I Had Wanted To Marry Ayo Adesanya, But…………. Says Pasuma.
Alhaji Wasiu Alabi, popularly known as Pasuma Wonder had a date with Reporters where he revealed some closely guarded secrets on his recent change of title (from Arabambi II to Oganla 1) and his unmarried status. Here’s the report.
YOU once said growing up in Mushin must have been a rough and tough time for you. How rough exactly was your childhood?
Talking about rough, there is something about Mushin that people run away from. Being a Mushin person, people don’t usually want to associate with you or give you things. When someone asks you where you are from and you say Mushin, they don’t want to have anything to do with you. But I saw it as a challenge. When I was a young boy, I attended Muslim Mission Primary School. Afterwards, I moved to Nigeria Model High School, Idioro also in Mushin. I decided that I wanted to get out of the place and make people know that it is not only rascally people that come out of Mushin. If we can talk of someone like Honourable Funmilayo Tejuoso, Honourable Ganiyu Solomon, Honourable Muiz Bamire all from Mushin making a difference, I determined that I could do better than they did. And thank God, for where I am today and I am proud to say it anywhere that I am from Mushin.
At what point did you decide to do that since, you’ve been in Mushin at a very tender age?
I was single-handedly raised by my mum. My mum and my dad got separated when I was nine years old that was when I started living with my mum in Mushin. I was in primary three. My mum really suffered, but thank God she is reaping the fruits today. I decided to do something big and come out of Mushin when I completed my secondary school education. That was in 1984. Why I did that was because of someone I regard as my inspiration and my mentor – King Wasiu Ayinde Mashal. That was the year he released Talazo 84. My dad wanted me to be a medical doctor Being a well-educated man, he didn’t want his children to take to rough life, which Fuji was associated with back then.
My mum didn’t want my decision to be a Fuji musician. She was like “do you want your father’s family to think I don’t know what I am doing, that I am not taking care of you? Do you want your father’s words to come to pass?” Then I told her “Mummy don’t worry, I will survive it”. I didn’t know it will be like this, I just told her not to worry, I had finished my secondary education and I can make it without a tertiary one. Once she realised after so much persuasion that I had chosen my path, she supported me. She supported me with prayers. She encouraged me to succeed because she wanted to be able to stand before my father and his family and proudly say this is her son in spite of all they had said. And thank God it has come to pass. My daddy and his family now point to me saying “omo wani, omo wani” meaning he is our son. For my success, I will give thanks to God and to my mum.
What did your mum want you to do when she said no to Fuji?
She didn’t have a career choice for me, all she wanted was for me to go to school, be educated and be somebody so that she could stand with the guts to say “I took care of him.”
Pasuma isn’t one of your given name, is it?
My name is Wasiu Alabi Adekunle Ajibola, while my family name is Odetola. That Pasuma was given to me by one of my brothers, my big brother then. I used to rent instruments from him, his name is Tayo Adeolokun. One day, he asked if I was using Pasuma Strong. I asked him what he meant. He explained and I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about. When I got home, I asked them what Pasuma Strong was. Out of the three of them, one testified that there was something called Pasuma Strong and I asked them to buy the tablet and I confirmed that indeed there was something called that. I said ok, let’s use the name for our band, and that if you are weak and you hear our music, you’re going to be strong. Like a joke, it started. Back then, we used WasiuAlabi and his Fuji Cabaret so we changed it to Wasiu Alabi and his Pasuma Wonder Band. Gradually, the name started changing. Eventually, the name stuck with me.
How long ago was this?
That was in 1987.
Let’s talk about your recent change of title. Why exactly did you change from Arabambi II to Oganla 1?
Yoruba people will say t’omo de ba to l’oko, o ma l’oko. I respect Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde. And till today, I am still loyal to him. I said it earlier that he is my inspiration. He was my mentor. I can never ever look into his eyes and say “you’re nothing” because I don’t want such thing to happen to me. I can never disrespect Alhaji Ayinde for anything, at all. But I thought to myself, I am not getting any younger. When am I going to stand on my own? Last year, I was 45 years old and if I don’t stand on my own now, when am I going to do that? Is it when I am 50 or 60? Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde himself was Wasiu Ayinde Barrister and when the time came, he decided that he didn’t want to be Barrister again and he changed to Wasiu Ayinde Marshall. That didn’t mean he and Barrister were fighting.
I have done Celebrity Takes II, which no other Fuji musician has done in Nigeria, I have been an Ambassador for Glo, which no Fuji artiste has done and some other things like that. When am I going to change my title or stand on my own if I don’t do it now? So let me do it now. It is not about fighting or being disrespectful or whatever. I did it for the purpose of job, my future, my family, people and my fans, most especially because without them, there will be nobody called Pasuma. But because some people do not understand or see it this way or thought that this could be what Pasuma wanted, they started to say unpleasant things about my actions. But I can tell you that is not the way it is. Let those who don’t understand know now that I did this because that is what I feel is good for me right now.
So you’re saying you’re still within K1’s family?
Yes! I am very much within Alhaji Ayinde’s family. In fact he has dropped the Arabambi title; because of the controversy this change of title has caused, he said people should not call him that again. He is now Mayegun 1.
