AOLERC: For The Love of Traditional Music, Protection of Yoruba Language from going into extinction. - THE BUSINESS PACKAGE


Sunday, April 3, 2022

AOLERC: For The Love of Traditional Music, Protection of Yoruba Language from going into extinction.

By: Waheed Ogunjobi,


The saying that legends don't die but live on came into full practicality in Abeokuta,the Ogun State Capital recently when a group of lovers of traditional Yoruba Music converged on the Ogun State Secretariat of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations for a maiden press conference to launch its Ayinla Omowura Legacy and Research Centre code named AOLERC.

A Song by Ghetts and Rude Kid summed it up in the  lyrics this way:"
Forget dying, dying's a myth, I'm going to live, yeah?Get me in that studio, I work from my heart and soul. And put everything into it…"

Perhaps, the composer of this beautiful lyrics had Ayinla Omowura, the legend of Yoruba Traditional music in  mind when he waxed that album, because the lyrics encapsulated what Ayinla Omowura stood for-  Working from his heart and devoting his entire life to  the promotion of Yoruba language and culture.

The group and its members were  unanimous on this reality because they confessed that since he was a living legend, they cultivated a lot of interest in his work and music and so, more than  forty years after  his demise, they felt the legacy must be preserved and as such reeled out their aims and objectives as follows: promotion, preservation and protection of Ayinla Omowura's work and inherent  benefits to his family estate; propagation of Yoruba culture, tradition and language beyond the Yoruba world on a global scale.; application and usage of musical contents of Yoruba traditional musicians in the development of Yoruba culture, tradition and languages;discovery and promotion of young talented musicians of Apala genre and mastery of all traditional musical instruments indigenous to Yoruba among others.

The Chairman, Board of Trustee of AOLERC, Chief Olaniyi Olagoke while addressing the maiden press conference, submitted thus" Upon a thorough assessment of traditional music in Yorbaland, for.the past seven decades, it is usually accepted that of all musicians of Yoruba extraction, not demeaning any, Late Ayinla Omowura ably supported  by Adewole Alao Oniluola, stood and still stands out".

"He stood out as one musician who deployed all the elements of language, culture, tradition and name which are associated win the Yoruba race in carrying out his chosen trade that inadvertently tallies with the centre's core values, " he said.

On the rationale for honouring Ayinla Omowura, AOLERC said, "Therefore, we chose to honour him by adopting his name for the centre's identity due to his dexterity in the deployment of all four elements in his trade that made him and his works relevant after over four decades of his demise among the academia, artisans, policy makers, high flyers and jetsam of the societyy."

According to Chief Olagoke, despite his death in 1980, there is a continuous demand for his over 20 long playing (LP) albums released by his group.

The group while lamenting the possibility of Yoruba language going into extinction, made a clear distinction between Yoruba musician and Yoruba Traditional musicians.

"As the name implies,Yoruba music refers to any kind of music that is produced in unadulterated Yoruba language by a person employing indigenous Yoruba instruments and intended to serve as a vehicle, conveying all that constitutes l Yorubaness" in terms of wordings, messages, percusion and murals." 

"However, music produced by any person bearing a Yoruba name does not automatically qualify as Yoruna music, therefore, Yoruba music is different from Yoruba traditional musicc."

AOLERCb lamented the possible extinction of Yoruba language:
"As one of the well spoken traditional languages, Yoruba is facing the threat of extinction, a situation faced by other world languages."

Speaking on the topic, Who is Ayinla Omowura?, one of the notable members of the group and the Head of Mass Communication  Department of Crescent University, Abeokuta, Dr. Kola Adesina, said, "he was not born a legend, but made himself a legend through his works and the wide acceptance of his work made all the differences."

According to him, Ayinla Omowura was a mere boy given birth to at itoko in Abeokuta who's father was an iron Smith. He said at a time when he needed to make ends meet, as a typical Egba boy, he was involved in all kinds of work to survive as Egba and her people abhor thieving.

Dr. Adesina said Omowura being a street boy had learnt the terminologies of most places and vocation where he was privileged to work, whether as a conductor, wood career or what have you? and as such, all the places he had worked, he made use  of their local Jargos, so to say in his work and these went  a long way to enrich his work.

"When he was a Conductor, some of the people who were drivers wanted him to be their conductor, because Ayinla Omowura will always sing from their point of departure to the destination point and as such, the passengers would always love to travel with the vehicle that he is a Conductor in," Adesina recalled.

Adesina concluded by voicing his concerns about the threat of Yoruba language going  into extinction.He said, in Yoruba traditional music, the music must be rich. 

According to himthe Yoruba language is on a live support, calling on all concerned to work towards the revival of Yoruba language.

"Those who are Professors of Language had said Yoruba is among 100 languages going into extinction.Our two religion called Abrahamic Religions no longer bear Yoruba name. Let's reinvent the Yoruba Language in Nigeria. Do not let Yoruba go into extinction, " Adesina warned. 

The event was attended by dignatories including Octogenarian ,Chief Emmanuel Odenusi who while working for EMI, Ayinla Omowura's record company recorded all the albums waxed by the music legend.

One of his daughters, Halimat Ayinla Omowura, who is into Apala music just like her father was also in attendance..

Waheed Ogunjobi, a journalist,author, Public Affairs Analyst, writes from Abeokuta the Ogun State Capital and can be reached on 08035004741 or via

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