Monday 17 October 2022



By Yusuf Olatunji

Late Alhaji Haruna Ishola Adebayo Bello (M.O.N) as  known as Baba Ngani Agba. The Apala legend, was known and recognized all over the world for his distinctive apala music from Mid 1940 to early 80’s. Baba Ngani Agba, fondly called by his admirers waxed 66 albums.  


The late legend musician was born in Igbaire, Oke Sopin, Ijebu Igbo in Ogun State, South West Nigeria in 1010. He developed interest in music and assembled some boys from his area and form his own group in 1947. Late Haruna Ishola and his group waxed their first album entitled “ORIMULUSI ADEBOYE” exclusively made for the Oba of Ijebu Igbo in the year 1948 but the record was not a success in terms of acceptance sale as expected. It took seven years, to release another record, that was in 1955 for the Late “Orimilusi Adeboye” of Ijebu Igbo. The album was a huge success which finally brought him to the lime light.


He performed Holy Pligrimage to Holy Land of Mecca, Saudi Arabia along side with another Late Apala music legend, Late Alhaji Waheed Ayinla Yusuf popularly known as “Ayinla Omowura”, others include late Alhaji Abdul-Fatai Akande Olowonyo, Late Dauda Akanmu Epo Akara, Late Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Balogun (Barrister) M.F.R, also fuji musician living legend, Alhaji Abdul Rasaq Kolawole Ilori, popularly known as  “Kollington Ayinla” Baba Alatika. Late Olowonyo described Late Haruna Ishola as father of peace. To him, “Late Haruna Ishola settled the rift between him (Fatai Olowonyo) and Ayinla Omowura at the Holy Land of Mecca in 1975.

Late Alhaji Ayinla Omowura eulogized Haruna Ishola in his album titled ORIN OWO ILE EKO volume four in 1975 “O SEEEEEEE……HARUNA BABA GANI AGBA, NINU ELERE AGBAYE LAYE O, ISHOLA MO FIA E JU, A FI ENI TI O BA FE TOWO ANIGILAJE, BII EEYAN O BA FE TI OMO ANIGILAJE, MAA WO WON NIRAN, BABA GANIYUU NI ASIWAJU OBOGBO WA.  Meaning “Thank you Haruna Ganiyu father, amongst world top musician I fear you. Include those who love Anigilaje-son, if they don’t live Anigilaje-son, I would be looking at them, Ganiyu father is our front runner leader”. 

While Haruna Ishola nicknamed Ayinla Omowura as “Eegunmagaji” means “The Warrior Masquerade.”

Late Haruna Ishola took his Apala music around the globe, some of the countries visited by him were Ghana, Cotonou, Republic Du Benin, Cote De-ivory, Monrovia, Liberia, Gambia, Sierra Leone, London, England, United State of America, Italy, Sweden, Stockholm, France, Czechoslovakia, Budapest, Romania, Holy Pilgrim to  Holy land of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to mention but a few.  


In the late 70’s, he established a recording studio, “PHONO DISC RECORD” where other musicians record their albums such as Late Alhaji Ayinka Omowura, Late Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Chris Okotie and so on.  Haruna Ishola waxed an album to commemorate his 30 years on stage, entitled “AJODUN OGBDUN”. He used the medium to show his appreciation to media houses in Nigeria such as “Ile Ise Ogun Radio, E see, NBC,  NBC II, E see, Oyo Radio, E see, Ondo Radio E see, Eyin Oni Iwe Ironyin, E see ati ti Telefisan, E see. Simply mean Ogun Radio, thank you, Oyo Radio, thank you, Ondo Radio, thank you, both prints and electronics media, thank you.



