Ajegunle: Where superstars are groomed - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Ajegunle: Where superstars are groomed

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Ajegunle uniqueness likes in the fact that it is a concentration of all the many ethnic groups in Nigeria; Ajegunle is Yoruba word which is broke down as Aje gunle meaning a place where riches dwell; in other words a land with raw and untapped treasures (Talents).

Located in the Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local government and bordered on the west by Apapa Wharf and Tincan, two of Nigeria’s biggest sea ports through which over 70 percent of imported goods come into the country.

In past years it has produced notable entertainers, footballers, top socialites that includes Samson Siasia, coach of Nigeria’s Olympic Team, Biodun Obende who plays in Finland, former Watford striker Odion Ighalo, and former Super Eagles defender who is now a pastor, Taribo West and Emmanuel Amuneke, former African Footballer of the Year.

The community, popularly known as “AJ city” or simply “AJ”, was subject to the ijaw/Ilaje conflict that became an inspiration for the album CRISIS released in 1999/2000 by African China. MUTIAT ALLI ex-rays the various stars from the blessed city of Ajegunle

Daddy Showkey

Ajegunle was brought to limelight by the popular musician Daddy Showkey in the late 1990s. It was a notorious part of Lagos before now. Ajegunle as the name implies in Yoruba language where the name was derived from means a place where riches dwells. In other words a land with raw and untapped treasures (talents).

Daddy Showkey Born as John Odafe Asiemo is one Ajegunle product that has been representing Ajegunle anywhere without be intimidated even after moving out to his own house.

‘Somebody call my name’ is one of the brand associated with this veteran Galala singer, which usually comes with the response “Showkey”. Daddy Showkey was bred in Ajegunle.

He first came into the music scene when he was associated with the music group, Pretty Busy Boys, which produced the then popular ‘Biggy Belle’ hit song. He later went solo, producing chart-bursting songs like, ‘Somebody call my name’, ‘Dyna’, ‘Ghetto Soldier’, ‘If you see my mama’.

In 1995, this multiple award-winning Delta state-born artiste was awarded the Best New Artiste in Nigeria. Known for his unique Galala music and dance style,  has collaborated with music stars like Harrysongz, Chuddy K, Drey Beats, and others. He made an appearance in 2014,

after being silent for over 7 years, with ‘Asalamabeez’, a fairly hit single where he featured Harrysong, to a fine blend of Galala and contemporary Afro pop tunes. He was part of the celebrity season of the Gulder Ultimate Search, alongside Emeke Ike, Chioma Akpotha and other notable entertainers.

Don Jazzy

Michael Collins Ajereh is popularly known as ‘Don Jazzy’ and one of the richest music producer in Africa. He heads Mavin Records, one of the biggest record labels in Africa. Although Ajereh doesn’t often  take credit as a singer, he performs background vocals for artists he produced.

He significantly produced vocals for Kanye West and Jay Z’s ‘Lift Off’ featuring BeyoncĂ©. His label has the likes of Reekado Banks, Di’Ja, Dr.Sid, DPrince, Korede Bello and Ikechukwu  who are doing pretty well in the music industry.

Hardly will you mention Don Jazzy without adding D’Banj, his label mate in Mo-Hits records(now Mavin). D’banj’s  exit from the label wasn’t appreciated by fans of both parties as they both created good music we could all relate with.

Speaking on his grooming of world class entertainers, a label mate, Tiwa Savage almost a year ago, signed an impressive management an publishing deal wih Jay Z’s Roc Nation.

His Label caught the attention  of Roc Natis director of mobile strategies, Briant Briggs on his visit to Nigeria which led to the notice and picking of Tiwa Savage in his search for new talent.


Kcee

Kingsley Chinweike Okonkwo popularly called KC is one of the Ajegunle’s music stars that came into limelight after he participated at the first Star Quest and won. KCee is presently a world class musician doing pretty well in the entertainment industry although he had recently been accused of cropping Hush Puppi’s hand out of a photo intended to brag with stacks of currency.

