Source: nigeriafilms.com
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Sensational juju gospel musician, Yinka Ayefele, is on his way to the next level, as his latest album rightly indicates. This is not surprising even as he has added 'Dr.' to his name on the album jacket.

He was honoured with a doctorate degree in Music from far away Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And so, Ayefele will soon travel out of the country on a three-month musical tour of the United States(US). He already has been billed to perform in 25 states.

But about 10 years ago, the Ekiti State-born gospel Juju rave had thought his world was about to crash following a ghastly accident that got him permanently on wheel chair. But rays of fortune soon shone on him after recording an album aimed at raising funds for him. The broadcaster-turned musician has ever since been on the rise.

Inside his office in Ibadan last week, Ayefele spoke on why he would never leave his Ibadan, Oyo State base for Lagos in search of popularity. And if there is one hope that he holds close to his heart, it is the optimism that one day, he will stand and walk on his feet. He explained that his present state of health is temporary. The gospel artiste also spoke on the originality of his songs in reaction to accusations of theft of other musicians' songs.

I'm from Ipoti-Ekiti, Ekiti State. My parents are still alive and I'm happily married with my family in Ibadan. I had my primary and secondary education in my home town. I later proceeded to Ondo State College of Arts and Science. After my graduation, I came to Ibadan in search of job. In 1989, I joined the FRCN Ibadan. I was involved in a ghastly accident on December 12, 1997.

Turning point
I must confess, the day I had the accident marked the turning point in my life. I never thought I'd end up being famous anyway. I thought it's going to be the end of the world for me but God spared my life for a purpose. After the accident, I experienced a total turn around. It prompted me to be a full time musician. I was formerly into broadcasting which I loved with passion. Eventually, I ended up playing music as a profession.

Becoming a musician
The media support I got during my time of difficulties turned me into a musician. I'd been producing musical jingles, station identity tunes and musical tunes before the accident. After the accident, I tried to put some lyrics together to raise funds to enable me receive further treatment abroad. The lyrics I put together were part of what made Bitter Experience, my first album.

Today, I've released 10 albums and all of them are doing well in the market. I can't say precisely that this is the hit. All my albums are being accepted by the public. Even Bitter Experience is still selling fast. I can't say if the latest album: Next Level would be the best selling as it's still in high demand.

Kola Olawuyi's impact
I met him at FRCN. He groomed me in the production of musical jingles. I produced all the musical tunes he used for his programme. I gained a lot of things from him. I was co-producing Irinkerindo Akolawole Olawuyi on OGBC 2, Abeokuta. Uncle Kola stood out and perfected all things he wanted to do and I learnt that from him.

About a week before his death, he called me and told me: 'I'm now a pastor and it's good that you give your own life too to God and probably become a pastor. Stop all these women that you used to run after, as we used to joke.' Eventually, I discovered that it was the last minute message that God sent to me through him. I was unable to see him before he died but I felt his pains when he was at the hospital. I don't know how.

Since I started listening to the music of Dr. Orlando Owoh, I've been addicted to his kind of music. Even when I was in my hometown, he had been my mentor. I had it in mind that even if I would sing in the church, I'll adopt his style. His highlife music stands out.

Ibadan as abode
I don't know why people believe that musicians may not make it elsewhere except Lagos. I want to prove them wrong. Elemure Ogunyemi is based in his hometown and he succeeded. Many artistes relocate to Lagos because they believe it's the perfect shore for music. I believe that if you know what you are doing, you can stay anywhere and still make it. They are used and dumped by the public. I don't want to be used and dumped. They will have shows almost everyday but eventually, they'll be dumped. I can spread my tentacles from here.