How I sold Pepper for King Sunny Ade’s Mother —9 ice …The Untold Story of Abolore Akande

The GDA with Mr. Abolore Agbolade Akande aka 9ice

In a recent exclusive encounter with
your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog—Asabeafrika, Hip-Hop Music Philosopher King, Abolore Akande aka 9ice
revealed the story behind his humble beginning on the streets of Bariga—Lagos, South West Nigeria and
how he beat the game of poverty to become a success story in life. He opened
the sour chapter of his life with the bitter story of how life treated him in
the Bariga neighborhood. Hear him
“Life was terrible and it has gotten to a stage when I talk about the story of
my life, people will say “Ah, ah, Se bobo yi nikan lo jeya ni. Ko jeya to mi
nau” (Is he the only one that suffered as a kid, I equally suffered).  “But it is a story we have to keep telling
people so that young people can learn and equally build their hope to succeed”

When asabeafrika asked him to describe his poverty situation as a kid, 9ice went memory lane “It was like
this, you see your mother, you see your father, they are there, they are not
dead but you know they cannot help you and you are still not angry with them.
You will go out and fend for yourself. In fact it is from some of the things
you bring home that they will even take from you and you are not even angry
with them because you know that is what life has chosen for you guys. That was
how bad it was when I was growing; they cant even afford to pay for your school
fees, you can’t even come back home and say ‘Ah, won ni ka’a ra text book l’ola
o, o ti mo pe won o ni fun e, o kan waste ito enu e ni’ (You cant come home and
even tell your parent you want to buy text book in school, you know they cant
give you the text book, you are just wasting your saliva). So, I had to work to
survive in school. I often leave school before 2’oclock in order to go and work
as a laborer on building sites”

9ice to Asabeafrika….’We grew under very hard and strict condition in Bariga’

My CMS Grammar School days…
 Speaking further on moments that defined his
poverty stricken childhood, 9ice recollect with nostalgia one of
those destiny trying moments of his life “There was a time when I was in
secondary school (CMS Grammar School) we had a strike action that took a very
long time before it seized and the Federal Military Government ordered soldiers
to man the gates of each secondary schools in Lagos and we were forced to close
at 4 O’clock as against 2 O’clock. That particular moment of my life, I will
cry and cry. Why? Because I used to leave school at 1pm or 1:30pm before the
official closing time of 2 O’clock because I have to quickly visit sites where
they are working to carry clay soil and fix German floors. So, I had projects
that I have collected money for and to execute them became a big headache because
that is where I make my survival money from. Those projects were lacking. I can
remember that terrible period in Nigerian history; students of secondary
schools were even encouraged to become army cadets and we were being forced to
close at 4pm. It was really, really terrible and a very sad moment in one’s
life”

“There was this shoe called Cortina from Bata in those days, most of my friends had that shoe but I was
unable to buy one; that is still one of my greatest regrets till date because I
was never able to buy one; I never own a pair of that shoe; I longed for it all
through the day when I was in school that ‘Kemi naa t era bata yii’ because the
shoe is so bad”

9ice (m) GDA (L) and his Image Maker, Mr. Anthony Anifite aka Don Tee

…And 9ice sold pepper to KSA’s mum
 The successful musician who has released hits
after hits with a couple of ever green songs continued his story with Asabeafrika
“At that time of my life, I usually leave the school premises by 1:30 pm to go
and carry fillings at building sites between 1:30pm and 4pm because by 4pm I
have to go and hawk pepper for my parents. So, I have to do my own runs first;
It was an agreement between me and my mum that I had to do my own  runs before I do your own. So I will leave
school by 1:30pm, I already have an extra clothe with me alongside my school
uniform. I will change into my working uniform and start carrying the clay
soil. If it is one room I can feel for the allotted hours, I feel, I will feel
that room so that the owner of the house will come and see that I have done
something and pay me. And by 4 O’clock I will go back home to carry pepper
which I will hawk from 4pm till 7pm in the evening. King Sunny Ade’s mother was my customer.

