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Ife Lost Great Musician, Durojaiye Aremu as Maye Morns

By Sodiq Lawal

The Maye Of Ile Ife, Chief Abdul- Raman Adedoyin on Wednesday mourned and condoled with the friends and family of Late Chief Durojaiye Aremu.

In a short condolence message forwarded to Ife City News, Maye expressed shocked over the death of the deceased .

He said ” Sorry about Durojaiye Aremu’s demise.  He sang two songs for me. ”Ojuomo of Ife” ”Ti mo ba lomo ni fasity maa yooo”. I invited him to sing during my late mum’s burial at the stadium. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Ina lilahi , ilehi raa ji uu naa ” we have come from dee, we shall return to thee ,o lord of lords. Dr Ramon Adegoke Atobatele Adedoyin. President/Founder , Oduduwa University. The statement read.

Late Alhaji (Chief) Dúrójayé Ádámò (Adam) Olómidé, the world’s maestro of Àdàmò music, is popularly known today as Alhaji (Chief) Dúrójayé Àrèmú, was born by the late Bello Odedoyin (father) of Ògbìngbìn compound, Ilé-Ifè, and late Fólórunsó Olómidé (mother) of Òkèrèwè Igbódò area of Ilé-Ifè.

He grew up his late paternal Grandmother that hailed from Lojaroko compound in Ilé-Ifè.

Before 1958, the Àdàmò music’s genius obtained an official commercial Driver ‘ license to drive a lorry for the purpose of transporting traders from farms to the towns and villages.

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Late Chief Dúrójayé Àrèmú mastered the art of driving lorries through apprenticeships as what they called motor boys, as they ferried the mostly – women traders traditionally referred to as the alájàpá, because of their patience and resilience as determined business-women.

Ile- Ife being an egalitarian community of highly- sociable fun loving people, motor boys get involved with conveying musical instruments to locations on weekends.

Fate had set up Chief Dúrójayé Àrèmú with Alhaji Bùrémò Àkànbí [Aláwĭyé] Adesola (Bùrémò ‘Déwolé) in the Látalè compound,Ilé-Ifè. Bùrémò ‘Déwolé hailed the great Àràbà-Àkúí compound of Ilé-Ifè..

The motor boy become a ready accomplice of the established master of Adamo music and helped him musical instruments to locations on weekends.

Unsurprisingly, he got caught up with singing and drumming under the maestro.

However, he was still un-discovered until he started thrilling his passengers on their way to and from the farms. Luckily, Alhaji Adéwolé encouraged Dúrójayé Àrèmú to develop his talents. So, durojaiye Aremu became doubly   blessed.

Eventually, after having observed Dúrójayé exceptional way of mixing, leading, chorusing and drumming- related gifted skillfulness produce perfect bundles of rhythm like a God-sent angel, ‘Déwolé encouraged his “brother” Durojaiye to focus a greater level of attention on development of his the musical talent.

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Incredibly, within less than two years of the Samaritan’s advice, Chief Dúrójayé Àrèmú Olómidé came out with the very first also that was waxed in his name, and entitled “È nlé o, omo Ifè” in 1967In 1966, the Samaritan Bùrémò  Aderounmu officially granted him the freedom to establish his own band, in what is akin to college graduation today.

Fortunately for Dúrójayé, some of his very good friends and associates, were also very much endorsed with drumming and chorusing. They were able to set up a musical band.

His companions included Sunday Káyòdé, Adémólá Adéyefá, Olú Odúnladé, Olu Omíyera, Salam Oyĕwolé (Ògbékù-lé-tèmù) and Àmùdá Eélubú who started that band with Dúrójayé Àrèmú in 1966.

Even though, Chief Dúrójayé Àrèmú was a transporter, journeyman  trainee of Alhaji Bùrémò Adéwolé; sometimes, he also used to drum and chorus to support the other Òsírìgì and Àdàmò bands that there existed in the historic city of Ile-Ife at that time.

This included Wèkún Awógbadè, Afúyégeg Akínyelé, Àlíyù Ifádejú and Oládipúpò Ojúlarí were a performing then. Chief Dúrójayé Àrèmú was honored with an invitation to play with the King of Àdàmò music in Ìjèsàland, Chief Adédára Aróunràlójàoba in those days.

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The music of Chief Dúrójayé Àrèmú unearthed a lot Ife anthropology and mythology, so much as to clarify most of the mysteries of ancestors entangled in our culture and traditions, as commonly exhibited during festivals or enforced as related norms

If this music had taken its rightful place, perhaps Alhaji (Chief) Dúrójayé Àrèmú Olómidé would have ranked among the world’s renowned scholars and poets in the caliber of Wándé Abímbólá, John Pepper Clark, Chinua Achebe, Olúwolé Sóyínká, and Williams Shakespeare. Unfortunately, death took him away.