|Opening the historic encounter with Alhaja Nusirat Temilola Olamuyiwa at her Lagos, South West Nigeria home|
Today, for a few euphoric hours,
elegant and beautiful talking drummer cum musician of repute, Aralola Olamuyiwa will celebrate her 40th birthday with a movie listening
session at the Oriental Hotel,
Victoria Island-Lagos South West Nigeria. The event which promises to be a
revelation of her new art will equally be a platform to launch her new identity
as an artiste-musician and equally give fans and admirers the glimpse of
her successful transformation from a
circular singer with the rare gift of talking drumming into a gospel singer
retaining same lasting dexterity on the drums. Ara is the first female talking drummer in Africa with a
professional grace of over two decades that enabled her to perform on global
stages and met global acts like late Michael
Jackson and equally had a duet with American soul singer Steve Wonder. She is an ambassador to the
city of Miami, Florida, USA and one of Nigeria most sought
musical talents at corporate and social gatherings. In recent times, she has
done duets with top acts like Tuface
Idibia and vernacular rap king, Olamide.
Africa’s Number 1 Celebrity encounter blog Asabefarika
became world’s number 1 information medium to have an encounter with Alhaja Nusirat Temilola Olamuyiwa the mother of the famous talking drum queen Aralola Olamuyiwa. She is a retired Civil Servant with the Ministry
of Works and Housing. The encounter took place inside her moderate Ajao Estate,
Lagos South West Nigeria apartment amidst our crew an a team of children and
grand children. Ara was away at the time of the encounter.
several attempts is like no other. A
true spectacle that was in all ramifications revealing, entertaining and
educating. It was the real story of the greatness of Ara the Drummer Girl, the secret of her birth and the myth of her
talking drum dexterity plus tales of her several battles and turning points in
life as revealed by her 69 years old mother. Find a quite space in your abode
with your best drink and favorite snack as you read the story of a rare child
born by a banker father and civil servant mother with luck and charm.
Director of United Bank for Africa, UBA before his demise two years ago and
her mother is an ex-civil servant with the Nigeria Ministry of Works and Housing. Enjoy.
|Celebrity blogger Gbenga Dan Asabe pose with Mama, Alhaja Nusirat Temilola Olamuyiwa|
“The kind of training we got in our
days is quite different from what obtains now. Then there was fear, there was
respect. All this attitude of wearing skimpy dresses and exposing half of the
body was non existent in our own time; and there was nothing like boy friend
coming to visit you at home, nothing like that”.
background with us?
birth I am a Christian but by marriage I am a Muslim. From my father’s house I
was christened Victoria Temilola but
when I married a Muslim husband I became Nusirat
Olamuyiwa. I am from Ondo town in Ondo
state. I am the first born of my mother but I was told my parent initially
had some other kids who died at infancy before I stayed. So, I am their first
child but I have an elder step sister from my father’s side. My father was a
polygamist; both my dad and mum are from Ondo state. In fact, they have the
Ondo tribal marks on their faces to buttress their heritage.
|Alhaja Nusirat Temilola Olamuyiwa to Asabeafrika….’In our own days, ladies couldnt dress anyhow’|
Ma, why did you leave your Christian
faith for Islam in the name of love?
marry anyone that has a tribal mark, if you bring such person to me I will tell
you I can’t marry him but all my suitors turned out to be men with tribal
marks. They have at least two-two tribal marks; so, I took it as my own destiny
and that made me to marry my husband. He is a very important fellow; that is
his picture over there (Pointed to a corner of the room where her late
husband’s picture is hanging). He was born in a very great home; he is a very important
person, an inestimable personality who is well red and learned. He got the best
education in his own time and was equally a professional through out his entire
life. May God rest his soul in perfect peace: Amin.
