LATE CHIEF ALHAJI AYINLA WAIDI OMOWURA popularly called EGUNMOGAJI was born in Abeokuta Ogun state Nigeria in 1933. His musical career took root when he started with a brand of music called “Olalomi” in the early ’50s. This brand of music was so popular that he became the darling of the young people both in Nigeria and the west coast of Africa. This brand faded with time.
On May 6, 1980, the leader of a Yoruba genre of music called Apala, which had quite a sizeable cultic following, was stabbed to death on the head with a beer glass cup in a barroom brawl at Ago Oka, Abeokuta. Ayinla Waidi Omowura, son of Yusuff Gbogbolowo the blacksmith and Wuramontu Morenike, had finally been killed by the scary black club of Death which he had sung sarcastically about in two previous pieces of vinyl he did before his death (Bí ikú bá ń pa wón lèworo lèworo, kí won má mà ka tèmi mó won)
He died at the Ijaye General Hospital, Abeokuta. The Medical Consultant, Dr Akin Majekodunmi also an Egba man, tried his best to save Ayinla’s life.
Ayinla Omowura, the man who sat on 200 needles was one of the greatest musicians of his time.
Despite his talent and inspiration, Omowura was blessed with a crop of equally talented composers who made his job of singing a lot easier and he acknowledged their composition in his songs. Men like Bashir Igbore, Razaq Tuntun, Aremu Orifogo, Ateni Se Mess, and others acted as guiding spirits to Omowura and he generously and liberally tapped from their compositions, with acknowledgments.
In spite of his limitations and foibles, Omowura remains a great musical beacon in Yorubaland and the eternality of his advocacies and evergreen texture of his songs are beginning to be seen by a Yoruba world that shut its mind off his melody, musical scholarship, and social criticism, simply because of his low class, illiteracy and obsessive identification with the rejects of society.
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