Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Why People think the Owus don’t forgive — Late Dagrin’s dad, Chief Olaonipekun | Says “Dagrin is like Bob Marley”


By on 12:27
Share this Post Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This


The Comrade Chief Olaonipekun with one of his daughters, Biola with the GDA
Comrade Chief Olaniyi Abolaji Olaonipekun is the father of the late Oladapo Olaonipekun aka Dagrin, who is the pioneer of indigenous Yoruba Hip-Pop Rap Music in Nigeria. He died in April 2010 after a ghastly car accident in Mushin area of the state while coming back from a night event.



The Patriarch of the Olaonipekun dynasty was recently installed as the Balogun of Alabelapo land in Itori Kingdom in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State-South West Nigeria on December 5th, 2015. Nine days later precisely on Sunday December 13th, the Owu born Comrade gave out his daughter, Oluwabukola who is late Dagrin’s immediate younger sister in a traditional marriage inside his Kola Oretuga, Meiran-Lagos home. Your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog Asabeafrika was at the event and we later had an exclusive chat with Chief Olaonipekun who opened up on his new traditional title, life without Dagrin, his Owu heritage and other interesting facts you don’t know about him. Enjoy the excerpts.
Dagrin's Dad to Asabeafrika...'The Owus are the most honest People you can find around'
Today is a great day in your life, your daughter Bukola has just being taken into wedlock by Wale Gbojuwo. How do you feel?
I feel great I feel elated and happy, as you can see the entire family is happy, we are all happy and thankful to God for giving us a day like this to celebrate one of the most important events that characterizes humanity which is marriage. My daughter brought home a reputable young man from a great family and we are happy to become one large family.

“The Owus are very significant people; we are very generous and very faithful. You are seeing that in General Obasanjo’s life, he is very straightforward. An Owu man will not play double game with you”

Nine days ago, you were made the Balogun of Alabelapo land in Itori, Ewekero LGA of Ogun state. I know Chief Obasanjo is the Balogun of Owu kingdom while you are now the Balogun of Alabelapo, what does Balogun title mean to you?
Alabelapo is a unique community carved from Ewekoro Local Government Area and it was founded by the Owus. My late forefathers are warriors, they are Egba warriors and hunters and that is what gave the name A-l-a-b-e-l-a-p-o! Itori as a town in Ewekoro is 85% dominated by the Owus, the Owus from Egba and my own forefather was the first settler in Alabelapo. The name Alabelapo came from the fact that the land was dominated by great warriors and hunters of Owu extraction of Egba. That is the history of Alabelapo.
One-on-One with the new Balogun of Alabelapo Land
Who is your forefather? 
Chief Ola Olaonipekun of blessed memory
What is strange about you Owu People, there is this belief that Owu people are powerful and influential. Chief Obasanjo the former President is an Owu man likewise Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State?
The Owus are very significant people; we are very generous and very faithful. You are seeing that in General Obasanjo’s life, he is very straightforward. An Owu man will not play double game with you.
But there is this belief that Owu people are unforgiving, the Yoruba will say “Owu kii ranro, amoo, Owu kii gbagbe Oro”. I hope I got it right?
No, it goes like this “Ara Owu kii ranro, awii menu kuro ni towu” which simply means we never revenge but we don’t forget. We never revenge but we won’t forget anything you do to us, if anybody tells you that he has forgiven you or he has forgotten whatever bad thing you did to him or her, it is a lie. One day he will wake up to remember again (Laughter). But once you are very straightforward, I will not revenge what you did to me because I have forgiven you but I will always talk about it, that is the peculiar nature about us, we also have an Oriki that says “Iwo sun Odede, ki emi sun Odede oun ni kii je ka mo lila lorile Owu” that means if I have a passage, I will invite you to sleep there, I will invite other people to sleep there as well. So, it will be very, very difficult for a stranger to know who exactly owns the passage. So, it speaks about our sense of humility in the face of riches. You won’t be able to quantify the riches of anybody because we are all generous people.  We don’t look down or classify ourselves based on wealth or riches but we try as much to live a decent and humble lifestyle.
Comrade Comrade Chief Olaniyi Abolaji Olaonipekun with his in-laws
What is the significance of your role as Balogun of Alabelapo land?
Well, I will say I was only honored with the title of Balogun because they saw the leadership quality in me and I have played my own role in my own little way to a community that meant a lot to me and my heritage. I will like to mention and appreciate the significance of one person here, he is Baale Musibau Shobayo, he is the Principal of Iganmode Grammar School in Ota, he is presently the Principal of that great institution and he is equally the Baale of Alabelapo. I will give kudos to him for giving me the honor of Balogun because he saw the leadership quality in me and he gave me the rare honor to become the Balogun of Alabelapo. It is a very huge honor and I am not taking it lightly in terms of mutual communal responsibility.
You are also a leader in this community of Meiran, so how would you be joggling your new role as Balogun of Alabelapo with your leadership role in Meiran?
I have been a leader in this community for over twenty years; I was an executive member of the community development association and a community leader of this Kola Oretuga community for over 20 years until the day I said ‘I am tired’. Because they kept coming for my role because I am one of the first settlers in this area and until the day I said to them ‘I am tired’ but there are still issues that crop up from time to time and they will want me to contribute intellectually and other ways round. So, I was instrumental to so many good things in this community. I don’t think becoming the Balogun of Alabelapo will mean a lot task from my normal schedule. It is my birth community and becoming the Balogun is only a step ahead to service.