“I knew I cannot suffer with him and
my children can never suffer as well. Although I am not his first wife, when he
travelled abroad to study, as a teenager, he married a Jamaican lady who gave
him three children all boys. On returning home he took two along with him while
the woman had one to herself”.
actually two, all men and these two men made success. His younger brother
marked his 70th birthday last October 2014. He has a thriving
company Folham Nigeria Ltd. So, they
are the only two men from their mother but of course their dad being a
polygamist, had many children, at least he had up to three wives but their own
mother had just two of them and I can tell you that those two are fortunate
children as they succeeded in life and they equally love each other even and
even after my husband’s demise, the love is still waxing stronger. He extended
the love to all his elder brother’s children. He has been taking care of us
since the demise of my husband; we didn’t even feel the impact of my husband’s
demise. He is such a great man and I want to believe that love is the
foundation of their family, that family is a rare family.
|Portrait of Ara’s late dad, Chief (Alhaji) Hameed Oluwawemimo Olamuyiwa (The Baba Adinni of Ondo Central Mosque)|
Can we have his full name?
Olamuyiwa, his father was the Osi Adinni of the Central Mosque in
Ondo town and my husband was equally turbaned as the Baba Adinni of Central
Mosque in Ondo. His mother hails from the famous Kuteyi family in Ondo, his maternal grand father was a high chief,
he got several traditional titles in Ondo Kingdom even his maternal grand
mother was a very important person; she was a famous and successful fabric
merchant in her lifetime. She sells all sort of attires, the kind of attire I
am wearing now, she sells them.
growing up as a young girl and is there any change today?
difference is very clear. The kind of training we got in our days is quite
different from what obtains now. Then there was fear, there was respect. All
this attitude of wearing skimpy dresses and exposing half of the body was non
existent in our own time; and there was nothing like boy friend coming to visit
you at home, nothing like that. When we became mature and ripe for adult life
we couldn’t even go for picnics; our mothers will say ‘so, you want to go and
start robbing your bodies against men’s bodies?’, ‘you want to go and start
dancing?’ they wont allow us to go but that is not the case today because they
will just go and if you correct them they will say ‘we are in a modern time,
your own days is past etc’. Everything has turned upside down.
was not up to 9 months, I think she was just eight months and few days when
she started walking. She didn’t have a single tooth when she started walking, I
was so afraid and concerned that I had to travel down to Ondo to meet her
paternal grandmother in Ondo, I said ‘Mama, this girl is already walking yet
she has no single tooth”
|Ara the Enigma in a pensive mood during an old encounter with Asabeafrika|
Can you tell us some of the benefits
of your own days that is lacking in today’s’ life?
much, you can’t quantify. The training of those days was effective even up to
the music we listen to. In those days we listen to music that has meaning; in
those days we actually get the real music. We were offered real music but today
we are being offered beats. We are not listening to music again, we only listen
to beats. Even you that you are interviewing me, I am sure you were already
around during the time of Chief Commander
Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade
and even Baba IK Dairo. It is part
of Papa IK Dairo’s song that his son is repeating today “Mo
soriire o, Eleda mi mo dupe o”. it was his father that sang the song,
that is IK Dairo, he sang the song
but today what we get is Gbi-gbi-gbi, beats
without music (Laughter) all the songs of our growing up years gave us
knowledge but today’s music offers no knowledge. It is pure beats.
|Alhaja Nusirat Temilola Olamuyiwa to Asabeafrika….’In our own days, ladies couldn’t dress anyhow’|
How Ladies were being married out in
our own time….
proposes to a girl he want to marry then? How was this aspect of love handled
in your own time?
bold o, to go and tell a father and a mother that we have seen the person we
want to marry. Nobody will dare it; it is the family of the man that will come
and meet our fathers and mothers; it is the father, mother or respectable
people from the groom’s family that will come and meet our own parents and say
“Please, we want to become your in-laws”. They will say your daughter miss
so-so-so and so, we want her to bear children for us. We want to make her a
daughter not wife, we want to take her as our daughter. That was the tradition
then and that was quite respectful.
“My great, great, great grand mother
was a daughter to the Alaafin of Oyo,
late Alaafin Abiodun. You know the
Oyo people are entirely drum maker and drum players. That is where Ara’s
talking drum gene came from; even some of my cousins are professional drummers.
In fact some of them use their left hand to beat the talking drum”
culture of social decadence in today’s society?
is the government; they are to be held responsible for the social decadence.