KCee was Born and bred in Olodi-Apapa area of Ajegunle. He originally started out with a group called Kcpresh, where he and his friend and partner, Precious, worked together.

They both entered a music competition Starquest, where they emerged victorious. They stayed as a group and made successful albums, until 2011 when they decided to split and try their career pros­pects as individual artistes.

After the celebrated split of the group, Kcee has since made hit after hits, raking several endorsement deals and multiple awards in the process.

The Anambra State-born music artiste is currently signed to his brother’s record label, Five Star Music and among the few Ajegunle musicians that are still trending in the present day Nigerian music industry. Most of his celebrated tracks include, ‘Limpopo’, ‘Pull Over’ ‘Bureau de Change’ etc.  

Kcee who signed a multi-million endorsement deal with Telecommunications Company, MTN is nurturing political ambitions as most celebrities are. Patience Jonathan, wife of former Nigerian President, Good luck Ebele Jonathan, appointed Kcee as peace ambassador of the federal republic of Nigeria.

The famous singer has also revealed his intention in Anambra state gubernatorial election. He is contesting for Anambra 2017 governorship election alongside popular Nollywood actor, Yul Edochie.

Baba Fryo

This Delta State born Friday Igwe popularly known as Baba Fryo is one of the products of the Ajegunle part of Lagos. He was usually recognized with one eye exposed while he had the other one covered with a star-like mask.

Despite being involved in music for several years, he made his most notable impact in the industry in the early ’90s when he released ‘Dem go dey pose’ and ‘Notice me’.

Baba Fryo belongs to the category of Ajegunle musicians who have left the scene for quite a while, to which he once attributed to the activities of pirates and record label owners who ripped him off on the proceeds of hit track ‘Dem go dey pose’.

Danfo Drivers

These music duo were one of the most outstanding and much appreciated music artistes, when the Ajegunle Galala brand of music was still very much in vogue.

Their song, and in fact most noticeable hit single, ‘I am a Danfo Driver, Suo’, produced under Corner­stone Entertainment Records label in 2003, gave them away as talented artistes and launched them to super-stardom.

The release of their sophomore album titled ‘Danfo Travel: Success Story’ in 2005 which did well especially with the track ‘Kpolongo’ led to their first European tour in October 2006.

They performed in Athens, Sweden, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and several other countries. They have performed in many African countries including Sierra Leone, Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, amongst others.

They go by their professional names, Mountain Black and Mad Melon, with their real names as Jimoh Olotu and Omeofa Oghene respectively. Asides their unique music rendition, which mostly reflected the Ajegunle brand, they are also known for their peculiar black head-tie, which they both wear.

This music duo have been off the music radar for a while now, but they made an appearance in 2015, with the release of two new songs titled  ‘Inyele’, and ‘Tinini’, none of which got close to their debut hit single.

Daddy Fresh

Innocent Michael Onyebuchi Onyemuwa, but popularly known as Daddy Fresh, is another well-known musician and of course, a product of AJ city. His music was diversely presented.

From dance-hall, reggae, R&B and hip-hop genres of music. He is one of the pioneers of contemporary music, as we come to have it today. Those familiar with our old skul music must reckon with his work.

His most popular hit remains ‘Eleru Gberu e’. Although he hails from Umuahia in Abia state, He stayed in Ajegunle for about years before moving out of the community.

He started his music career with the music group, Pretty Busy Boys, which had another Ajegunle music star, Daddy Showkey, including Sexy Pretty and Cashman Davis, as group mates. Songs like, ‘Syncro Dance’, ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’ ‘Baba Ni Baba’, ‘Ezi Nne’, ‘Don’t Wanna Wait in Vain’, and others, are works of his.

Daddy Fresh had been silent for a while until he reappeared on the music scene with the release of ‘My Okoso’ in 2015. He has about 5 albums to his name, and can be described as one of Nigeria’s well established music icons.

Nico Gravity

Paul Nnamdi Okpara also known as Nico Gravit is another product of Ajegunle. He started making music professionally in 1991 at a club house which became a training ground for him. He made his debut album under Felin Records label in 1996, tagged ‘Story Teller’.