“I grew up as a son of the late Quarter Master General of the Nigeria Port Authority. My father Captain Ayodele Olaonipekun was the late Quarter Master General of the Nigerian Ports Authority and my late mother was Chief Store Keeper, Federal Ministry of Works, Iponri Branch”.

Comrade Chief Olaniyi Abolaji Olaonipekun, Late Dagrin's father
You earlier mentioned General Obasanjo as a World Class Leader, what do you mean?
To me, I will want President Obasanjo to be recognized as a world leader. You can only compare Obasanjo to people like Nelson Mandela or people like (Barrack) Obama in terms of esteem and  leadership quality. Obasanjo was the only African leader in my life time, that will go to a country where a coup was taking place and he went to meet the soldier that seized the power, took the power from him and gave it back to the ousted civilian and he restored democratic power back immediately. I think it is high time we start to recognize people like Chief Obasanjo as world leaders and classical leaders of our time; and to a larger extent, that speaks of the steadfastness of the Owus. We are ready to do anything to achieve peace and stability but it is quite a great irony that people in our clime, especially in the political arena, allow people to die before they start to appreciate them which is very wrong. Let us appreciate our leaders when they are still here with us so that they will be encouraged to do more and offer more service to the development of nationhood.
Can you tell me something about your growing up days? What was it like? 
I grew up as a son of the late Quarter Master General of the Nigeria Port Authority. My father Captain Ayodele Olaonipekun was the late Quarter Master General of the Nigerian Ports Authority and my late mother was Chief Store Keeper, Federal Ministry of Works, Iponri Branch. Yeah my parents were both aristocrats but I grew up as a street boy anyway, and I have been into entertainment and music all through my life. For all the five decades of my life I have been doing music and entertainment.
I learnt you rent out musical instruments and all that?
I don’t just do that alone, I have been promoting musicians as well and I can tell you confidently today that a lot of musicians passed through me. Lot of them passed through me.
Comrade Chief Olaniyi Abolaji Olaonipekun with family
But your late son, Oladapo Olaonipekun passed out of you?
He was my son and he did Music.
How do you feel 5 years without him, he started the whole thing about indigenous rapping and today, music stars like Olamide are making a fortune out of indigenous rap?
That is the uniqueness of a late Owu boy again. The Owus are very unique; when they do things, they give it a unique identity and Dagrin is not the only son I have that is in the music line. I have a daughter in the music line and I still have a son in the music line.
You mean they are presently being prop up by you?
Being brought up even in the Hip Hop Music Industry, T-Black is one of my senior sister’s kids.
You mean T-Black the hip-hop guy, are you sure?
(Laughs Heartily) Am I sure? My senior sister, in fact she was at my coronation as Balogun and she was also installed as the Yeye Baale of Alabelapo land. I mean my senior sister who is T-black’s mother. So, it is a big creative family.
But why are the stars springing up from your family?
That is the uniqueness of the Owus. We take our art serious, we do our volition passionately and we don’t joke with whatever we find for our hands to do. We work hard.
Comrade Chief Olaniyi Abolaji Olaonipekun to Asabeafrika...'Although my parents are aristocrats but i grew up as a street boy'
So, what is life without Dagrin and what do you think he would have become if he didn’t leave so sudden?
Look, I am a realist I don’t base my life on assumption. Dagrin has come, he created the brand of indigenous rap music, created his own name and he has gone. But I will tell you one single fact today, up till today I still receive awards on Dagrin. Up till this moment, I still get awards on his behalf, several organizations and bodies do honor him and I get awards for his creativity.
