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Twenty Years Ago, Yinka Ayefele Almost Died In A Car Accident. Today He’s A Music Icon

Follow @eventlabgh < Ayefele In 1997, Yinka Ayefele was a budding musician who earned a living by producing radio jingles and voice-overs,...

By Eventlabgh , in Celebrity Entertainment News , at December 12, 2017


In 1997, Yinka Ayefele was a budding musician who earned a living by producing radio jingles and voice-overs, although he knew he could sing; after all, majority of the songs used on Yoruba radio adverts were sung by him.

But he was content to live life one day at a time and bid his time. Working with Kola Olawuyi at the time was a huge deal. The late broadcaster had several syndicated shows that aired all across southwestern Nigeria.

While Gbenga Adeboye (another late associate of Ayefele’s) produced comical shows, Olawuyi was the master of the macabre – his ‘Iriri Aye’ series were bizarre as they were scary.

For many listeners, the opening bars of the jingle was enough to make them lock their doors and huddle close to their radio sets.

The singer before the accident

The man who sung the jingle was Yinka Ayefele and like the theme of the show he worked on, he had no idea of the shocking way his life was about to change.

On December 12, 1997, he was travelling from Ibadan, where he and his ‘oga’ were based, to Abeokuta where they had a radio show that night. Halfway through the 80-kilometre journey, he lost control of the Volkswagen Beetle he was driving and somersaulted a few times before landing in a ditch.

It was a miracle that he survived. However, his spinal cord had been impacted so badly that he lost the use of both legs.

The vehicle Ayefele suffered the accident in

For nine months he was in the hospital as his entire world flipped on its head. Here he was, barely 30 and was facing spending the rest of his life confined to a wheelchair.

As he recuperated, he poured out all of his pain and angst at the unfair hand life had dealt him into music and started recording his debut album which was aptly titled Bitter Experience.

When it was released in 1998, Bitter Experience was an instant hit with the audience. A combination of Yinka Ayefele’s talent, the enjoyable melody of his juju sound (laced generously with Christian hymns) and his peculiar touching story made him an automatic favourite. It would form the bedrock on which his new life will blossom from.

Since then, he has gone on to make a total of 20 albums – almost one each year – and has become a music icon.

His music has been played at owambes both home and abroad, not to talk of the financial success he has since enjoyed.

In 2010, he was awarded the Member of the Order of the Niger by then President, Goodluck Jonathan, in recognition of this contribution to Nigerian music. He has also invested in the media by starting a radio station in Ibadan.

Today, Yinka Ayefele is known for being a successful Nigerian artiste than for being the ‘unfortunate guy’ that had an accident 20 years ago. When life threw him a curveball, he grabbed it and made a run towards success and hasn’t looked back since.

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