Thursday, 30 March 2017

How I was born and raised in Idogo—Ebenezer Obey + How mum lost 1st marriage to have Obey

By on 03:25
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The 'Boy' from Idogo, Professor Emeritus Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi (MFR)

In this Part 2 of our extra-ordinary encounter with legendary musician and Juju music icon, Professor Emeritus, Evangelist Ebenezer Olasupo Remilekun Obey Fabiyi (MFR) who will be turning 75 on Monday, April 3, 2017, the elder statesman took us through the story of his early life at Idogo, his ancestral town near Abeokuta in Ogun State (South West Nigeria). Evangelist OBEY for the first time told us the story of how his late mum lost her first marriage to a Nigerian railway station executive after 20 years without fruit of the womb and how she later met his carpenter dad during her confinement in Idogo. The circumstance that led to their encounter is not only funny but quite interesting.
The Egba born music icon has released uncountable  albums in the last 50 years of practice with his first album at age 23 in 1965. He was born on April 3, 1942 at Mercy Hospital Lagos (Now known as Island Maternity Hospital).  Enjoy the excerpts on your Africa’s number Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika.

Sir, let’s quickly go to Idogo because that is the place of birth of this great legend Professor Emeritus Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi? On Thursday March 23 during the memorial birthday of your late wife Lady Evangelist Juliana Obey-Fabiyi, you donated a police station to the community. Can you tell us the full story of your birth in Idogo?
The GDA meets the Juju Music Legend, Professor Ebenezer Obey inside his Lagos mansion

Well, the specialty of Idogo to me is quite extra-ordinary. Idogo is special to me because there is a special history behind Ebenezer OBEY and the place called Idogo. Number one, I know God allowed my history to take place so that other people may learn from the incidence that happened. My mother was in her first husband’s house for almost twenty years without any issue.
Professor Ebenezer Obey to Asabeafrika....'God wanted to use the story of my mum to teach the world a new lesson on destiny'
She was never pregnant for a day. And the family of the man, I mean her husband called the family of my mother and said well…it was a sudden meeting, unannounced and they just said ‘well, almost 20 years, Iyawo has never been pregnant, even with a baby. Yes, they love themselves but as you have seen this, we feel really bad. Our son should go and try to marry another woman and let your daughter go and try to marry another man’. Maybe they are not meant for themselves’. That was a very shocking experience for my mum, it was so hard for her and for six months she couldn’t put herself together.
Professor Emeritus Ebenezer Obey with the effigy gift of his picture received from his children as birthday gift

She lost weight?
Yes, she was crying, always in fear and she was becoming lean. They tried comforting her but there was no result. So, they told my mother ‘don’t kill yourself because of this’. I remember my mother told me that her senior sister told her that ‘Ile Anu Oluwa kii su’ (The mercy of God endureth forever).
Professor Ebenezer Obey to Asabeafrika...'God consoled my Mum at Idogo after the shame of Lagos'
Even if people think you cannot have a baby, the mercy timing of the Lord has no end. The mercy of the Lord is endless. It endureth forever. They told her ‘go and hide your head with your senior brothers who are living in Idogo’ and that was what took my mother to Idogo. Now, my father had left Abeokuta for Idogo. He left with his own brothers; I used to say in my family, we have good carpenters. The males are all professional carpenters.
Just like the Jesus family?
One of the Prof's popular album titled 'Determination'
Yes. So when my mother got there, my father was already a friend to my mother’s elder brothers. And he will always crack jokes that ‘I am the one who is going to marry your sister’ and truly, truly, the joke became a reality. It came to pass.
I learnt your mother was looking down on your father because her ex-husband was a railway station manager?
Professor Ebenezer Obey to Asabeafrika...'My mum never believed she could marry a carpenter'
Yes, she said she looked at my father and said ‘ah, you carpenter?’ but you know… (Laughs wryly) another Yoruba proverbs says ‘Ibi Ori dani si lan gbe’. Ibi ori da ni si lan gbe (You live where your head destines you) appearance does not matter. A man may be rich and in your mind you think you will marry the rich person. If you are meant for him that will be your cross. If you are not meant for that, whatever God purposes for you, He will give you the answer.
Professor Ebenezer Obey to Asabeafrika...'My Dad & Mum met at Idogo under a very interesting situation'
And before you know it, they got married and she got her first daughter that is my late senior sister. She is now late; and followed by myself. So, my mother said ‘God has answered my prayer’. All you can have when it comes to children is two—a male and a female, iketa omo o si (There is no third edition of a child-male & female God created them) after a male and a female, there is nothing else you can have. So my mother and my father slept in Idogo and she became pregnant and conceived the baby and she was traveling to Lagos Mercy Hospital (Now Island Maternity Hospital) for her maternal care. And so, she delivered the Baby EBENEZER OBEY at Lagos Mercy Hospital. The hospital is still there; so by birth I am a Lagosian.
Professor Ebenezer Obey to Asabeafrika...'The story of Idogo is the story of Ebenezer Obey'
But immediately after my birth in Lagos I was taken back to Idogo, lived in Idogo, started school in Idogo, elementary in Idogo, completed my elementary school in Idogo, spent a little time in Lagos before going back to Abeokuta to complete my secondary school. That is all about Idogo. But when I left school I decided that I wanted to be a musician which my mother kicked against.
Why was she against your musical ambition?
Professor Ebenezer Obey to Asabeafrika...'Mum wanted me to either be a lawyer or Doctor but God had his own plans'

You know with her history and background, she was a very determined woman, very industrious, very enterprising, she was a fabric merchant and a woman who came just to live for her children. My mother came just to live for her children alone. She never let us lack anything, my mum will never allow her own lack to affect her children. She even hates to see us cry for anything. She was a total mother.
So she wanted you to be a lawyer or Doctor?
Professor Ebenezer Obey to Asabeafrika...'I promised my mum that i will not drink and smoke as a musician and God helped me to achieve that'
Yes, she wanted me to either be a medical doctor or a lawyer. But I pleaded with her. She told me the reason why she does not want me to be a musician. She said musicians smoke; they womanize and live a wayward life. But I promised her that I won’t engage in those ills. That I will be a good example and God helped me I kept my promise. I am a good example. I thank God for that. And I can say everything started in Idogo. My music started there, everything started in Idogo.
The GDA engages the Professor Emeritus Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi (MFR)
But at a time your father left the family at Idogo for Lagos?
When my father wanted to leave, he told my mother but my mother refused to follow him to Lagos. She said ‘no, leave myself and these two children alone. You can always come and check on us’ because my mother was already established in her cloth business at Idogo. And my father had two other wives and that warranted him to leave my mother and came to Lagos. And because he knew my mother was quite industrious and enterprising, he left the care in my mother’s hand.
The GDA with a specially designed 75th birthday effigy gift for the Prof of Music by his children
He knew my mother loved her children. And he knew he can trust my mum for giving us the best care in the world, that he can entrust our care to her. I was 7 years old before I knew my father. I asked him one day, ‘Daddy, why did you do that? Why did you left mummy and two of us behind at Idogo?’ And he said he knows that my mother was an enterprising woman and he entrusted us in her hands because he knew she will take good care of us. I love both my father and my mother. I built a house for my dad and built a house for my mum. I built a house for the two of them differently. I ensured I took care of both of them by building houses for them in Abeokuta. My mother was a successful woman who built her own house but I ensured I added my own to hers. I bought a building for her at Idogo. Thank God they both died at their ripe age and I gave them a befitting burial rite. 
The GDA in the ambience of the Juju Music Legend & Professor Emeritus, Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi (MFR)

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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