book.
6. ‘Omo Majemu’ (Covenant Child)
Seun Adeboye, sister to the late singer, once dedicated a song to her brother. The song which was titled Omo Majemu set out to narrate the life journey of the master of oduology. To surmise the album, Seun asserted that Gbenga was a covenant child.
Her reason for this was that Gbenga, in a strange twist, practically was a Wednesday man alone. He was born on Wednesday, September 30, 1959; began his education on Wednesday, had his first trip to America on Wednesday, and his first radio programme on a Wednesday. He died on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 and was buried on Wednesday, May 14, 2003.
Holu Michael – a man with the luxury of talents
Holu Michael, a man with the luxury of talents
Michael Olusegun Akinwande with the stage name “Holu Michael” is a multi talented entertainer and minister who derives his inspiration from God.
The spontaneity and naturalness of his talents cannot be overemphasized, this is evident in the love, acceptance and accolades he gets from his fans and well-wishers.
Asides choosing singing and reading as hobbies, he is a lover of Sports and adventures. Of course, all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy. He out of no time creates time for other hobbies and to unwind.
When being asked about the challenges he faced while trying to discover his talent and putting his talents into display, he responded that his challenges are personal, which has helped his judgement about life and serves as pruning dose.
The challenges of life are never beyond solving for God.
Additionally,in the nearest future, Holu Michael expects to be financially free, to be a positive influence to others, be a good leader and a top notch presenter / Master compairé
His prowess and versatility cuts across acting, singing, comedy and event anchoring. One would wonder how one single person could be this multitalented, if not divine.
According to him, the realization that he could act and sing could be traced back to 1995 when he was in secondary school with the help of Mr. kola Oladejo, his English teacher while event anchoring, comedy and being a presenter was discovered with the help of his friends in the University with encouragement and guidance from Mr. Fatai Dan Wahab (OSRC), Kay Babalola (TRECOM), Pst. Biyi Daniels (RCCG).His first major appearance was on 14th February, 2002, where he showcased himself at a church program (Kings Youth Valentine Program). Subsequently, he metamorphosed to Guild of Orators to seek for more training.
Holu Michael who has been into entertainment & Music Ministry for about three decades explained that he has the ambition of working with the likes of Dunsin Oyekan, OMG, Mike Abdul, Kenny Blaq, Thetimo and Lagbaja in the nearest future.
Born on the 15th of July, Mr Holu Micheal is happily married with children and has never had any glitch juxtaposing his career with family affairs. He concluded by emphasizing that his talents are from God cipf-es.org and he has left no stone unturned in getting developed personally.
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