In 1993 and 1995, he collaborated with another Ajegunle music star, Daddy Fresh, to produce ‘Clean Up’ and ‘Fakafikifaka’ songs respectively.

Nico Gravity returned to the Nigerian music scene in a dramatic manner, with the release of his controversial song in 2009, titled ‘I wan finish Timaya’, under the album, ‘Scatter Timaya’, a song in which he lambasted Afro pop superstar Timaya.

This act led to a lot of backlash from his fans and that of Timaya. He has since been silent as Timaya once mentioned after that diss track that he came across Nico Gravity at a location, serving as a Gateman.

Basket Mouth

This is one man who brings happiness to souls in his funny presentations and reactions. Bright OKpocha popularly known as Basket Mouth, is one of Nigerian’s top comedian. He precisely resided at Ozor street in Ajegunle at that time.

He is yet to create a comedy platform in Ajegunle with the intention of reaching out to up-coming comedians who seek the opportunity to showcase their talent. His face is famous in adverts especially Globacom services.

Charles Okafor

Charles Okafor is a Nollywood actor who has been in the industry for a very long time. He is one of the products of Ajegunle. He now limits his appearance on screen but produces. However, he seems to have forgotten his former community of residence as they are yet to feel his impact.

Gideon Okeke

This is one result of Ajegunle that came to lime light when he participated in the first big brother show. He was initially residing at Ojo road in Ajegunle until Big Brother gave him a turn around.

He also got a lead role in TINSEL, a classic television program. He also advertised for mobile network, Etisalat (now 9mobile). His impact in Ajegunle is yet to be felt.

Peter Rufai

Peter Rufai is a popular name in our Country, Nigeria. He is a great footballer and one of the early stars of Ajegunle. Peter Rufai’s position and name could cause some growth for aspiring goalkeepers at Ajegunle. 

Taribo West

Taribo West is one of those excellent players who caused the success of super eagles in many matches they participated in. He played as a defender and represented Nigerian national team in1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups. 

 Although he is no longer active in football due to age and the likes, his impact ought to be felt at Ajegunle. The former soccer star however might be causing impact for Christian fans as he became a Pastor some years back. He is now addressed as Pastor Taribo West.


Oritsefemi

Oritsefemi Majemite Ekele, popularly known by his first name, Oritsefemi, is a Nigeria singer, performer and song writer who can be said to have generated from Ajegunle.

His songs are countless with many features and vice-versa. Oritsefemi is most popular for his appreciated hit single ‘Double Wahala’, a remix of Fela Kuti’s track. His voice signifies ‘street credibility’ as his tone and language of presentation is suitable for hustlers on the streets.

Marvellous Benjy

This Ajegunle star started out with Kenny Ogungbe’s led Kennis Music. The record label that once promoted other stars like 2face Idibia, Kenny Saint Brown, Kelly Handsome, late OJB, Eedris Abdul Kareem, Sound sultan, Jaywon and others.

The delta state-born reggae and dancehall singer and producer struggled to take his music further when his relationship with Kennis music crumbled. He was responsible for the popular hit, ‘Suo’. He is believed to have left Kennis music for his own outfit, High Grade Entertainment.

Samson Siasia

Samson Siasia is a former Nigerian football striker and the former head coach of Nigerian Men’s national football team. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria and once resided at Ajegunle too.  He was fired on October 28, 2011 for failing to take the Nigerian team for African Nation’s Cup in Gabon.

Odion Jude Ighalo

This Nigerian professional footballer is another product of Ajegunle. He plays as a striker for a Chinese Club and Nigerian National Team. He is yet to impact lives in his former hood.

Ruth Kadiri

This Actress, film producer and screen writer is doing tremendously well in the industry. She was born in Lagos and grew up in Ajegunle. She attended a school at Ajegunle where she later sponsored the education of 5 students as a way to return the favour.  

Ruth is one of the growing actress in the industry whose role interpretation is commendable; she has equally joined the league of actors who now movie producers of their own.


Source: Daily Times