Wale Glorious: Abandoned in death
By Bisi Olominu
In November 11,1971, the whole Akure kingdom, now the capital city of Ondo State was thrown into great mourning as a juju icon and legendary musician, Wale Glorious died. The whole city was in total silence, trees and mountains mourned, it was indeed a sad day.
People stood in groups discussing the death, many said it was not true but the reality later dawned on them when the body of the musician was brought home.
At the grave side, it was titanic controlling the crowd. Tears enveloped the environment, both young and old wept uncontrollable.
The man who took juju genre of music by storm and described by juju icon, Baba Aladura, I.K. Dairo as the “Heir Apparent” of juju music kissed the world final goodbye.
In the early sixties when he started his .music, he evidently came to change and re-shape juju kind of music. He was ahead of his contemporaries in the music industry in terms of style, composition and sense of instrumentation.
In fact, he was a talented instrumentalist whose delivery of his kind of musical composition was legendary.
In his short time on the earth, 29years, his talent reverberated throughout Nigeria. Wale Glorious and his Aiyesoro Spots Band came out with masterpiece that is still reverence discourse in music in Nigeria and the world. He was like the Biblical Moses who had seen the promised land from a distance but just did not get there, before he was snatched away by death.
The man who used his music to promote Akure today has no single monument, statue, cenotaph or anything to honour him by his own people. The man who sang the National Anthem for Akure, Awa L’Akure Oloyemekun has been left to his fate. His two plots of land at Ayetutu Street in Akure have been reduced to half plot by land grabbers.
As if he knew what people would do to him after his death when he named his band, “Aiyesoro”. This world is full of evil, this people have shown that to Wale in death.
Those elites he sang about could not help him, even his community abandoned him in death, yet his people could still play his music everywhere telling people that they are from Akure.
His children were abandoned and wives left to carry their cross when many had promised to cater for the family.
Forty eight years after, Wale Glorious is still alone, Akure lost a music icon. Within few years that he played his music, he was cynosure of all eyes. His master class, Awa L’Akure Oloyemekun, has become the anthem of Akure Kingdom. His music recorded several years ago is still reverberating and tells a lot about the capital of Ondo State.
Some of his hit music are: Tete Dawa lohun lasiko, Mori Mariwo loke, Omolagbede, Wa bami gbe, Nirole Saturday, logba logba, Eku aye and Mope lode.
Others are Oreke Lewa, Olajapenegun, Akokojade sile Aiye, Pese Fun wa baba, Ayawa Ode and Elegbe mi Aiye le.
At every nooks and crannies of the town, and even within Akure sons and daughters abroad, these songs have continued to be their rallying point of coming together.
His music is didactic , used his music to promote Akure unity, promoted the town in such a way like Soccer glue the fragile Nigeria together. Those who label Nigerians among the happiest species in the world need to listen to the sonorous voice of Wale Glorious.
His E rora mi a gbe’se, je koko Iyawo wole, is an invocation and clarion call for the wedding guests to accord respect to newly wed couple on their day.
Another master piece from the juju icon was the album crafted to immortalise the late Adekunle Fajuyi, former Governor of Western region who was brutally murdered during the 1966 coup in Ibadan.
Wale Glorious used the music to propagate the bravery and principle of the Yoruba people in the face of adversity.
Speaking with The Hope on the demise of Wale Glorious, his son who was nine months in the womb when the legendary musician died, Kenny Wale Glorious disclosed that the family and children left behind suffered as promises made by friends and associates were unfulfilled up till now.
“It has been sweet and bitter experience for us children and wives. He died at the age of 29 in 1971, and since nobody planned for his death, the family really suffered.
He was bitter because those friends, associates who promised to uplift the family and children could not even wait for him to decompose before turning their back on us.
“Sweet that I am the last born and the only one now into music like my father. It is bitter because nobody came to our aid after his death. Many promises made unfulfilled, friends abandoned us and musical instruments left behind took over by those he trusted.
“He left behind five children and three wives, but we really suffered, we all survived through the grace of God. Bitter because I know if alive now he could have used his influence to get me .musical instruments to boost my music career. Bitter too that his two plots of land have been reduced to just a half plot by his neighbours.
Also speaking, Mrs Bola Olawale James who was four years old when her father died in 1971 lamented that Akure people abandoned them when it mattered most. She said friends and associates of Wale Glorious promised heaven and earth when he died, as at today, none of the promises have been fulfilled.
“We are living by the grace of God. My father’s music is being played everywhere and nobody deemed it good to pay the children royalty. This is not how to treat a music legend like Wale Glorious. What the children have achieved is by God Almighty. I am bitter that his land has been taken over and Akure people cannot raise an eyebrow.