“I do tell people that Dagrin was the gentlest of my children. Very sincere, very sincere and very reserved. He believed in music and I allowed him to go ahead. Every moment of his life with me was spent on music; he was either composing or trying to record”
Any time you think about him what happens to you?
I am happy I am being honored even through him despite the fact that he is late. Is that not a glory to me?
Oh, sir, it is a glory, a glory indeed?
If I happen to be the father of a legend it is a glory to me, Dagrin is a legend just like Bob Marley who died at age 35 but gave us one of the best musical season in his lifetime. Of course, Dagrin is a glory to me, so, no mourning moments, no mourning moment about Dagrin. Whenever I remember him I just appreciate the fact that he came out of me and he has returned to his creator.
Comrade Chief Olaniyi Abolaji Olaonipekun meets the GDA
Do you equally get royalty from his works?
Since I am not tired at five decades plus, I don’t even put my mind there. I am still working, I am still active and I can fend for myself and family, maybe when I retire I will begin to look towards that. For royalties, I have not been looking towards that now.
Can you tell us about the Dagrin you knew as his father, he was famously known as a musician but who is Dagrin behind the thrills of fame?
I do tell people that Dagrin was the gentlest of my children. Very sincere, very sincere and very reserved. He believed in music and I allowed him to go ahead. Every moment of his life with me was spent on music; he was either composing or trying to record. And if you listen to any of his tracks and you listen to a second one, you will see a clear marked difference. No one song is like the other, that was his craft and he was good at it. I have another young boy coming up now called Trod (The Return of Dagrin—TROD). I will bring him to your next event.
When Dagrin sang the song “If I Die” and you heard it did you call him and warned him about the implication of the song?
What happened was that I never heard about the song until it was released on air, I was never aware of that particular song. It went on air after his demise and I heard it like any other Nigerian did.
The Comrade Chief Olaonipekun with his In-law, Kunle Gbojuwo and his daughters Bukola & Biola
But he came home here to greet you that very evening before he had the fatal accident that claimed his life, how did you feel when you learnt about his predicament?
Yes, he was with me that very day, we were together, he came to pay me a normal visit and he told me about his ongoing work, he said he was going to studio that night and I wished him good luck until when I was called the next morning on phone that he had an accident. We tried our best and I told people, He that giveth taketh.
What are you wishing your beautiful daughter, Busola today for her traditional wedding and introduction?
Happy married life. I told her earlier that she is the ambassador of Olaonipekun family, she has to display that over there to show home training. And on that note, I wish her a very happy married life.
Comrade Chief Olaniyi Abolaji Olaonipekun to Asabeafrika...'We Owus dont revenge but we dont forget'
As the new Balogun of Alabelapo, say a word to your people in Alabelapo?
(Spoke in Yoruba Dialect) Ah, gbogbo eyin Oloye Alabelapo, lati ori Baale Musibau Shobayo dori Aare, dori Asiwaju, dori Otun, Iyalode, Iyalaje, Jagunna, Lukotun, Ekerin ati gbogbo awon ti mi o ranti lati daruko won, Isokan taa nse lalabe, isokan yen a gbe wa oo, alabe oo ni baje ooo…asiko ti gbogbo dori oye, ire ibe aa tin ri bayi, ko to wa lowo, ko to wa lenu, ko je ajemonu fun gbogbo wa…Alabelapo…Isokan….

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog

0 comments:

Post a Comment