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Ayinla Omowura: Life And Times Of An Apala Legend

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This book is a narrative of the life and times of one of the most profound and unarguably, one of the most original Yoruba musicians of post-colonial Nigeria. Murdered in a barroom brawl in Abeokuta, Ogun State in 1980, Ayinla Omowura, forty years after his untimely passage, has refused to die, both in the consciousness of the people of southwest Nigeria, even elsewhere, as well as in the hearts and on the lips of the people.

The book plots the graph of Omowura’s youth, his musicality, family, the fatality of his early departure, and events that led to his death. From the lens of family, friends, his songs, and relics of people who interfaced with him while alive, a narrative is constructed here about the short life of music and society that Ayinla lived. He was a lay scholar, an ombudsman, autodidact, and carrier of the cultural burden of his Yoruba people. Having tasted life in pre and post-colony, the latter being a time when there was beginning to appear noticeable conflicts between traditional life and modernity, Ayinla taught with his music that the latter could only exist if the values of the former are embedded into it.

Having lived a rough life at youth and now, thrust to the top of society by fame and cash in his later life, Ayinla never recovered from the conflict this posed. He didn’t really realize the enormous roles expected of his catapult to the top of high society. This, in part, was responsible for his early tragic exit.

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