His Journey As A Tailor, Music Merchant to the Throne
REPORTS emanating from the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, have it that the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, has joined his ancestors.
Oba Adetunji, who reportedly died of an undisclosed ailment in the early hours of Sunday, December 2, passed on at 93.
Oba Adetunji, whose death has been confirmed by several credible sources, ascended the Olubadan throne about six years ago during which he had some controversial moments as head of the Ibadan traditional council due to his very contentious position the upgrade of 21 Baales by former Oyo state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
Oba Adetunji not only opposed the upgrade but ensure it was reversed.
Senator Ajimobi had in 2017 set up a panel of enquiry to review the 1957 Ibadanland Chieftaincy Declaration following which he upgraded the chiefs into Obas with the Olubab still the paramount head. However, the Olubadan was fiercely opposed to the development, a reason the affected chiefs were hardly able to function in their new capacity until the move was declared null and void by a high court following a suit instituted against it by another ex governor, who is also an Ibadan high chief, Rashidi Ladoja.
Ladoja instituted the suit following his assertion that the upgrade would affect his chances of ascending the Ibadan throne as the Osi of Ibadanland.
Born on August 26, 1928, Oba Adetunji ascended the Olubadan throne on March 4, 2016, succeeding Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I, who reigned between 2007 and 2016.
Born in Popoyemoja, Ibadan, to the family of Olayiwola and Alhaja Suwebat Adetunji, he was never privileged to have any former education a reason why he began early life as a tailor. That not withstanding, he later learnt to communicate in the English language while working for some white men.
But it was Oba Olatunji’s relationship with late Badejo Okusanya, a trader turned music label owner, that opened up his business life. Okusanya, it was, who gave him some music discs to play in his tailoring shop while his customers were waiting to pick up their clothes. The idea was to ensure that while enjoying the music, they won’t be in any hurry to go.
The idea not only worked as envisaged, it also saw a lot of the customers asking him to help them get copies of the music which he obliged them. The result was that the venture became so profitable that he had to give up tailoring altogether for a full time experience in the music business. He did in 1957 with the setting up of OmoAje Records and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
“I obliged them in exchange for money since I was not prepared to give them free because Badejo gave them to me for a purpose. So, within few days, I had sold all the record discs and took the money to Badejo in order to convince him that I actually sold them. When I got to him with the proceeds, he made a startling revelation, saying “Thank God. This same business that I started with your father in 1940, but which he said he could not continue because he was ‘not comfortable with living in Lagos is what you’re venturing into now.” He then counted the money and ordered his apprentice to give me four and a half shillings as royalty on each record I sold. I used to sell one record for two pounds, 10 and 15 shillings. That was how I came into record disc sales and the business boomed. Thereafter I built a rack to hang the records in my tailoring workshop. But when I was having conflicting interests in both trades, I left tailoring and embraced record disc sale,” he said.