In addition, Late Haruna Ishola used his music to praised some promiment personalities and social elites clubs such as Alhaji Saliu Adetunji then Olubadan of Ibadan Land, Salawu Kakanfo, Ejire Giwa, J.T.S Jagunwa, Late Ishola – Omo Dada, Late Busari Ishola – Omo Agbaje Salami (aka) Babanjebba, Alhaji Alabi Labaika, Late Mary Awolowo the mother of the sage politician, Late Obafemi Awolowo in 1970, Sule Tapa  Maito, Gbadamosi Adisa Alago, Alhaji Yekini Adegbayi, Late Owonifari, Gani Alarape, Hamzat Igbalaye to mention but few.  Some social elite clubs were Oroki Social Club, Osogbo, Ilupeju Social Club, Abeokuta, Egbe Obanibasiri Society, Oyo, Egbe Ede Mapo Arogun, Egbe B’omode Oku, Osogbo, Egbe Gbobaniyi Odogbolu, etc.


The Late legend apala super star sometimes gave kudos to his band member(s) as follows: Adisa Aniyanmeta that is Adisa that has three mother, Raufu Ojubanire, Shittu Baba Iyabo means “Shittu Iyabo father, Kabiru Olohun Osebi, Moshood Adeniran, Alabi, alaran Baba Bosede, that is Alaran Bosede father, Musiba Baba Idia, that is, Musibau Idia father, Wahabi Omo Olori means son of president, Olaide Ojoge Baba Ntawa, that is, Olaide Ojoge, Tawa father, Sulaiman, George Odomode Alafe, that is George The young socialite and Alabi Labaika. 

OGUN City News took a stroll to the state capital of Osun state, Osogbo to have a chat with the secretary of the “Oroki Social Club” a former school teacher, “Teacher of all teachers” Prince David Oladejo Babalola 90.

Who look younger than his age, in 1971, Late Haruna Ishola released an album titled “Oroki Social Club of Osogbo,” Mo kan Saara Siwon bi won se n se, I sun Mo ra Eni la n mo ise eni, Oroki social club ilu Osogbo, meaning “I gave kudos to them for their performances, when you closer to them, would know their performances/act Oroki Social Club of Osogbo Land.

The album added glamour to the fame of the widely acclaimed Apala King among his peers. Research tells us that Five Million copies of the record were sold from 1971 to 1983, still selling fast till tomorrow.

According to Prince Deja Babalola, “Oroki Social Club, was originally “Youth Movement Vanguard of the then Action Group in Western Nigeria,” a political organization, under the then premier of the Western Region Late sage politician Chief Obafemi Jeremiah Oyeniyi Awolowo. 

The Oroki Social Club had about 51 members, the funniest part of is that out of the 51 members, I Prince Oladejo Babalola was the only Christian among them while others were Muslims and there is no religion sentiments of any kind in our club, we dine and wine together. Some of were late now. Late Haruna Ishola mentioned Eighteen of our executive member(s) in the record titled “Oroki Social Club, Osogbo,” in 1971.


“You know two people cannot work together unless they are friends, they can be mutual friends, also they can be blossom friends. Anytime we were doing annual get together, we used to invite Haruna to come and play for us even when Rasheed Igbalaye father died late Bello Akano Igbalaye, Haruna Ishola was the guest musician, he also took time to sing praises of our club at the burial of Late PA Bello Akano Igbalaye.  

“Egbe Oroki Social Club, E see, Egbe Rasheed, E see, Won se Gudugudu meje fun wa lojo yen.” Meaning, “Kudos to Oroki Social Club, the club of Rasheed Igbalaye, they took good care of us that day.”

Prince Dejo Babalola described late Haruna Ishola as a “Philosopher, psychologist. He knew that the club Oroki Social Club boosted his personality and added fame to him with the sale of five million copies from 1971 to 1983 even still being demand for uptill tomorrow. He used his music to boost the ego of Oroki social club in his album. He praised me in the record “Alafe ni e Dejo Babalola secretary Egbe won, meaning Dejo Babalola is a socialite, he is the secretary of the club”  we invited Haruna Ishola on four or five occasions for the club’s yearly anniversary. There was another Apala legend from Haruna Ishola home town Ijebu Igbo, Kasumu Adio we invited him once but the difference is clear.  “Then I have Zusuki motorcycle. You know the secretary is the engine room of any organization. I rode my mother cycle from Osogbo to Ijebu Igbo to invite Haruna Ishola four our annual get together.

