ABOLADE ELEBUIBON : MULTI-TALENTED & MULTI-DIMENSIONAL
MEET THE AMAZING ANCHORPERSON, ALAGA IDURO/IJOKO, ABOLADE ABEJE ADE ELEBUIBON, THE DAUGHTER OF AN ICON HIMSELF, THE GREAT ARTISTE, DRAMATIST, COMPOSER, THE AWISE OF OSOGBO, ARABA IFAYEMI AYINDE ELEBUIBON. APPARENTLY, ENTERTAINMENT RUNS IN THE BLOOD. SHE MAKES AN INTERESTING READING.
KB I find your work fascinating, I never knew you could turn out to be a traditional wedding anchorperson how did you get into this business?
BE Thank you so much for the compliment …I was born into the family of a Poet, Actor, Dramatist and a Composer. I have always known I have the gift deposited in me but did not know how to exhibit it. I just discovered that whenever I attended a traditional wedding engagement, I always thought of how the anchorperson would have done it differently to make it more entertaining and interesting. I would sing the songs I would have sung on that occasion to my husband and we would laugh over it. One day I went to a wedding introduction of a younger colleague, there was a request that I should anchor it and I did it.
KB Just like that?
BE Yes just like that! Another time it was a request again from my church to lead other women to anchor a traditional wedding of a member, to my great surprise people began asking for my complimentary card after the performance. That was the day I made the decision to go professional.
KB Were people surprised that you could anchor?
BE No… not at all, people close to me were not surprised at all. I always anchored events in my secondary school at the drama society, dance groups etc., I was the social prefect at Baptist Girls High School Oshogbo, 1995 set. My husband constantly called me a performer before I started this job for the reason that I could sing from morning until evening.
KB Did you have a formal training or was it a nurtured talent?
BE I did not train under anybody to become a wedding anchorperson; I owe it to God almighty who gave me the talent and to my ever-dependable father, Ifayemi Ayinde Elebuibon who nurtured the talent for me. He has been my resource person and a pillar of support.
KB How was your first day on the job? It must have been a total accomplishment.
BE Yes, It was. I was calm all the way through; I was not flustered at all. As I said earlier on, I was born into the entertainment industry. As a child, I acted in my father’s famous ‘OLOKUN ASORODAYO’ I danced and sang on stage with him. Therefore, I was composed throughout.
KB In subsequent outings, how did you master the act?
BE There is always room for improvement. I take time to put up a neat and well-coordinated performance at every occasion because I rehearse very well with my crew before any performance. I also consult my father for guidance and advice.
KB I have always assumed you were a very shy and reserved person. Is there a difference between Bola at home and Bola the anchorperson?
BE (laughing) many people have this perception about me being a shy person, it amazes me. I am a reserved person but I am not shy ooo. (Giggles) I am a confident person. I am very cautious; I know when to talk and when to be silent. I do not go out of my way to look for fights or quarrels. When I am home, I am a wife and mother. When I am outside the home, I am an entertainer.
KB I know you come from a Theatre background, Why anchorperson or MC as we may loosely put it and not an Artist, or Actress?
BE I have acted in quite a number of home videos. My father’s works and my little sister Oyin Elebuibon’s works. In OYAWANDE by Oyin Elebuibon, I acted the role of FALI ONIPARAGA. I played the role of a VC’S wife in OMO UNIVERSITY I have played several other roles. Everyone in the family has one or two things inherited from our father. We have actors, composers, wedding MCs and so many others. To God be all the Glory.
KB Does this work affect the other aspects of your life?
BE No! Luckily, weddings take place on weekends. My older children are in the boarding school. It is only the youngest one that is at home. I cope well because I have a supportive husband.
KB Is any of your children showing interest in this line of work?
BE Yes, my eldest child. She is one of my backup singers. As parents, we encourage her because of our belief that no knowledge is lost in life.
KB What makes you different from the others? What is unique about you that you are preferred?
BE I am not a lazy entertainer; I do a lot of research to learn the lineage of the family for which I am anchorperson. I recite with proficiency the ORIKI (panegyric) to the amazement of all and to the glory of God. Abeje gives total Entertainment, never a dull moment throughout. I take my work seriously and we are always time conscious, we do not believe in African time. It destroys certainty or assurance in someone for it kills business.
KB What are the basic requirements for success for this job?
BE Absolute commitment, creativity, friendly disposition, zeal to excel, enthusiasm, smartness and the capability of capturing and retaining people’s interest.
KB Do you train people in your business? Do you think training is necessary?
