Celebrating Adewole Onilu-Ola At 90

Celebrating Adewole Onilu-Ola At 90

 At ninety, his voice, loud and clear, in a telephone chat, Octogenarian talking drummer, Alhaji Rahmon Alao Adewole, famously called ‘Onilu-Ola’ said, “I cannot recollect the exact date, but I was born in 1927, but I don’t have money to hold an elaborate feast”. However, Kayode Aponmade in this piece, chronicles the life of the legend and acclaimed most detailed talking drummer as he recently turns 90.

 Born in Imala, Ogun State, Alhaji Rahmon Alao Adewole, the lead talking drummer of the late Apala music sage, Ayinla Omowura once narrated how the band was formed.

 Legendary Adewole disclosed that he invited the popular singer, Omowura to become the lead singer for the group.

He said it was while beating drums at public events across Abeokuta that some of his fans suggested to him to look for a musician with good voice to complement his efforts.

 “I was an Apala drummer, who entertained residents of Abeokuta and environs,” he said in Yoruba language.

“When my fans cherished my performance and talent, they called on me to get a musician with good voice to complement my efforts.”

“This was what led to my search, and I thereafter discovered Ayinla, who was then a trainee with the late Apala musician, known as Osho Oba.”

 Pa Adewole, popularly called Onilu-Ola, meaning successful drummer in Yoruba language, disclosed further that the first time he approached Omowura to join him for a musical show, the latter expressed fear that his boss would not allow him.

The prolific drummer said he persuaded the singer to lie to his boss that he was sick.

The drummer said the first show he attended alongside Omowura was at Igbogila, Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, southwest Nigeria.

He also revealed that it was after the event that the band was encouraged to start producing albums.

The Octogenarian also narrated a conflict he had with the late musician, saying“I dislike cheating. When money was coming in, he was not showing concern for my welfare. After complaining severally and he was not yielding, I decided to pull out from the band. But the quick intervention of some of our notable fans saved the situation and thereafter we resolved our differences.”

Rebutting an insinuation that Omowura was a drunkard, Pa Adewole described it as unfounded, saying “he was a lazy drinker, who, after taking two bottles of beer would not go beyond that.”

Narrating how Eegunmogaji died in 1980, the retired drummer explained that “Omowura was trying to retrieve a motorcycle he bought for one of the band members, Bayewu, as a result of a misunderstanding between them.

The singer trailed Bayewu to a beer parlor in Ago-Oba area of Abeokuta, to retrieve the motorcycle. A fight ensued between them and in the process, Bayewu was said to have allegedly smashed a thick glass cup on Omowura’s head, which made him slump and die thereafter”.

The aged drummer also said he played a role in Omowura’s marriage after the bride’s parents initially rejected the relationship due to what they believed was the musician’s stubbornness.

He claimed his intervention and appeal to the parents made them agree to the wedding.

 Pa Adewole said the crew was disbanded after the death of Omowura.


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