The 9ICE Exclusive Part 2: How I sold Pepper for King Sunny Ade’s Mum as a kid – 9ice + “Reasons why my first marriage didn’t work”

Gbenga Dan Asabe with Honorable Abolore Agbolade Akande-9ice

In this concluding part of the memoir
like encounter with Hip-Pop Music icon, Alexander
Abolore Ajifolajifaola Akande
aka 9ICE,
we went deep to unearth his background, his rumored Iya Agba Loke Aro, his
father’s pedigree, his street life, his broken marriage, his new marriage, his
philosophy and many other things you will find interesting about the artiste
turned politician. All for you by your soar away African number 1 Celebrity
encounter blog asabefarika. Enjoy
the excerpts.

The Nice Shoe I couldn’t afford in
school
9ice opened
this chapter of his life with the story of his bitter childhood experience “Life
was terrible and it has gotten to a stage when I talk about my life people will
say “Ah, ah, Se bobo yi nikan lo jeya ni. Ko jeya to emi naa” (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 have the hope to succeed”
When asabeafrika
asked him to described his poverty situation as a kid, he went thus “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 cant even come back home and say ‘Ah, won ni ka’a ra text
book lola 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”

“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”

9ice to GDA…’I had to close before official school clossing hour to sell pepper for my mother’

9ICE’s worst time

 Speaking further on times that defined his
poverty stricken childhood, 9ice recollect with nostalgia one of
those destiny trying moments “There was a time when I was in secondary school
(CMS Grammar School) we had a strike that took a very long time before it
seized and the military government ordered military men 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 time I was
crying. 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 go to sites where they are
working to carry clay soil and feel 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 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”

9ice….’king Sunny Ade’s mum was one of my biggest customers while i was hawking pepper’
I sold pepper to King Sunny Ade’s mum
“Because against that order, I usually leave
school by 1:30 pm, go and carry fillings at building sites between 1:30pm and
4pm because by 4pm I have to go and hawk pepper. 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 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 entire day,
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. King Sunny Ade’s mother (Mama Adesida) that died
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 me and we are 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”

“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 meets the GDA

Why I took my family away 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 ancestral home 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,
I had to move everyone 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”

The GDA, 9ICE with MD & CEO, Dicotyledon Entertainment, Don T. Anifite
The story of Iya Agba in my album
Asabeafrika
asked the very gifted composer to tell us the story of the mysterious “Iya Agba
loke Aro”, who is this Iya Agba 9ice keeps referring to in his album and he
told us the story for the first time “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 boy. 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 take care
of 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 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 while. 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. 

9ICE….’I had a deal with mum to work at a site first before resuming home to hawk pepper for her’

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. There was peace, O o too be, who born monkey?
Everybody eat 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 “Mother”. 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, the same father”

9ICE and GDA shares a joke
The Story of my unknown dad
9ice shared the story of his unknown
father with us “My father passed through a lot too. In fact, his own level of
poverty is worse than our own. 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 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 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. When you wear white
socks along with that shoe yee, you are a hot cake in school. But I never owe 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”

“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”.

9ICE…..’The level of my father’s own poverty was severe than mine but we survived’

My worst fear in life

Talking
about what drives 9ice, the successful entertaining who is taking his first
step into politics said “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. 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”

The GDA, 9ice with Don Tony Anifite aka Don T of DicotyleDon Entertainment Ltd
The meaning of Epon Agbo ton mi
One of 9ice’s
favorite songs is “Jesu ti o nige ton pase, Epon Ago ton mi, oya ma’a
pase” (Slim Jesus with big authority, Ram Scrotum that gives authority) We
asked him to tell us the meaning of Epon Agbo ton Pase and he did with
an enthusiastic fervor “The meaning of Epon Agbo meji (A ram’s scrotum)
(Showed us a logo on the jacket of the album “Tradition” depicting the two
scrotum of a ram)”Epon temi meji ti mo n gbe kiri is the Microphone ati
Speaker. (My own two scrotums I carry about are my Microphone and speaker).
Once I get a microphone and a speaker I can sing and everybody will listen and
hear what I am singing. So, Epon Agbo elomi to wa ni desert nisiyi, o le je pe
ounje atomi to ma fi survive ni (A person that is in the desert might have just
food and water as his own scrotums) Fun apeja, hook ati net le’epon e. To ba ti
ni hook ati net, o ma le peja, to ba tile pa eja yen, awon family e ti survive.
(For the fisher man, his own scrotums are the hook and the net and the moment
he uses the two to catch fish, his family will survive) Fun eyin ni sin yi, ee rii
pe midget te gbe dani yi ati biro, ohun lepon agbo tiyin (For you journalist it
is your midget and the Biro that is your scrotums) Epon yin le ma’a ma fi pase
(It is your scrotum that you use to command authority). That is the story
behind my Epon Agbo ton pase philosophy and the same philosophy also applies
to my Alapomeji sign tune. Alapomeji is another form of Epon
Agbo Meji ton pase
” 

9ice…..’My life in school was a big struggle
Why I married a new wife
 When the topic of his new wife surfaced 9ice
felt a bit restrained but when we told him the need the implications of not
clearing off the issue especially with his fans, he decided to talk about it
with a new disposition “Let me just tell you this and I pray it will be
reported the way I said it to you. It is true that I have a child; it is true
that I am with someone named Olasunkanmi Ajala and she is the
mother of my child. That is the truth of the story; and if you check my
instagram page, you will see my daughter Michelle there. She is there, her
name is Michelle Abolanle Akande and she is there.
So, it is not something you can hide for long. How can you hide a good news
like having a child, it is one of the information you can never hide under the
sun; it is a joyful thing.

