The Queen of Nigeria’s traditional Waka music, Alhaja Salawa Abeni, has joined the league of star artistes whose real ages have become subject of controversies in recent times.
At the time he celebrated 50, the acclaimed King of Fuji music, Wasiu Ayinde a.k.a. K-1, was roundly criticized for alleged falsifying his age, as he was believed to be below 50 when he celebrated.
Some two years ago, K-1’s anointed heir in the Fuji circle, Wasiu Alabi Pasuma, also marked 40 in a high society manner in Lagos. But the event shocked many and sharply divided fans of his personality and music along ego line. While his music fans agreed that he was indeed the age he claimed at the time, those who love Pasuma’s personality among whom are his age contemporaries, kicked. They argue he was just 57.
Earlier in 1985 when Nigeriacelebrated 25 of nationhood, Queen Salawa Abeni was all over the newsmagazines and dailies as celebrating her 24thbirthday. That was the first time critics went to town to disclaim her as saying untruth about her age.
In Lagos, on Sunday 25th of September 2011, Quen Abeni rolled out the drums to celebrate her 50th. But many did not just attend the event which was witness by high and mighty in the society, to felicitate with her or just eat and drink and leave, they were there to, according to whisperings at the event, thank God for healing her of years of an ailment that left her two legs paralyzed but now are back to normal.
The wife of Salawa’s younger brother who has also acted as her band manager since childhood, Alhaji Kunle, however, inadvertently, burst the bubble when during a speech-making opportunity, she confirmed Salawa that the celebrant might not have been up to 50 after
Her words; “Let’s thank God for Salawa for today. She will be 100 years old by God’s grace. What she is actually celebrating today is not birthday but a thanksgiving service to God for sparing her life after the ailment. We never thought she would walk again. We shall be here to celebrate 100 with her, and if she is not up to 50 yet, we shall also come around to celebrate 50 with her”.
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