13 Years After, Lagos FIBAN Honours Gbenga Adeboye

Thirteen years ago, Nigeria’s celebrated self-acclaimed king of traditional ‘oduology’ and humour merchant, Prince Olugbenga Elijah Adeboye tragically surrendered -forcefully-to the icy tentacles of death on that fateful April 30, 2003 after a battle with kidney related ailment.

Funwotan as he was popularly called by his teeming fans and friends indeed tricked the monster called death, played expensive pranks with the ‘terminator’ before the final checkmate that hurriedly and unceremoniously parceled him to the great beyond. For the Osun State-born ‘talk show merchant’, things not only fell apart, they came to an abrupt end.

As part of activities to mark the 13th year anniversary of the death of the comic icon and versatile radio broadcaster, the Lagos State chapter of Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN) has declared a 13-day airplay/mention of the deceased.

The association’s governor, Yomi Mate (Ifankallelyah) said the chapter had directed all Lagos State members to give all Adeboye’s past albums airplay and mention on all their programmes on radio and television across various stations in the state with the order taking effect from Wednesday, April 27 to May 9, 2016. It was also gathered that similar arrangements are on across all the states in the southwest of Nigeria to honour the legendary comedian.

Born September, 1959, Adeboye hailed from Ode-Omu, Osun State and died on April, 30, 2003 with enviable achievement. He started a career in broadcasting in 1980 at the old Radio Lagos Amplitude Modification (AM) where he presented a weekly Yoruba programme entitled Fuwontan every Saturday.

Funwontan which subsequently became one of his sobriquets was a popular radio delightful show aired from 11am to 12 mid-day on Saturdays.

Adeboye became more popular and relevant through his incursion into album recording when he debuted with Iya Onibeji Ato’da, an instant success in 1981. His other albums did commercially well locally and internationally, they include Exposure, Ijinle Oro, London Yabis, Oro Sunnukun among others.

Many Yoruba radio and television presenters who passed through the tutelage of the man who was said to have conveyed and organized Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN) include Alhaji Bashiru Adisa Baba Gboin, Abiodun Fagboro, Akeem Oyebanji Enudunjujo, Olayemi Ajide Olayinka and Goke Babalola and others.

Adeboye scored several firsts among his contemporaries; even in death, he died first among the trio of leading Yoruba presenters Gbenga Adeboye, the late Toba Opaleye and Kola Olawuyi who passed on within five years.

You will recollect that Toba Opaleye died on April 29, 2006 exactly three years after Gbenga Adeboye’s demise, while Kola Olawuyi kicked the bucket in 2007 one year after the latter’s death.


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