9ice meets the GDA
‘My name is Abolore Akande, CEO, Alapo Meji Records’

King Sunny Ade’s mother
(Mama Adesida) was my biggest customer; if she doesn’t see me that mean I don’t
make good sales that day because at times she buys half of my pepper. Anytime
she buys from me I am happy for the day because she will buy in large quantity.
So, that was the way life went with me and you are not angry with either your
father or your mother because you are not the only one, we are like ten or
eleven in the same house. We had cousins living with us and you discover that
despite your poverty profile, you are still even okay more than some of our
family members. They will say “Lo duro
pelu awon people yi, so that to ba wa pelu awon people yi o possible ki iwo naa
soriire”
(Go and stay with these people, because if you stay with them, it
is possible that you too will be successful). So, we had some of our cousins
living with us and we were even better compared to some of our family members.
So, we have some Omo Egbon, Omo Aburo Baba, Omo Aburo Mama living with us and hoping for survival”

“My step mother is the mysterious Iya Agba I often refer to in my album.
I love her; it was from Agbado Oke Aro
again, that I moved her away to Ibadan
because she is aged. I said ‘E pada sile, e lo si Ibadan ke’e lo joko, Ke’e kan
ma jeun Omo loku’.

9ice to Asabeafrika….’Everyday I had to work as a laborer at sites to raise money before i resume home to sell pepper for mum’

Why I relocated my family from Bariga
 In one of his tracks “Anytime” in the album Tradition,
9ice
narrated the story of how he decided to take his “Iya Agba” (Old woman) from
his Bariga country home to a new destination and how people kept accusing him
of being ungrateful to his root, Bariga.
Asabeafrika
asked 9ice to narrate the story of that decision and why it generated
so much uproar “We left Bariga when
success came” The Alapo Meji Record boss began “I had to move
every member of my family away from the old place and people were complaining “Aaah, O ti gbe Mama e kuro nibi, talo fe ma
wa ki nibi bayi nisiyi? Aah! koni wa moo, ko sawon eyan e nibiyi mo. Mumsy e ti
kuro nibiyi, step mum e, oti gbe kuro nibiyi’ ah, Ile won lago Owu yen gan, am
sure ko te ni debe mo tori awon to le mu wa sadugbo yi niyi
(Oh, he has
taken his mum away from here, he wont ever come here again. He has equally
taken his step mother away, their Ago Owu home in Bariga is now empty and we
wonder what will make him ever come to this area again because these are the
people that make him come around). People were complaining that I took my
family away from our old home in Bariga
but truth is when success come you must let it affect your family. Let them
enjoy the liberty of good life and that is exactly what I did when I got
success. I built a new home for my family and moved them away from the old
place”

9ice to Asabeafrika….’King Sunny Ade’s mum was my biggest customer while selling pepper’

Untold story of Iya Agba L’oke Aro
Asabeafrika asked the very gifted composer to
tell us the story of the mysterious “Iya Agba loke Aro” which often sings about
in his lyrics. Who is this Iya Agba 9ice keeps referring to in
his album? With a big smile hanging on his face 9ice revealed the identity of Iya
Agba
for the very first time to Asabeafrika “Yes, you heard me sing Omo Iya Agba loke Aro, when poverty was
biting hard we had to move from Bariga,
that is Ago Owu in Bariga which is my father’s personal
property. I am the only son of my father that didn’t live in that house for one
day. I have never slept there for one single day. So, we had a big house and I
could have gotten one room for myself and if possible sub-let it, as a Yoruba
scion. But I never did that and I even followed my step mum, not my mother to
another abode. I left my mother there and followed my step mother because she
is the one that always cares for me anyway. So, I followed her and we moved
away, we moved away from Bariga and
we moved to Agbado-Oke Aro, and that is why I was mentioning Agbado-Oke
Aro
in my album” 

“My motive has always been to
succeed; I don’t want to be a failure because if I look back, I see poverty and
failure. I know it was part of my background and I had to fight it hard and
defeat it because I don’t want to go back to that lane. So, for me not to go
back I have to be a success in whatever I do. 
And because when you have little success in life, there will be so many
obstacles”

9ice to Asabeafrika….’When i tell people about my story they think i am just being exergerative’

9ice unveiled Iya Agba to Asabeafrika
“My step mother is the mysterious Iya Agba I often refer to in my
album. I love her; it was from Agbado Oke Aro again, that I moved
her away to Ibadan because she is aged. I said ‘E pada sile, e lo si Ibadan
ke’e lo joko, Ke’e kan ma jeun Omo loku’
. (Go to Ibadan and rest so that I
can be taking care of you). So, the Mama Agba I am talking about is my
step mother because my mum was the last wife and I didn’t know she was my real
mother for a long time. You will be surprised that against the backdrop that
step mothers always maltreat their step children, my own case was different as
my step mother never maltreated me for once. In fact she cared for me like her
last born. In fact she is the one I call “mother”, I call my real mother
‘aunty’ because I never knew my mother was my real mother; I taught she was my
aunty thinking my step mum was my mother. Because that is the way my father
structured our family.