“Haruna Ishola’s music teaches moral he used Yoruba proverb and verses from the Holy Quran to disseminate his message. When you are pasting on his forehead, his drummer Raufu Ojubanire would be checkmating you not to over spending or get carried away, with his talking drum, “Ti o ba gbagbe oun ti o je, Iwo lo mo,” that is, If you forget whom you are, you are on your own,” a lot from Haruna, he was humble, unique, and an epitome of love. Haruna  Ishola stood out among his contemporary.  

Again, “I rode my Zusuki motorcycle from Osogbo to Ijebu Igbo when  our organization was still flourishing we decided that we wish to immortalize our club. I met him in his house in Ijebu Igbo and I negotiated with him on behalf of our organization. That was what gave birth to the album “OROKI SOCIAL CLUB, in 1971.”

The Late Apala music star, “Haruna Ishola brought fortune to “Oroki Social Club”. The fortune he brought cannot be enumerated. There is something which richest man cannot buy, you prohibit and character. Haruna Ishola really projected the image of the club in the album, Gbogbo won lolowo lowo ti won tun feran arawon, mimi kan o si Ganiyu, Owo nbe, Aya nbe, Ka a tun be lopolopo, meaning, “we are all rich, and will like ourselves, they have money, they have wives, they have plenty of cars, it was awesome and image booster.” 

“Myself  and one other person were lucky to have motorcycle then perhaps with one vehicle each. But the projection late came to reality today.  You can see my house and my vehicles”.

“After, the release of the record breaking album for “Oroki Social Club,” other clubs follow suit. Social Club from Osogbo, Abeokuta, Ede, Inisha were on trail of Haruna Ishola for the production of album for them”.


Some of our executive have received glorious calling while some are still alive.  Those who died are OLAWALE OLADIRAN (PRESIDENT), KOLAPO IGBALEYE (VICE PRESIDENT), RASHEED IGBALAYE (FINANCIAL SECRETARY), ADISA OLAYIWOLA (SOCIAL SECRETARY), NB:  Haruna Ishola mistakenly wrote Adisa Olawale instead of Adisa Olayiwola, (Point of Correction), OLADIMEJI DOKUN (MEMBER), LIASU RAJI (MEMBER), GANIYU ADESOKAN (MEMBER), TIAMIYU ALARAPE (MEMBER) AND IBRAHIM SALAMI (MEMBER), Sule Dawodu (Assistant Secretary), Hamzat Adekola (Member), Ganiyu Oyedele (Member), Ganiyu Owolabi and Ganiyu Sobaloju both are Member(s). of blessed memory.

THOSE WHO ARE STILL ALIVE -  “Myself, Prince Oladejo David Babalola (secretary) and Adeleke Oduola (Treasurer)

Prince Deji Babalola continues, “ We felt very sad when we heard announcement of Haruna Ishola’s Death in 1983. Uptill now, the living Oroki Social Club members are still morning him because of his wisdom, philosophy also a patriotic Nigerian, He concluded.

                  NATIONAL HONOUR

In recognition of Haruna Ishola contribution to the Social Cultural and Economical awareness of the nation through his music, the then Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Usman Aliyu Sheu Shagari presented him with a National Honour, Member of the Order of Niger (M.O.N).  No Apala musician has received the award before or after him.

Alhaji Haruna Ishola Adebayo Bello, the world acclaimed Apala music king joined his ancestors on November 9th, 1983.

Althought, Baba Ngani Agba is physically dead but his legacy lingers on.

May his soul continue to rest in the bossom of Allah. Amin.    

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