Friday, 2 September 2016

Secret of my 45 years relationship with Abiola Ogundokun — Otunba Adisa Osi-Efa | Says “Fuji started & ended with Barrister” + His relationship with Obey & KSA

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Otunba Adisa Osi-Efa to Asabeafrika...'Abiola Ogundokun is a very rare Nigerian. Well connected'
Otunba Adisa Osi-Efa is a prominent Lagos socialite of Epe origin. He has reigned in the Lagos social circle for 50 consecutive years with his name toping most musical albums of local artistes like the Late Alhaji Agba, Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, General Kollington Ayinla, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade and many others.
However, among all the Nigerian Musician living or dead, it was the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister who did much on this Lagos born business man who is into oil and gas, hospitality and real estate business. Recently, Otunba Adisa Osi-Efa who had his early education in London gave an exclusive interview to your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika inside the Festac, Lagos mansion of High Chief Abiola Ogundokun, Publisher of CONSCIENCE INTERNATIONAL Magazine and the Balogun Musulumi of Iwo land. Otunba Osi-Efa who is an uncle to the present Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akiwunmi Ambode was a special guest of honor at the wedding of Chief Ogundokun’s daughter, Uyioghosa Ogundokun to Edo big boy, Osagie Elaiho. The 74 years old socialite told us the secret of his 50 years stay on the social scene, his over 40 years relationship with Chief Ogundokun and why he is highly respected by top Nigerians Musicians. Enjoy the excerpts.

The GDA chatting with Epe born socialite, Chief Adisa Osi-Efa

Sir, you have been a friend of Chief Abiola Ogundokun for several years, how will you describe the friendship?
Abiola Ogundokun is a very good friend for a very long time and a top socialite. He is, and he has been very kind to everybody. I will describe him as a lovely man, known to a lot of people. He is well connected in the society.
I think your friendship is three decades old, how were you able to manage the friendship for that long?
We tolerate each other, friends do offend each other but we have never quarreled, we have never quarreled. We have been friends for more than thirty years. I have known him since early 1970s. I was area manager, Flower Mills of Nigeria and he was in Daily Times. That is a long time. He was a practicing journalist before he went into politics and join NPN.
He is giving out his daughter today, how do you feel about Uyi Ogundokun’s marriage to Osagie Elaiho?
Well, it is a happy occasion, everybody wants this kind of occasion to come and it has come and when we are all alive.

Otunba Adisa Osi-fa to Asabeafrika....'Get Barrister's album and you will have a full data on me'

How would you describe life in your younger days, when you look back retrospectively, would you say you regret the fact that Nigeria is turning this bad during the time of your own children?
No regret, because we enjoyed our own time. The question is for the young people of nowadays to consider weather life is good or bad; as far as I am concerned, I enjoyed my youthful age. I was in the United Kingdom; I grew up in the United Kingdom when I was twenty-something until thirty something when I came back to Nigeria.
Why did you return to Nigeria? Some young people would have stayed back because of the peck of a well organized society?
No, no, not during my own period. Nigeria was good, and if you are educated, you will want to come back. I am educated. I became Area Manager for Flour MillsGolden Penny. That is a grade A company, so, how would I have stayed in the UK? (Laughs)

Otunba Adisa Osi-Efa with his best friend, High Chief Abiola Ogundokun

Why I couldn’t stay in the UK…
Yes, I know but a lot of people studied and became professors only for the society to make them stay behind to work but you must have been patriotic to have returned home?
Well, everybody has his choice, Nigeria is my choice. And another factor is that I don’t want to stay in a place where I am a second class citizen. Everybody knows me in Nigeria, most people, especially in this western region. So, I enjoy my life here but if you are in the UK, you are on your own. Nobody knows you; you are just a second class citizen. In Nigeria, I can see anybody I want to see. If I want to see the Governor of Lagos State, I will go and see him. So, why would I prefer that kind of situation in the UK where you cannot see even the MP to where I can see my governor, see a commissioner and see anybody.; so, I cherish the integrity that comes with living in Nigeria and that was one of the cardinal reasons why I returned home after studying in the UK.