Oganla means Big Boss. I wanted to use the English version before but I realised that if I had, it wouldn’t be this accepted because the people who buy Fuji albums are Yoruba, even if they are educated, even if they are doctors or bankers. The larger percentage of those who buy my music are Yoruba and if I had used the English Language because I wanted to bring non-Yoruba in, the meaning will be lost, that is why I stuck with Yoruba language. I did it because I want people to know where I am coming from and where I am going.
Who is Wasiu Alabi?
I am a cool headed and a gentle person. I am also an indoor person. I don’t go out unless it is absolutely necessary or important for me to do so. I love to be with my family, and watch sports a lot. I also love to help people solve their problems because I believe that God has given me the wisdom to solve people’s problems. But people who don’t know me would say I am a difficult and tough person. But they shouldn’t judge me from afar. The people who are closer to me know that I am a simple person, not that kind of person who others project me to be. I am also a kind of person that does not want people to suffer because I went through hell, while I was young. People around me, my family friends, my family members, my children can testify to this. It is not by my power that I can do this; it is by the grace of God.
You said you’ve gone through hell, suffering. How do you mean?
I was raised by a single parent. I was single-handedly raised by my mum so I know what it means to suffer. There were days when we had no food to eat at all and days when we only ate once a day. There were other days when my mum would insist that I ate in the night while she would go to bed hungry. There were days when my mother would tell me that “as you are eating this food o, make sure you finish it o because you’re not going to eat anything again until later in the night.” Some days she would give me money to school and other days, we just got by. That was just a tip of what I went through while suffering. If you are to talk about it, we won’t leave this place today.
While mentioning your family earlier, you only spoke of your children. I didn’t hear you make mention of a wife or wives. Are you not married or you’re divorced?
I am not married but I have children.
In Yoruba culture, a 45-year-old man is expected to have been married.
So why aren’t you married?
I don’t want to rush into it. I would have been married earlier but it didn’t work out. The person I was supposed to have married was Ayo Adesanya. I love her so much. Everybody in my family knew her and knew that I wanted to marry her.
You journalists caused it. Nobody outside of my family knew about our relationship then and that was the way we wanted it. But one day we went together to a show and some journalists saw us together and they slammed our pictures on the front page of the newspaper. It was The Fame newspaper then. Apparently, they had been hearing the rumour but they could not confirm it so they didn’t use the story. But this day when they saw us together, they just used the picture, without even interviewing us. When the wahala started, Ayo couldn’t handle it anymore. I would call her that I want to see her and she would say she was busy. I could feel it that she was withdrawing from the relationship and I had to let her go.
Did you feel you made a mistake letting her go?
Well, there’s something about love. If you love someone, you’d want them to be happy. If their happiness is not with you, you’ll have to let them go. She couldn’t handle the pressure and she obviously was not happy again. So I had to let her go.
It seems you’re still in love with her. Are you?
(Laughs). She’s been married and has a child. Although the relationship didn’t last.
If Ayo says yes to your marriage proposal today, would you still marry her?
Yes! If she says yes today, we’ll head for the altar tomorrow.
So you’re still in love with her?
Are you dating someone now?
I am free. I am currently single but I have a friend.
Did you date Iyabo Ojo?
No. Thank you for that question. Let people know that she and I are not dating. She is my very good friend and we are very close. Outside of that, we are not dating. We have not dated before, and we are not dating. The idea has not crossed our minds.
Now that people have planted the idea into your mind, would you consider it?
No. We are friends and that is enough for us. I am not dating Iyabo. Please help me tell them.
Moving on, you’ve been featuring in movies for a while before you suddenly stopped. Is there a particular reason for this?
I am a music person and I am also an entertainer. So I guess people saw the acting potential in me and they tapped into it. But you have to remember that I am first a musician before anything else. At some point, I decided to stay away from acting because I realise that some people love me as an actor and I did not want that to affect my music. So people won’t know that my major work is music and I don’t want that to happen. That is why I stopped acting. At least for now.
How did you get the Glo deal?
I think the Glo deal came after the Celebrity Takes II
How did the Celebrity Takes II happen?
I got that deal from a friend of mine called Faith Eboyingbe. She lived very close to me then. She told me that Pasuma, there’s a programme coming up and she would want me to be part of it. I asked her what it is about and she said it was a dancing competition. I asked if it was a Fuji dance (laughs) and she said no. I told her I wasn’t interested after she told me the kinds of dances that we would be taking. She said she believed would I would love the show so I agreed. She brought the papers and I signed, praying in my mind that God would just protect because I didn’t want wahala. To God be the glory, was trained for the show and the lady that trained me was wonderful. So, I guess it was because I was the last man standing that the Glo deal came. Femi Davies, who was my manager then came to me and said Glo wanted me to be their ambassador. He explained the contract to me and the rest, they say is history.
How much were you paid?
I was paid well.
You’ve given almost 30 years of your life to music. Any other plans for the future?
Let’s wait and see what the future has for me. You have to understand that you have to move with time and seasons. My own is that I want people to think of me and say this guy has tried for the industry and for the country. I want people to say I want to become like Pasuma. I want people to live a free and purposeful life. My future is in God’s hands. I pray for long life though and to be able to use that life to make significant impact on people’s lives and to make the industry bigger.