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I Will Walk Again - Yinka Ayefele
Despite being confined to the wheelchair, Ayefele has been able to carve a niche as a frontline gospel musician. He is also into broadcasting ( he presents the weekly programme ‘ Nigeria International’ on TV) several other activities that are putting the sunshine into his life. The multitalented and irrepressible Ayefele speaks on his life and career.

I was into broadcasting before I had my accident. I worked with FRCN, Ibadan national station, before I started my music career. Broadcasting is part of me. I presented television and radio programmes.

I love broadcasting very much. I stopped it recently because of the stress. I used to have ‘Ayefele on FM’ on Golden Voice of Ekiti. I was presenting the programme every Thursday but because of the stress of going to Ekiti from ibadan every week, I had to stop about two years ago. I still love broadcasting. Propably, at the end of the day, I may still go back to my job.

I found myself in broadcasting. I happen to bean instrumentalist; I was playing around with top musician like Micho Ade, Toye Ajagun before I joined FRCN, Ibadan. I didn’t know I was going to be a broadcaster. I actually wanted to sstudy Political Science. But when I had the opportunity to join the FRCN at their yearly Father Christmas show, I was introduced to the studio for presentation. I had some auditioning and I was told that I did very well and they gave me some programmes.

I presented E Ku Isimi on Sunday, a request programmes, Lagos Faaji on Friday, and a lot of other programmes on radio . Then I freelanced with other radio stations like OSRC, Akure, BCOS FM before I had my accident.

How he met his former boss, the late Kola Olawuyi.

I met him in FRCN, Ibadan. No, he didn’t take me away from Radio Nigeria. All along, I was freelancing with other radio stations. When he opted out to join OGBC, I supported him on his programmes.

I was on my own then but I was the one producing musical tunes and jingles for his programmes. It was not as if I was working for him directly but I loved him, I liked his pattern of life, his mode of presentation. I so much respected him and I learnt a lot of things from him. That was the reason why I was following him around everywhere he went.

Of course, I was shocked by his death; I least expected it. It was too sudden. I was terribly shocked. Actually, I didn’t intend doing any tribute or music for him but I just thought that we had a lot of things together before he died in terms of tunes and jingles he used on his programmes. Instead of those things wasting away, I put them together, added one or two tracks and named it after him. Again, there was a documentary on him and they said I should do some soundtrack on it; I did that too.

The accident that confine him to the wheelchair

I give praises to God because the Bible says it is not by my might or by my power. I only had the grace to be alive. There have been other accident after my own which claimed their lives. Actually I am not the only person that has spinal cord injury in the country or in the whole world but I thank God that with it, I have been able to see the favour of God. Each time I remember the accident, the shock is still there but I give glory to God that if not for the accident, probably no one would have heard of Yinka Ayefele. So I give glory to God each time I remember that day, December 12, 1997, around 5.30 p.m.
I can’t say precisely what led to the accident, but I remember that the beetle car somersaulted for about five times before it landed in a deep ditch and I was couching out blood. I tried to move my hands and legs, but I could not move any part of my body. The beetle car was upside-down and petrol was gushing out. But I thank God that it was raining heavily or else,it might have gone up in flames with me who was there helpless. I was very lucky and I give God the glory each time I remember that day. I can’t say precisely what caused the accident because I didn’t have a burst tyre and I was not speeding.

Does he believe in destiny/

Definitely. I believe so much in destiny; what will be will be. Like I said in one of my songs, God has a purpose for everything that happens to Yinka Ayefele. God allows things to happen for a reason. I believe that everything has been destined.
I didn’t have the ambition of becoming a fulltime musician, especially when I joined broadcasting. I was producing musical jingles, which I made sure stood out but I never thought of becoming a musician in my life. I was only producing sign-in tunes for radio stations, and advert jingles, I did not think doing beyond that. Evenafter my accident, I did my first album to raise funds, I didn’t know it would eventually turn out to be the beginning of a carrer. I did Bitter Experience to raise funds for my treatment abroad. And when I did it and it became a hit and a great success, I felt overwhelmed.

I even thought people accepted it because of the emotion in it and for sympathy. Even when I followed it up with Sweet Experience, I still felt people accepted it because of my condition until I discovered that people actually identified with my brand of music. I have to appreciate God for that; I never knew the accident would open the path for a fulfilling music career. God has been so good to me because I can count my blessings. I work hard and God has crowned my effort.

