Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tungba Maestro, Yinka Ayefele: “How My Father Died On His 76th Birthday”

A few weeks back , news broke that renowned gospel musician, Evangelist Yinka Ayefele lost his father, Pa Joshua Taiwo Fele aka Baba Teacher , a well-known teacher in Ipoti Ekiti who rose to the post of Headmaster before his demise . He died on Sunday, October 12, during the celebration of his 76th birthday held in Ipoti-Ekiti and the unfortunate incident has left the prolific musician devastated. Last week Thursday, 23rd of October, 2014, City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE and Showbiz Editor, TIMILEHIN AJAGUNNA visited the bereaved tungba-gospel crooner at his Music House office in Ibadan where he talked about the sad incident.

How did you feel when news of your father’s death got to you?
I felt terribly bad, it was shocking to me when I got the news because I was still on my way back to Ibadan from my home town, Ipoti Ekiti after I had gone to see him when I was called that he had passed on.

How did it happen?
I believe Baba (father) had premonition of his death, he knew he was going to die because he called me a week before his demise that he wanted to celebrate his birthday. I was very happy because he had never celebrated his birthday before. Even when he clocked 70, I wanted to celebrate his birthday for him, and I told him I want to put something together for him, and stopped me from doing it, because he was of the belief that anybody who celebrates birthday won’t live long. So I was very surprised when he called me to tell me that he is planning to celebrate his 76th birthday.

He started calling me a week before he died asking me to come around for his birthday, and he had called my siblings too to invite them. I told him I am not coming because if it is going to be a celebration, I am suppose to be the one planning it, not him. He said that is what he wanted to do. His birthday was October 12, he called me a day before, October 11 around 8.30pm, and I told him that I would love to be at home or church with and host people that will of course want to celebrate with us, and he said it’s not necessary that I should send anything that I want to send, so I sent it some money.

So, very early in the morning of October 12, I called him and he sounded unhappy, and I asked him you want me to come? He said yes. So I put myself together and went to Ipoti. I got to Ipoti around 12 noon and he was already in the church, so I just went straight to my own house and waited for him to come back from church. I called him few minutes later to tell him that I am around and he was so excited. Usually, my father comes to my house whenever I am in Ipoti, even if I didn’t tell him that I am around, once he sees that the there is light in my house , he will know that I am around and he will just come over . So I asked him that where are we going to meet , because my car cannot get to his house , and he told me to park anywhere that he will come and meet me , and I said I am going to park on the main road close to his house .When I got there I saw him waiting for me already on the main road .When I saw him , he was looking very good and very healthy.

He even asked me if he should come inside my car and help me get down, and I said ‘Baba e maa bere wahala yin niyen’ ( meaning you have started with your wahala) , we just joked as usual and he held my hand and squeezed it and showed me his arm , and I said Baba , you are looking smaller , and he said this is how I am going to go back to my creator, and I was like what are you saying ? Before I went to Ekiti , I told my tailor to do him a heavy Agbada, so I took it home and gave it to him and he was so happy . When he received it he prayed for me and said “you are our father now, you are our leader and we are all happy with you”. I gave everybody around money, and I left .About seven minutes after I had left Ipoti, they called me that Baba Ayefele is gone, I was like this can’t be true. They rushed him to Federal Medical Centre, Ido . I asked them to give the phone to the doctor, and the doctor said they are waiting for me because they want to pack him. I said pack who ?, I just left him not quite long. That was how it happened.

Credit : City People Online Magazine
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