9ice, Don T and GDA sharing a joke after the interview
Why my first marriage didn’t work
 On what is different between his new
relationship and the old one, 9ice lectured asabefrika  “If anybody is saying that there is anything
that I have done to them, it is because I divorced in my first marriage and why
did I do that? It is between peace of mind and marriage. The only way I can
have my peace of mind is to stay alive; that was why I was able to do the “Tradition
album”,
that was why I was able to do “Bashorun Gaa” and “Versus”. 

If I am dead nobody will be privileged to hear those works. Won a kan sukun osu
mefa ni o de pari sibe niyen (They will only mourn for six months and it ends
there): so, I had to go back and say “Ok, kini mo fe fun life mi? (What do I
want for my life?) “Idunnu, Ifokanbale (Peace and joy) “kii se gbogbo nkan lowo
(Not everything is all about money). Everything is not money but once I have my
peace of mind and I can take care of my children and say ‘Eyin omo mi, Michelle
iwo gba, Maya iwo gba, Liya, iwo gba; awon naa de le dagba won de le woo pe
Baba awon ree, not that pe won dagba, won wa ni wo picture baba e; Olorun ma je
a rii (I want to be able to say to my children Michelle, Maya, Liya, take and
let them equally grown up and see me and play with me, not that someone will be
showing them my picture. God forbid evil). ‘Oh, see your daddy when he was
alive, no I don’t want that. Emi naa fe dagba, komo gbeyin mi. so, (I want to
age gracefully and see my children inherit my legacy) it is all about my life”.

9ice, Don T and GDA shares a joke
No regret from my first marriage
 On what 9ice regretted about his first
marriage, the artiste reacted promptly by saying “I dint regret anything in my
first marriage. I didn’t regret anything; I think it wasn’t meant to be.
Because Obirin ti iwo ko sile to nip e ko
da, elomi a fe. O ma so fun pe aaaa!, Almighty
ohun leleyi. (The woman you reject that is not good for you, another
person might see her and he will say ‘oh, she is my almighty) So, I think she
brought out the bad of me and I brought out the bad of her. Another person will
bring out the best in her and another person is bringing out the best in me”. 

The GDA presenting General Sam Momah’s book to 9ice as ‘political dictionary’
What I found in my new woman
 On what 9ice found with Sunkanmi Ajala the mother
of his new baby girl, Michelle, he reacted with a little
smile “I have my peace of mind. Ti n ba mu gari ni si yi, gaari yen moju mi
dan, ti  mi o ba so fun yin pe garri ni
mo mu, mo wa ok, afi tin ba bi or tin ba po ni everybody ma mo pe garri nii
bobo yii mu. But kin je salad constantly, tin bar u ke gun, ee ti mope aah,
bobo yi o gbadun life e, e woo bo se ru. Beeni, te ba ti rimi, ee ti mope aah,
bobo yii o wa ok; pelu gbogbo owo to ni. Se, kole jeun to da ni? (With Sunkanmi
Ajala, if I drink Garri, the Garri makes my face shine and my body healthy.
Unless I tell you or I vomit, you won’t know I drank Garri. But if I am eating
Chicken and Salad constantly and I have no rest of mind, people will see it in
my gaunt body and they will complain)  So, emi gigun, Alafia ati ifokan bale ni eyan
le fi lo ile aiye, kii se oye owo ta’a kojo.  (It is peace of mind and long life that one
need to travel through the journey of life not money or wealth) Eeri bawon
politician was en ko owo joo to, won o ni Alafia, won oni fokanbale. O wo ta’a
ma ni, tao ni ni ifokanbale, Olorun maje ka’a ni. (See how our politician keep
amassing wealth, yet they don’t have peace of mind. My prayer is that the kind
of money that will steal my peace of mind, may God never give me)

9ICE and GDA after the interview
How I handle women
“There is no
stardom without women. They are even the one to tell their husband to patronize
you but it is left for you to know when to cross the line. They like you
because of your music; they might get to know the kind of person you are and
they hate you. You must be able to differentiate between your fame and your
personality. They love you because of your fame and let it end there. Your
person is what you show to your wife or the woman you keep at home and she
should be able to manage you weather you are a musician or a journalist; weather
you are temperamental or quite. Ko si anybody to pe tan. (Nobody is complete)
So, as an artiste, you must be able to differentiate between your fame and your
personality”
Honorable Abolore Agbolade Akande,
will 9ice still be singing?
 That was the last question from this blogger
and 9ice had a ready made answer “As I am leaving here I am going to Cabbassa
studio because we are working on a new album and that album is going to be
released in January 2015. And like I said earlier, we are equally working on
all the songs we have released that don’t have videos. So, even by the time I
am there In-Sha Allah, my songs and my projects will still be there for people
to patronize and I will use my salary to pay my constituent people for the
first four years”

9ice…’I couldnt afford to use a bag to school, i used a nylon bag’

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