Maintaining a band is a very challenging particularly by someone like me. But one thing one has to put first is God. When God is there for you, you will be able to lead them because all of the men in the band have different heads and backgrounds. Apart from about 25 that work on stage, we have some technical crew, managers. Today, I have about 56 men working with me. It is not easy to manage that, but if you are caring and considerate, there won’t be problem.

God designed my type of music for me which is Tungba Gospel. I introduced heavy percussions of gospel music, which is the difference with others. I work hard to create a difference from the kind of gospel music people had listened to.

I am a strictly gospel artiste; I play nothing but whole gospel but my own kind of gospel is different because I want to cut across to preach the gospel. You know, everybody listes to Yinka Ayefele’s music because of the heavy beats in it , you forget about the language, of the religion when hear it. When you listen you will be singing along, forgetting that it is gospel. That is my own way of preaching the gospel. What I do is to dedicate the ‘A’ side to praising God. On the flip side , I sing people’s praises.

Being on a wheelchair and singing for people who appreciate me is interesting. It makes me realize I am still alive.

Does he think that one day, he can stand from the wheelchair?

That is the miracle everybody has been waiting for and it will happen. Yinka Ayefele will stand and walk. If we go by what medical reports say, my own condition needs a lot of patience because it is a compression of the nerves. And since I have decided to live with the pains, it will take time for the nerves to heal up to come alive again. It was a shock and compression of the nerves, not a total cut. If it is a total cut on the spine, then it is a different story entirely. There is no medicine for it medically, so you expect it to come back with physiotherapy, which I do

His family life

I got married after the accident. I was still a bachelor then, a ‘what’s up’ guy around town. I must confess that I experienced what is called love when I had my accident.
I got married in 2000. I met my wife three weeks before my accident at BCOS and she stood by me throughout. That is the reason why I call her my mum; she is my mother. She didn’t run away and till tomorrow, she is still there.

His regrets

I don’t think of any regret because it would have taken God nothing to allow me to die in the accident. God would not lose anything. I have to be grateful to God for sparing me. Each time I have the opportunity to think, I just look back and give praises to God that I am alive because when you are still alive, a great lot is possible. I still have hope in the future.

Music has helped me to achieve great heights. If not for my music, what would I be doing in Aso Rock when I am not a politician? I must say that I have played in Aso Rock for about three or four times. I can say that I am one of the few artistes that have performed in Aso Rock. I have slept there too. Even if I am a politician, I must work to a level to be at Aso Rock.

ltunuoluwa wrote:
lt is great and wonderful God, he does it things in such alway that you give him thanks, ls ways are not our ways, mr.Yinka that heart of belive you have stick to it one day the Lord Almight you serve will make you laught and people will see you and appreciate God, Also pls take good care of your wive she is rarely a mum.
jessy wrote:
my prayer for u is to see u work again in jesus name amne. God is so merciful to u so always be thankful to Him. God will reward ur wife for being there for u. jecinta
Adewale Adegoke wrote:
Ayefele is a living miracle to this generation.
ola Adekoya wrote:
i lke ayefele brand of music it is unique and uncommon. He should keep it up.and i believe he can work someday.
Brown Jude wrote:
since you dont believe in the word'IMPOSSIBILITY'i kow dat u ll stand on ur feet n walk some day.i love ur music
amplified2sp@yahoo.com wrote:
I pray that yinka walks again oo ..that will be totally awesome...i gbadun this guy songs o jare.. from bitter experience to fulfilment..May the lord continue to blesss him....amen ! aspiration lomo
TY OJORA wrote:
since our God is an Awesome God, there is nothing impossible in his presence.i believe Ayefele will walk one day.
Christiana I. Nworgu wrote:
Hi Yinka, i believe u will walk again. My spirit tells me that God wants to glorify Himself thru ur condition. Just be patient it will come to fullfilment. God bless u and ur lovely wife and children in Jesus name. Amen.
I pray yinka ayefele will walk one day, because Ayefele you are living miracle of God in sight of all men. and without you walking the accomplishment of God is not complete so you must walk in Jesus name.
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