The GDA engaging Mr. Alapo Meji

There was peace, O
o too be,
who born monkey? Everybody eats in the same room, nobody dare say
this is my mother or that is your mother. We are all regarded as brothers and
sisters with no preference for one mother above the other. In fact, in the
house, we generally call my mother “Aunty” because my mother was the last wife
then, and she was so young. Even me, I call my mother ‘Aunty’. It is not quite
long ago that I started calling my mother “Mummy”. I call my mother “Aunty”
because I wasn’t told; I didn’t know who is who?  I call my step mother “Maami” ‘because anytime ti mo bade, eni ti mo ma lo
kii niyen, eni to ma gbonje fun mi niyen. Eni to ma so fun mi pe o ya lose bayi
niyen’
(She is the one I first go greet when I return from an outing; she
is the one that gives me food and order me to carry out any activity in the
house). My step mother’s name is Aishat,
she is just enjoying now. I am not the only son in the family but between my
mum and my dad, I am the only child. Every other person is my half but if you
see us you will think we are of the same mother”

9ice
to Asabeafrika….’We got to a point in my family that you couldn’t
even blame your parents any longer for not being responsible for your
upkeep’

The Story of my unknown Father…
9ice shared the story of his unknown
father with Asabeafrika “My father passed through a lot too. In fact, his own
level of poverty is worse than ours. Our own is enjoyment but I see it as
poverty because you cannot compare my life with other students of that era
because I saw people who came to school with school bags but I didn’t have one.
I had a poly bag. I had a black poly bag that I normally took to school; I
never had the privilege of having a school bag. So, if I compare my level with
other people that have school bags in those days, I will say I was not
privileged. There was this shoe called Cortina from Bata in those days, most
of my friends had that shoe but I was unable to buy one; that is still one of
my greatest regrets till date because I was never able to buy one; I never own
a pair of that shoe; I longed for it all through the day when I was in school
that ‘Kemi naa t era bata yii’ because the shoe is so bad
(Meaning G-o-o-d). When you wear white socks along with that shoe, yee!!! You
are a hot cake in school. But I never own a pair of that shoe till I left
school. So, if I compare my own level of poverty with my colleagues that is
when I say I am suffering but dad’s own level of poverty was even worse. When
his mother gave birth to him, the woman died immediately and he was the only
child. So, his father just threw him to one of his own brothers ‘O ya tele Egbon yi lo seko’. His family
is Christian but until he got to Lagos when his father’s brother changed him to
a Muslim. So, he ended up being the only big man in the family because my
father was the only one that had a house. He was born as David but when he was converted to Muslim, he was given a new name,
Azeez. So, today, he is known as Alhaji
Azeez.
He is still alive and he will be 70 very soon”. So, that is the
way our days were, in our days nobody dare to speak the way we feel about
things”

The Alapo Meji Records boss explaining a point to Asabeafrika’s Gbenga Dan Asabe

9ice’s worst fear in life
Talking
about what drives 9ice, the very
philosophical composer spoke further “My motive has always been to succeed; I
don’t want to be a failure because if I look back, I see poverty and failure. I
know it was part of my background and I had to fight it hard and defeat it
because I don’t want to go back to that lane. So, for me not to go back I have
to be a success in whatever I do.  And
because when you have little success in life, there will be so many obstacles.
In fact my song “Pete-Pete” when I released it, somebody said I stole his
song.  And I was quite shocked and I
asked “Where were you when I was writing this song, how can you say it is your
song?” And I later learnt that it was a style people were using at the time; to
say that you stole their song so that attention can be drawn to them and I
discovered people could be so desperate, especially as regards to success. So,
if you listen to the song “I don’t care”  (Another track on the Tradition album) I was talking to them, that, it is not even you
because I have so many things at home that I am facing; your own is just by the
way. “Eyi to  wanile ga’an a shi nfa, o tun wa fi tie kun” (We have not finish
fighting the battles at home and you are bringing an external battle to our
door step) so, it is normal in life that when you come out and become
successful you just started a new set of warfare. When you are nobody you wont
see anybody that will curse you or anyone to struggle with you over
something.  But the moment you become
something, people will start attacking you” 

9ice to Asabeafrika…’I my humble beginings defines my success instincts’
9ice to Asabeafrika…’I was angry with the Federal Military Government of those days for keeping me in school for two hours behind school time’

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