Freedom of everything will surely lead to destruction. So, it is the government of the day that got
it wrong. There are some songs that are not good for quality education they
will pass those songs uncensored. Even films that ought not to be showed on
television, we now have them being broadcast without being censored and all you
hear is that we are in the jet age. So, government which supposed to monitor
and moderate the society at large has failed in her responsibility. You can
quote me on this.
|Ara the Enigma with her only son pose with Celebrity Blogger Gbenga Dan Asabe|
How I met & fell in love with
laugh because you are taking me back to memory lane (Laughs). It was I and a
friend of mine, Mrs. Lawal she is
still alive, we were all working at the Federal Ministry of Works
and Housing, General Obasanjo
was the minister in charge of that ministry then. I and Mrs. Lawal went for our lunch and we were returning back to the
office. We passed through Igbosere (Victoria
Island) and we were about to enter our office building, we saw a car with
registration number WD that passed
by. It was that plate number and the tribal mark on my husband’s face that gave
my friend (Mrs. Lawal) the audacity to greet him, she said “Brother Le o”,
because she knew it was an Ondo state number and the man must be an Ondo man
because WD was the official plate
number for Ondo state then not ODD.
On giving a shout to him, he stopped the car, alighted and greeted us. We
exchanged pleasantries and he asked where we worked and we just pointed to the
building. The next day, in the afternoon he showed up at the building and asked
that we follow him for lunch that was how we became familiar with him and that
was how I met my husband (Laughter)
|The GDA meets Alhaja Nusirat Temilola Olamuyiwa, Aralola’s mum|
What did he see in you that made him
go for you instead of your friend who actually greeted him “Brother le o”?
know I think he is the only one that knows the answer to that question.
days you don’t say it out that ‘oh, I want to marry you’; you can’t dare it,
you only start a friendship and how it ends depends on what you think of each
other. They won’t be quick to tell you ‘I want to marry you’ because there was
still a bit of restrain at the time and a man and woman don’t get cozy easily.
You can’t even demand for sex because it is a very expensive thing to say.
up to year, we courted for just few months and we married.
to Asabeafrika….’During our own days you dare not tell your parent
you have found a boy a husband, that is the sole responsibility of your
would be in-laws’
Why I married Ara’s Father….
come better than other suitors that came your way?
a well respected home and he was a professional at the time; he was a banker
and he was well qualified. I knew I cannot suffer with him and my children can
never suffer as well. Although I am not his first wife, when he travelled
abroad to study, as a teenager, he married a Jamaican lady who gave him three
children all boys. On returning home he took two along with him while the woman
had one to herself. They didn’t return home together, I met those children with
him and they were 7 years then because they came early after one another. The
senior one didn’t take more than 13 months from the younger one; one was seven
years and the other six years with a month less. I trained all of them and they
are all abroad today. I am the one they know as their mother, on major
occasions they came t Nigeria for their wedding ceremony; I carried out
motherly roles and they were grateful. They are all successful today and I am
proud of them and they are also proud of me.
your job and became a full house wife?
dropped my job, I was doing my job and he was equally working and God decided
to bless us beyond our thinking.
|Ara The Enigma in a jolly mood during an old encounter with Asabeafrika|
The untold secret behind Ara’s
my first issue I had a child from an early relationship that didn’t work out
before I met and married my husband. She is equally a lady and she is okay
|Alhaja Nusirat Temilola Olamuyiwa to Asabeafrika…..’When I had Ara’s pregnancy, a mermaid visited me with a baby gift’|
How will you describe your daughter
Ara, she is today a world famous, can you share her growing years with us. Was
what the major sign that gave her out as a great child?
great child. She is a destiny child. The manifestation started coming right
from when I conceived her. In those days at the Ministry of Works and Housing,
our bosses do give us little-little contracts to argument our salary, they will
ask us to supply sand or any other item that is needed for building contracts.
