Category: Entertainment and Life Style

How I met Ulli Biere, Duro Ladipo —Ifa priest, Elebuibon

Ifa priest, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon has recounted how he first met Prof. Ulli Biere and playwright Duro Ladipo which marked a turning point in his life.

Speaking in an interview with The PUNCH, Elebuibon said he met both men at an event where he performed to the amazement of the professor.

He said, “February 1962 was the year when the Mbari Mbayo Cultural Centre was established by Prof. Ulli Biere, Ginas Nwoku, Wole Soyinka, Duro Ladipo and others. Ulli was a professor at the University of Ibadan in the Department of Extramural, but he did not like the atmosphere of urban centre; he preferred living in a rural area so as to know more about the indigenous setting. He left Ibadan and lived at Ilobu for a while before moving to Ede. From Ede, he came to Osogbo where he settled down. He used to attend all traditional festivals, where he would take pictures, ask questions for further research. We had all-night sessions chanting Ifa at the king’s family house. One day, the trio of Ulli Beier, Prof. Armstrong of the Institute of African Studies and Duro Ladipo attended the event. A friend of mine, who was my age-mate, and I both performed so excellently well, chanting Ifa poetry along with our seniors. Ulli Beier was so impressed and loved our performance.

Elebuibon who said the meeting led to a turning point in his life, added that he began working with the men and assisting them in their art.

“Yes, that was the turning point in my life. Ulli told Duro Ladipo that I must work with them. Duro told me that the white man said that I must work with them. Before then, each time I told people I was going to see Ulli Beier people believed I was going there to learn the art of magic. That year, Duro performed Obakoso and was emitting fire from his mouth on the stage. That made people to believe that going to work with Duro and others, I would become a magician and abandon my Ifa study. Whereas, what I was doing with Ulli and Duro was just assisting them to get poems relevant to their plays. They wanted to know the traditional songs that would go along with each scene in their plays,” he said.

The Ifa priest said he assisted Ulli by providing all the information he needed in both his journals and articles.

“At times, he would give me money to travel down to Otan to see Baba Sango and ask him about the deity. My international exposure started from that point. In 1967, I completed my Ifa study and gained freedom from my master. It pleased him to release me. When I had my freedom, Ulli was no longer around, as he used to, because he stayed in Osogbo for close to 15 years without travelling back home. I had an opportunity to continue with Duro Ladipo and we started travelling overseas for performances.”

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The Experience concert goes virtual first time in 15 years

The 2020 edition of The Experience, an all-night gospel concert, will hold strictly online, says the organisers of the programme which has become a favourite annual event for gospel music lovers.

Now in its 15th year, the annual event hosted by the Senior Pastor of House On The Rock, Paul Adefarasin, showcases multi-talented and dynamic gospel artistes from different parts of the world.

The past 14 editions were held at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos and each gathering averaged an attendance of over 500,000 people, making it arguably the largest gospel concert in the world.

But the organisers of the programme announced this week that the event will not hold at the expansive space in the Tafawa Balewa Square, a decision taken to maintain physical distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Experience 15 (Global Edition), is scheduled to hold on Friday, 11th December, 2020 virtually, livestreamed around the world, serving as a platform to unify the global Church and establish God’s Kingdom here on earth,” the organisers wrote on the event website.

“Yes, we had the last 14 editions together mainly in one place, yet now we are not apart, we are still in this together as we go global with the #TE15G. There are no barriers and nothing can stop us, our God deserves our praise all the way, and He will have it,” @TheExperienceLG tweeted.

This year’s concert will showcase artistic musical performances, goodwill messages and intercessory prayers by internationally recognised artistes including Don Moen, Tope Alabi, William MCDowell, Tasha Cobbs, amongst others.

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Burna Boy Nominated Again for Grammy Awards

Burna Boy’s latest album ‘Twice As Tall’ has gotten him a second shot at winning a Grammy.

The talented singer, on Monday, bagged a World Music Album nomination alongside Antibalas, Bebel Gilberto, Anoushka Shankar, and Tianariwen.

Antibalas is an American afrobeat band modelled after Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 band while Bebel Gilberto is a popular Brazilian-American singer.

Anoushka Shankar is a British Indian sitar player and composer while Tianariwen is a group of northern Malian singers.

In October, the Recording Academy announced the renaming of the ‘Best World Music Album’ to ‘Best Global Music Album.’

Burna Boy, 29, lost in his first attempt to win a Grammy award after being nominated in the best world music album category in January 2020. Beninese music legend, Angelique Kidjo, won the award.

‘Twice As Tall’ which is Burna Boy’s fifth album was released in August. Burna Boy, his mum cum manager, Bosede Ogulu, and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, were the executive producers.

The album was produced by Telz, P2J, Timbaland, Leriq, Rexxie, Skread, Andre Harris, Jae5, Mike Dean, and many more.

It also featured guest appearances from Naughty by Nature, the Kenyan band Sauti Sol, Senegal’s musical titan, Youssou N’Dour, and Chris Martin of Coldplay.

Should Burna Boy win, he will become Nigeria’s second Grammy winner after Sikiru Adepoju.

In a related development, Nigerian singer, Mr Eazi, has just won an Urban Music Album award at the Latin Grammy for his feature on Colombian reggaeton singer, J Balvin’s fifth and his sixth overall album.

Mr Eazi was featured on track nine, ‘Arcoiris’ on ‘Colores.’

The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards will hold on January 31, 2021, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The award will recognize the best recordings, compositions, and artists of the eligibility year, running from September 1, 2019, to August 31, 2020.

