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Eroyaa on OSBC & Memory of Ambrose Campbell


A sister, here yesterday reacted to my OSBC Ogunde Onimoto song. She said the write up brought her memories of her childhood days and she had to start looking for many songs OSBC used to play then. She sent me Eroyaa song and asked If I could relate and I smiled that ofcourse I do. Anyone still in Osun should.

Eroyaa Radio programme remains Osun Biggest Breakfast show that is as old as the almost 30yrs old state itself. On August 27, our dear Osun State, will be 30 – possibly Eroyaa will be 30yrs on radio too or something close. That’s 3 decades programme in 52 weeks.

Eroya is a delightful Yoruba radio programme that comes with different segments ranging from topical questions that often come with lots of phoning-ins. You will hear questions like if you are blessed, where is the first place to build your house – where you are working or your home town?.

We also have “Abala Ayan” where a drummer beats the drum and people who understands drum will keep guessing what the drummer is saying with the drum which are usually with words of wisdoms.

There are also other segments like, Alejo wa lose yii – Where invited guests come on radio to entertain questions.

On Eroya there is also Abala aye ojohun, – In the olden days, where older men and women are selected from any part of the state to come and talk about how things were in their days. These elders usually in their 80s and 90s would talk about marriage, farming, Culture and life generally then compared to what it is now..

In short, Eroyaa is everything to Osun people..

For everyone that grew up in Osun, this song should ring a bell. It’s our wake up song that reminds you it’s Saturday again.

The popular song here that you are enjoying is tilted Eroyaa (Meaning come one, come all) sang by a Nigerian who migrated to Britain named Ambrose Adekoya Oladipupo Campbell.

Ambrose’s Father was a Church leader and as most with Religious backgrounds, he sings in church until he started singing in Palm wine shrines and the father sent him away from home. After living alone in Nigeria, he joined a ship one day and migrated to Britain.

In Obodo Oyinbo, Lagos born Ambrose formed a band/group called the West African Rhythm Brothers along with another man named Brewster Hughes. They were famed as Palm wine singers. They will be singing at clubs and open spaces and people will stop to watch, mostly because they sing in Yoruba with guitar playing.

Ambrose Campbell was referred largely as the father of Black Music by Late Fela Anikulapo and like I said yesterday that it seems Ayefele took many of Orlando songs to shine, I equally realized that bulk of Late Ambrose Oladipupo Campbell songs were taken and “resang” by Obey (Eni ri nkan he, to fe Ku pelu e oo), KSA, Tunde Nightingale, Dele Abiodun and host of others.

And there is little credit to this man by those who came after him to inherit his Juju jazz infused Afro song, and to imagine he died very recently at 86 in 2006 makes it more saddening..

Well, In loving memory of Late Campbell, a Lagosian par excellence – It’s another Saturday from Osun, and a good way to let you reminisce on that old Eroyaa Anthem song on OSBC radio in Osun state.

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