So, they gave me a particular contract on Queen’s
Drive, Ikoyi. I went to supply
sand there and I was pregnant with Ara
with Ara. When it was night and I fell asleep, I saw a mermaid came to give me
a baby in my dream. She said I should take care of this baby very well and I
woke up. It was a funny dream but equally scary but I just waved it aside. So, the first day I saw my daughter weave
that her long braid, I was shaken with fear and I said ‘Ah, this girl must be a
mermaid o because it is Mermaid that gave her to me’. This is a top secret that I have never told
anyone except you; and since I gave birth to her, everything turned well for
me. I started making great fortunes; I became rich and highly contented. She is
a divine child.
|Alhaja Nusirat Olamuyiwa (Nee Victoria) Aralola’s mother|
Why I don’t allow visitor carry her
as a child…
gave more interesting revelation about the talking drum queen. “Ara was not up to 9 months, I think she
was just eight months and few days when she started walking. She didn’t have a
single tooth when she started walking, I was so afraid and concerned that I had
to travel down to Ondo to meet her paternal grandmother in Ondo, I said ‘Mama,
this girl is already walking yet she has no single tooth’ but Mama said ‘Well,
don’t be afraid that is how all my children delay in their teeth growth’. She
said I should not be afraid that there is nothing strange about it. So, those
days when a visitor comes to visit us, because we Yoruba people have the belief that if a child has not posses a
tooth or set of teeth, the child supposed not to walk. So, if a guest is coming
in, I will grab Ara and quickly
fasten her to my back. But still, she will be wriggling at my back, trying to
get down. We went through all that and got into another phase of her life. Ara is one special child that is very
brilliant; she is so intelligent and so gifted in various subjects. She started
so early because of her extra-ordinary brilliance, we enrolled her at the
University of Ilorin as a law student but may God spare us from worldly
tribulations. She was having a steady educational life until the school
authority said she must leave the school. That was one dark era of our lives.
|Alhaja Nusirat Temilola Olamuyiwa to Asabeafrika…..’Ara has brought me so much goodluck and fortune|
Why did that happened?
external courts (Awo Ode) had meeting with internal courts in the university
and they jointly took decision that she cannot have her education there.
but God knows best because one must not reveal everything about one’s
household. I won’t say more than this for now, we later enrolled her at Edo State University, Ekpoma to
continue and that was how she went into music and that also brought us into
another phase of life where we contacted God and God helped us out.
you describe her success @ 40?
confess that she is a miracle child and how her glory extended to all corners
of the world is solely by God’s grace. It is God that promoted my daughter. I
return all glory to Him.
|Alhaja Nusirat Temilola Olamuyiwa says about Ara ‘I once fought Ara for playing football in school’|
So, where did she inherit the gift of
a talking drummer, because it appears to me that you and her dad are
that question. She took the gene from my family; from my mother’s side. My
great, great, great grand mother was a daughter to the Alaafin of Oyo, late Alaafin
Abiodun. You know the Oyo people are entirely drum maker and drum players.
That is where Ara’s talking drum gene came from; even some of my cousins are
professional drummers. In fact some of them use their left hand to beat the
talking drum. We have Taiye one of
my sister’s sons who use his left hand to beat the drum. Then my own mother,
her elder brother is a professional drummer. So, our family is blessed with the
art and ability to beat the drum very well.
|Alhaja Nusirat Olamuyiwa (Nee Victoria) Aralola’s mother|
So, why is Ara’s own
unique and why the rise in career in the entire family, being a woman?
initially, it is God. We don’t have any source and we don’t have any
consultation than God. God wanted to use it to lift her glory. In fact there
was a time the celestial hosts wanted to plant that spirit of talking drum in
her. As a mortal I don’t know if they achieved that but God exposed it to her because
she is equally a gifted dreamer. She saw them in her dream, a husband, his wife
and two children, a boy and a girl. My daughter said they are hard to describe
because their personality is a bit frightening. She described their look as frightening
and they were asking “Who took the talking drum? Who took the talking drum?
Etc”; that she now came out to accost them and ask ‘are you looking for the
talking drum?’ so, she joined them in looking for the talking drum and they
later became friends until she woke up. So, it is also a testimony to the gift
God deposited in her.
the concluding part of this interview on Sunday as we published Part 2 titled “My big War with Ara’s ex-manager, Wanle Akinboboye)