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Sir Kesington Adebukunola Adebutu: Celebrating a Lover of Humanity at 85

By Eric Elezuo

He is agile. He is able. He is highly prolific. He is Sir Kesington Adebukunola Adebutu, the Odole of Ife title, and he is 85 years today. It is worthy of note that about a year ago, Adebutu added a glorious great feather to his crown of feathers, becoming the custodian of Yoruba culture, as the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II conferred on him the Odole of Ile Ife, one of the most prestigious titles in Yorubaland, and Ife’s highest title.

The Odole title, reputed to be conferred on prominent individuals, who have distinguished themselves in all areas of human endeavours, is the sure honour for a man of Adebutu’s calibre and status. This is because the betting businessman, has not only excelled in business but has become a rare gem when it comes to looking after the less privileged and sending heartfelt endearments to as many as that cross his path.

A peep to the past reveals that men who had been conferred with the honour were men of integrity, honour and who are blameless to a great extent. It is important to note that the title was originally held by the Yoruba Sage himself, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and was later given to Chief Godwin Olusegun Kolawole Ajayi (SAN). These were men whose antecedents are reference point.

Popularly known as Baba Ijebu and Omo Iya, Sir Kesington Adebukunola Adebutu, with an avanlanche of recognitions including CON, KJW and FISM, was born to late Alhaji karimu Folarin Adebutu aka “Owo-Iya” and late Alhaja Seliat Olasimbo Adebutu of Iperu Remo, Ikenne LGA in Ogun State on October 24, 1935. Sir Kesington completed his primary education in 1950 having attended the Wesley Primary School, Iperu Remo and later Ijero Baptist School, Apapa Road, Ebute-Metta, Lagos.

In January 1951, he was admitted to Baptist Academy School, but he completed his secondary education at the grand Remo Secondary School (RSS), Sagamu, Remo, Ogun State. Baba Ijebu’s career endeavour started at Cable and Wireless Limited, which later became NITEL, as Operations Clerk. He later joined Claffins Chemicals as a salesman, and through dint of hardwork rose to become the Regional Sales Manager for Lagos and the then Midwestern Region. It was his quest to provide employment for teeming Nigerian youths that led to the establishment of Face Millionaires Pool Limited with his bosom friend, Chief Solomon Ayoku in 1969.

A philanthropist par excellence, Sir Kesington abandoned his ambition to become a lawyer, preferring to ‘enjoy’ life, and today, is the proprietor of Kesington Adebukunola Adebutu Foundation (KAAF), and promoter of the popular Premier Lotto, also known as Baba Ijebu – a scheme that has put smiles on the faces of many Nigerians. Adebutu, over the years, has used every opportunity that comes his way to affect lives of everyone he meets, especially during his birthdays and auspicious occasions. During his 80th birthday, Adebutu, whose Foundation was celebrating its 10th anniversary, conducted a free medical outreach programme at Iperu-Remo, Ogun state. In addition, he gave out eight brand new cars and other valuable gifts to loyal customers of Premier Lotto.

Sir kesington’s larger than life image is always in the public view, and he has been honoured on a good number of occasions. He was rewarded as an ICON and celebrated as a man of character, kindness and generosity during the Ogun at 40 celebrations in 2016. Other feathers on the crown of the man of possibilities include the traditional title of Asoju Oba of Lagos, which was conferred on him by the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu. When the man of means celebrated his 81st birthday, he wowed the congregation when instead of demanding gifts, tasked everyone to make a donation to the church, and tagged it “Adebutu Family Harvest”. His dedication to God is legendary.

In his words: “At 81, what work can I do, there is no work I can do at 81 years but the work of God”. That is how dedicated and close to his God he is. In 2018, Adebutu was honored with double chieftaincy titles as the Baba-Oba Akarigbo of Remo by the Lord of Remo, His Royal Highness, Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, and also honoured as Baba-Oba Alaperu of Akesan Land by His Royal Majesty, King Idowu Basibo (Odoru V), Sagamu in Ogun State, at the sprawling palace of the royal father in Sagamu Remo.

He once again said: “At 82, what can one say? You have contributed immensely to worthy causes in the house of God. Even you have contributed to other worthy causes in the state and the society as a whole. People like you are rare to find. “What is now left for you is to continue to walk with God, love God the more, live your life for Him. So that at the end of your race on earth, you will reign with Him in heaven.”

A worthy icon, well known business brand, philanthropist extra-ordinaire, the head fit to wear the prestigious crown of THE ODOLE OF ILE-IFE, Adebutu was at the forefront of helping to stem the tide of the Coronavirus pandemic with a generous donation of N300 million to the Lagos State government while commending ‘the dynamic efforts of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in bringing succour to the sufferers of COVID-19 Pandemic in the state’.

In a letter the billionaire industrialist personally signed, he was quoted as saying “As a token of our support to the victims, myself, family and organisation are donating a modest sum of N300, 000, 000.00 towards which, we have forwarded the necessary instruction and our bankers – Wema Bank Plc has transferred the sum into the dedicated UBA account…”

The front line humanitarian, Adebutu is using his using his wealth of experience, spread and connection to positively affect the youths of Yoruba land, just as his predecessors did in the past.

He said: “With my emergence as Odole Oodua, the Yoruba race will witness new era of sociocultural development, unity and peace,” and he has been living up to expectation one year after.

The grace behind his Odole status clearly summarises his larger than life personality

“Etymologically, Odole is derived from the expression “Odo Ile Oodua,” meaning the youth in the house of Oduduwa. It is a contraction of the expression adopted as a title to perpetuate the ideals of internal cohesion for which Oranmiyan stood in the Oodua family of the ancient days,”

Adebutu, by tradition, is bound to turn down any other traditional title as the Odole title is the last bus stop of chieftaincy titles for the holder.

Adebutu is happily married with a host of very successful children.

Happy birthday great philanthropist and lover of humanity!

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