BE Yes. I have people who are training under me. Training is necessary because you have to learn the Nitty – gritty of the profession. It was easy for me because I was born into an entertainment family.
KB What advise do you have for those who desire to be indigenous MCs?
BE I would advise them to be focused, and passionate about it. The love for the job is paramount. You must love what you are doing, not the lust for immediate rewards of fame and money. There would be one or Two Challenges but once there is passion, there cannot be discouragement. They should trust absolutely in God. He makes even the most difficult job easy.
KB What are the risks involved? Are there any or is it fun, fun, fun all the way?
BE Many risks… most often our job involves travelling. We only pray to God for protection. There are times drummers would be a disappointment, cars may break down etc. but God has always been faithful.
KB Your husband is an academic; you are in two different world, How do you marry the two worlds of academic and entertainment?
BE I am lucky because my husband is culture-loving man. He is favorably disposed to anything cultural. He studied dramatic Arts as first degree. He understands the world of entertainment very well and he is so supportive.
KB How did you meet your husband?
BE long story ooooo. (Smiles) It would surprise you to know that we met in my father’s house. He was a young journalist then, working for THE NEWS, a monthly news magazine. He came to interview my father during the OSUN OSHOGBO FESTIVAL. My Father was faraway in US, I was the eldest child around and the task fell on my shoulders to attend to him. We developed friendship from there and the rest, as the common saying goes, is history.
KB There is this perception of Academics as staid people, even though he has his background in Dramatic Arts; does he have time to socialize?
BE He socializes very well even though he is a serious minded man. He is a core bookworm but he balances this with social activities. He is a poet, a prolific writer and a good dancer.
KB Wow, I should not be surprised considering his dramatic background. Where is he from? What was the attraction?
BE He is from Iseyin, in Oyo state. My husband is very intelligent and a witty person, I mean he is very entertaining and humorous man.
KB What has kept you both this far? What is unique about Bola that he found Irresistible?
BE We owe it to God almighty who has been sustaining us. We allow each other freedom to explore and be productive. We both love our freedom and we do not stifle one another. As for the uniqueness in me, he is in the best position to answer that. (Giggles).
KB What is your usual day like aside presiding in a wedding engagement?
BE I have a busy week but I juggle my schedules very well because each task is as important and rewarding as the next one. I am a teacher, a supervisor of a KONGA franchise here in Ife. I am a wedding anchorperson, a wife and a mother. To God be the glory because his grace is sufficient.
KB What gives you joy? What is the happiest day of your life?
BE So many things give me joy. I thank God for Almighty for his abundant Grace. Father taught us moderation in everything. When you are happy, remember low moments can come, and when you are down remember you will be up again. Nothing is permanent in life. I appreciate every good gift that I have and go through the not too palatable ones in faith, I only hope for the best. I am a very positive person.
KB You lost a brother; his death seemed to have pierced your heart…
BE The pain of losing a loved one is the throbbing pain that does not go away. We just have to continue to endure the pain. I lost two brothers within a year. This was a very bitter and heavy pill for the family to swallow. These boys were vibrant, promising and intelligent. However, what can we do? The pain was terrible, the loss was monumental, we suffered a great injury but the family had to brazen up and stay united in love. God knows best. I miss them, the family is missing them. May their beautiful souls rest in peace.
KB I find you so interesting. Who is Abolade Abeje Ade Elebuibon? Tell us about yourself?
BE Abolade Abeje Ade Elebuibon Adeoti is a native of Osogbo in Osun State. I was born into the family of Araba Ifayemi Ayinde Elebuibon of Oluode Atuuku Compound. I am the second child and second daughter of the family. I have many siblings because my family is a large one. This has greatly helped and shaped my life. It has made me very accommodating. I started school at Adenle L.A primary School; I later attended Anglican commercial Grammar School. I went to school of Science Ile Ife but left after a session because it was a struggle with Science. I then left to Baptist Girls High School, Oshogbo and finished in 1995. I proceeded to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile ife and got a degree in English Studies in 2001. I have a postgraduate diploma in Education in 2011 because I wanted to be a qualified teacher since it was a requirement for teaching. I am married to Prof Gbemisola Adeoti from Iseyin, Oyo state. The marriage is 16 years and we are blessed with children. I am a teacher; I am a wedding anchorperson, called Alaga Iduro/ijoko. I love my and enjoy what I do. To God be all the glory.
KB You truly amaze me. (I am Laughing) I thought I knew you. It is my pleasure interviewing you.
BE Thank you so much. (Smiles)