Feature: Omowura and his Rare Attitude of Gratitude

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Unlike many of his contemporaries who didn’t appreciate their production team in their albums, Alhaji Ayinla Omowura’s show of appreciation to the production crew of his works was legendary. He serenaded them in all his records.

One person who really enjoyed mention in Anigilaje’s albums was his first producer at EMI, Alhaji Taoreed Adedigba. In a record like ‘Emokan’ waxed in 1977, he repeatedly called his name for three times. In ‘A kii gbo wo Awon'(vol.8), Adedigba’s name featured in the opening part: “…Taoridi omo Adedigba, tan ba n bu e ma ma pe o gbo o, igba tan n bu Omowuramotu lo d’ori olowo…”

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Following the disagreement between Adedigba and his employer, EMI, Adedigba left for Hasbunallu Records, leaving Omowura behind. However, in the last album,’Ise Ile'(vol.13) that he produced for Omowura, Ayinla eulogised him: “Adedigba f’oro sikun bi agba fi gbigbo salaigbo…”

Alhaji Adisa Famous replaced Adedigba as Ayinla’s producer at EMI. The late Apala legend appreciated him in ‘Omi titun'(vol.17). He reinforced this in volume 20(25×40), Ayinla revealed the physique of Famous as a short man who controls the tall: “Famous Adisa máa bo lodo mi, eeyan kukuru ti n p’eni gigun rannse máa gbo…”

Emmanuel Odenusi, the Studio Engineer at EMI also benefitted from Ayinla’s magnanimity. One example of such was in ’25×40′: “Odenusi, o tun gbo’pon kan de o, Ayinla Omowuramotu…”

Omowura equally appreciated his composers for their support. He believed that his fame and acceptance had the inputs of these people acting behind the scenes. One his composers was Late Fatai Akanni B’olodeoku, whom he referred to as his elder brother. Ayinla paid tribute to him in ‘Omi titun’. “O ti gb’opon orin lo Akanni w’aja…”

As if he had premonitions of his exit, he openly commended three of his composers in volume 19 ‘Awa kii s’olodi won’, for their excellent delivery. “emi Anigilaje ti mo ba korin titi o ma ranti awon ojogbon to n gbe fun wa. Alabi Ade Adeeyo o, Atenisemess okunrin, Rasaki Titun mo gba fun e, f’orin isiti to n mu waye, Bashiru n be ni Igbore ara wa ni..” This turned to be his farewell message as he died few months after recording volumes 19 and 20 same day.

This open commendation is very unusual among music stars, who are not even as versatile as Omowura. Anigilaje, perhaps understood that an attribution is a powerful tool for motivation hence he remains relevant even after 42 years of his sudden and untimely demise.

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