“So, you can’t run away from the fact that Obey is great, Sunny is great. It is different when it comes to Fuji (Music) classification, it is different. It is different from Juju especially when you are talking about those two people. But when you are talking about Fuji, nobody near to Barrister; it is not a matter of who is better, who is great, everybody knows Barrister the creator, the legend is far away from everybody”

Otunba Adisa Osi-Efa to Asabeafrika....'I think at 74 i have had the best of life'

How was growing up for Otunba Osiefa?
I am from a polygamous home, oh, it is a pity you don’t know me. Go and play (late Sikiru Ayinde) Barrister’s record. So many, so many; go and play Fuji Vibration. Go and look for it and you will see how he sang in my honor. You will get to know a lot about me. There are so many of such titles he did on me, his songs are like a mobile memoir of my history. Then, you will have heard where he sang ‘Omo Alufa N’la to ya agbojule loojo’. ‘Omo sotun ojo tana, oko ojo keji?’ Are you not a Barrister fan? (Asked disturbingly)
Sir, I am sorry, I started listening to Barrister when I was in my teenage years but I was never deep into him like I did with King Sunny Ade and Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey? Of course, I love Barrister because he sings philosophy?
There is no way you will like Barrister that you will not know me.
Sir, Otunba Osi-efa is from Epe land, how did you feel for the first time that an Epe son, Mr. Akiwunmi Ambode was elected Governor of Lagos State?
It is the greatest; it is the happiest time of my life. He (Ambode) is like my son. My mother is from Edu family and his own mother too is from Edu family. That is Ambode; we are on that side, we are from the same family. He is a great man, a very dynamic administrator and I am proud that he became a Governor in my life time.
Today when you see young people rushing to greener pastures abroad, what do you feel for them? Do you think they are missing it?
I don’t feel anything for them; I don’t feel pity for them because it is their choice. It depends, you can live anywhere. I left, even when Nigeria was good, that was the time I left for the UK. I did not even have a visa.
Ah, ah, so, how did you do the magic of getting to London?
I went through Dublin, from Dublin down to Liverpool and that was how I entered the UK then and I stayed for ten years. I studied, and I had post graduate. You know, anybody can do that. Some people leave America which supposed to be the richest continent in the world and they come to Nigeria to settle down or go elsewhere. You don’t leave a country simply because it is bad or good. If it is good for you, it is good for you. If it is bad for you, then it is bad for you. If a place is bad for you it doesn’t mean it is bad for everybody. So, anybody can leave Nigeria. You can make your choice and live anywhere. If you decide today, if after becoming a minister, you can even decide to go and live in another place, does it not happen? We have seen Nigerian ministers who relocate to go and stay in Dubai, America or even London. Anywhere is good for you, it depends how you rate it psychologically. I can’t stay anywhere except Nigeria.

Otunba Adisa Osi-Efa to Asabeafrika...'I never liked to be a second class citizen in Europe, that was why I returned'

What did you studied in the UK?
I did Business Studies and  post graduate Management Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University and Liverpool John Moore University.
The quality of education in your days was so high; do you think it has drastically dropped today?
You mean in this country?
Yes, sir!
It has dropped terribly in this country.
So, what do you think is responsible for this and what is the panacea?
Yes, it has dropped and the reason why it has dropped is because money voted for education is not being spent on education. Everything is due to corruption, there is an amount of budget specified by UNESCO for the development of education in every developing nation but corruption has eroded the opportunity. When I left for the UK with school certificate, it was accepted over there. School cert in Nigeria, they regarded it as equivalent of GCE—O’ level. But now, if you take Nigeria’s university degree down to the UK, you have to start all over again. Except you want to do masters. But let’s say, you are in the third year here and you leave for the UK and you say you want to continue, ‘no, you won’t be allowed, you will start all over’. That is because the standard here is very, very low.

High Chief Abiola Ogundokun (R) The Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi with Chief Alani Bankole the Oluwo of Iporo-Sodeke, Abeokuta

I & Barrister....
So, how would you describe your relationship with late Alhaji Agba, Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister? Do you think we lost a music genius in him?
We will never have another Barrister. On a radio interview titled ‘Nigba Tiwa’, I told Adisa Kowe, the interviewer, I said ‘Barrister, when it comes to Fuji Music, he is the beginning and the end’.
Why did you say so when we have other successful Fuji Musicians after him?
Because that is what it is, five years now, what do you hear about Fuji anymore?
But we still have K1 De Ultimate and Kollignton Ayinla is around?
Yes, sir!
K1 is my boy. He is Barrister’s boy. I am a father to Barrister; so, K1 is my boy. All the musicians know me, there is no musician in this country that doesn’t know me, even KSA, OBEY, K1, Adewale Ayuba, Kollington; there is no musician that does not know me.
Ok, sir, who would you say is the best Nigerian Fuji musician for now?
You mean among those who are living?
Yes, sir!
Don’t drive me into controversy (Laughter). All of them are either my boy or my friend. They are either my boy or my friend. Somebody like Kollington now is not my boy, he is a friend. I spoke with him about a week ago, he called me. People like Adewale Ayuba are my younger ones, Obesere is my boy, Pasuma, mention any of them. Anybody, anybody in the Fuji land must know me.
KSA is a Legend…
King Sunny Ade is presently on a tour of North America for his 70th birthday in September. Do you think it is okay he started abroad?
I don’t even know about that, I didn’t know he is commemorating his 70th birthday with activities abroad. All I know is that KSA; Alade as I call him is a legend.
Did you say legend?
Yes, he is a legend. He is gifted, highly gifted. Not just gifted, he is highly gifted. He is everything, when it comes to Juju music, KSA…
(Cuts in) I hope you won’t create bad blood with your ratings of Old Juju Musicians because you cannot run away from the fact that Commander Ebenezer Obey too is there? 
Yes, yes, Obey is there. I agree. Obey is a personal friend. I can call him now and he will answer but I have been closer to KSA.
Good, so who is the best Juju Musician among the two?
(Prolong Laughter) No best. No first, no second. They are great. Both of them are legends.
Oh, you agreed that both KSA & Obey are legends and no best among them?
You know, look, Obey’s music is philosophical, it is very philosophical and when you go to Sunny, you cannot run away. Both of them are just too good in their creativity. They are damn too good.

