Over 1000 fans, others for Ibadan 40th memorial  of Apala music icon, Yusuf Olatunji - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Over 1000 fans, others for Ibadan 40th memorial  of Apala music icon, Yusuf Olatunji

                  •Chief Alabi

Ayobami Ife

Excitement and expectation are building up in  Ibadan, the Oyo state capital,  as fans, associates and relatives of popular Apala  music icon, late Yusuf Olatunji, who died four decades ago, planned a befitting memorial for him.

The 40th remembrance of his demise slated for December 15 in Ibadan, is the initiative of the Yusuf Olatunji Foundation (YOF).

 Fidau prayer and public lecture are parts of the activities lined up to make the day remarkable while over 1000 people are expected to grace the event with their presence.

Late Yusuf Olatunji reportedly collapsed at a meeting of musicians in Ibadan, on December 14, 1978 and was rushed  to Abeokuta, his home town, where he passed on the following day.

Former  Head of Corporate Communications, Oodua Investment, Chief Lekan Alabi, who made this known in Abeokuta while briefing reporters on Tuesday afternoon, lauded Aremo Segun Osoba for his support when he was Governor of Ogun state .

Alabi who is the Agbaakin Olubadan  of Ibadan and Chairman, Yusuf Olatunji Foundation, said the memorial lecture for the late musician, would centre on the impact of music in society.

He lamented the poor quality of music being churned out by the nation's musicians and artists, saying they are dry, sterile and in some cases, corrode the moral fabrics of the society.

Alabi  appealed to artists to borrow a leaf from the music legends such as late Olatunji, whom he described as a philosopher - musician. 

The veteran media practitioners also cited  Chief Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade, Prof. Victor Uwaifo and other talented and creative artists as good role models the present and future generations of Nigerian musicians should emulate.

According to him, Abedeen Ajasa, heir of the late Apala music icon, and  his Yusuf Olatunji Memorial Band, are  expected to entertain the audience during remembrance.

He noted that music is part of culture and like an umbrella, covers what a people consider as their foods, proper dressing, language, decency and philosophy. 

He said: "The motives behind the memorial anniversary is to distribute the works of the Apala musician, to institute a department on any chosen centre of learnings and to hold annual events and lectures to commemorate the anniversary.

"Pa Yusuf  Olatunji was a doyen of Sakara music. He was an illustrious son of Abeokuta, Ogun State. 

"I am the chairman of the foundation. It was my initiative that we founded the foundationin 2001, with the support of the  Ogun State Government under the able leadership of Aremo Olusegun Osoba, the then, governor. 

"Osoba was very supportive of our cause because he gave us N1 million and even gave us June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, free of charge to do the event.

"The late Apala maestro was my father's bossom friend, though older than my dad. 

"It was this same man that played music during my naming ceremony on November 4, 1950. 

"Olatunji was a Filip him and I fell in love with him, like some of his ilks. He was one of my heroes."

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