The GDA meets Otunba Adisa Osi-Efa

Someone actually said Obey is the king of Miliki while KSA is the king of Ariya? Do you agree?
In those days, yes, when we had Ariya Night Club at Jibowu, we were there. Jibowu loves KSA and we will go there. And Miliki Spot at Yaba, you will be there except you didn’t grow up in Lagos. So, you can’t say I love only Sunny, I don’t go to Obey. If you do so, it means you don’t know music. If you like Music, both of them were great, very, very great. This past June, I was in Liverpool, my senior brother was on a sick bed and they were playing Obey record for him and he told me he loves Obey so much. I have to call Obey from Liverpool and I gave the telephone to my brother to speak to him and Commander (Obey) promised me anytime he was in Liverpool he will go and see him. So, you can’t run away from the fact that Obey is great, Sunny is great. It is different when it comes to Fuji (Music) classification, it is different. It is different from Juju especially when you are talking about those two people. But when you are talking about Fuji, nobody near to Barrister; it is not a matter of who is better, who is great, everybody knows Barrister the creator, the legend is far away from everybody. That is what Barrister is. Then, the remaining ones (in Fuji Music) can say ‘I am the best, I am this, and I am that’. They can start fighting for the crown of Fuji (Laughter)
How old are you, sir. Your friend High Chief Ogundokun just clocked 80 recently and I was here to interview him?
I was born 1942, so I am 74.
So, what is the secret of your smart shape, I mean you look 50 something, actually?
Well, it is simple. When you are gifted health wise, you will always look younger than your age. Look at Ogundokun now, at 80 you can see him moving around hosting everybody here today. So, he is a different person.

Otunba Adisa Osi-Efa; the socialite loved by Barrister, Kollington, KSA & Obey

Is it food or exercise or what gives you this shape? Tell me more about the secret of looking feat at 74?
I don’t think there any secret, It is God’s gift. I have seen people who don’t drink, who don’t smoke and yet they have bad health and still die. Okay, let me tell you this story, there was an English man who lived up to 90 years and when he was asked, what the secret of his longevity is, he said ‘smoking’. How did that happen? He was travelling in an airbus and because he smokes, he was asked to go and sit at the rear end of the plane, near the toilet. The plane eventually crashed but he was saved. Every other person perished but it didn’t affect his own end as that part was safely severed away from the other part and didn’t get burnt. So, as far as he was concerned, smoking saved him or else he would have been allowed to sit at the normal place everyone sits and he would have perished with many other passengers on that flight. So, that is life for you. I think good health is all about good genes. If you have it, you have it. For me, it is good gene.
Do you have a philosophy of life?
Nothing much: live and let’s live. Make the best of your time and make haste when the sun shine, that is my philosophy of life.

The GDA with the Otunba

Any role model
Except the person is a white man, I don’t have a role model around. Maybe I will need to search for the name of a white man who has done something great. Yes, because we lack honest people in this country, I would have said President Muhammad Buhari but he is a soldier. Why I said I would have taken him as my role model is because people like him are very rare to come by, people who are very, very honest. People who are not materialistic, people who loves to build society and not ruin society. President Buhari is indeed a very honest soul and I love him for that but because he is a soldier, I can’t tell you he is my role model. I am a civilian and I respect the principle of his training. If I am to look for a role model, I will look for a white man because the white don’t live for themselves but live for humanity. And that is what I represent. I live for humanity.

The Otunba and The High Chief sharing a joke at Chief Ogundokun's daughter's wedding

What about your wife and kids?
Yes, I am married with grown up children and I have about 8 graduates who studied both in the UK, USA and Nigeria. I am proud to have been able to raise such gentle men and ladies. I am fulfilled because I am still actively in business. If you look at my complimentary card which I gave you, you will discover that I run several businesses from oil and gas to hospitality and real estate. I am very okay and I thank God for His lasting blessings over my life. I belong to several community building societies. I do my best for mankind and leave the rest.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog


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