A Song for Baba Suwe, the Sultan of Comedy

A Song for Baba Suwe, the Sultan of Comedy


Babatunde Omidina’s darkish face loomed in the shadows, but his presence introduced mild and laughter to our faces. In Erin Keéke, the sitcom of the 80s, he limped as a result of the complete gamut of executing arts. New music. Drama. Dance.

He even intoned comedian melodies, despite the fact that he did not sound like a sultan of seem. But like the multi-proficient Lanre Fasasi a.k.a Sound Sultan, he thrived in comedy performances. He would excel in that genre, starting to be king. So let’s indulge in no merry-go-round, and simply just hand him his crown: Mr Omidina was Sultan of Comedy.

For these who understood him very properly, Babatunde Omidina was no similar character as Baba Suwe. There was a gulf among the guy and the actor. The man cherished the serious atmosphere of existence absent from the klieg lights, overlooked enthusiasts that craved comedian dramas guiding the cameras, courted controversies, and was misunderstood by his Ikorodu neighbours. The actor garnered fortune and fame from tomfoolery, created significant artwork of mere mischief, and grew to become a household delight.

Babatunde Omidina prinked at social activities, danced to Kwam1’s talaso music, manufactured like to his ladies, rarely smiled, preened like a peacock, and drove by Lagos in his SUVs with royal grace. Some reported he cuckolded some other adult men. We may in no way know, even nevertheless the venerable Baba Olofa-Ina gave life to that fantasy in a the latest misadventure. But Babatunde Omidina himself was a mix of myth and irony anyway, and at the peak of his glory, quite a few clothed him in the robes of arrogance.

Baba Suwe on the other hand was the everlasting fool, mischievous interpreter of proverbs, Opebe’s ally, Jide Kosoko’s nemesis, Mr Latin’s rival, Bola Tinubu’s phantom brother and eternal hailer, and everyone’s favorite entertainer.

He was Obelomo, Oyinlomo, Adimeru, Oko Safu, Maradona, Oluaye Marose, Jor Jor Jor, Omo na Bouncing, Kosomona, and similar vanities. He was no Baba Sala, the other king whose solar eclipsed together with the tragedy of Orun Moru. Neither was he Baba Mero, or Baba Sabiko, or Dejo Tunfulu, or Baba Ijesha of the teenage rape scandal.

He was no James Idepe, or L’Awori, or Ojoge, or Otolo, or Aderupoko, or Pa James, or Pappy Luwe. But he was king. When he fulfilled Bayowa of Hello there Olodumare fame, he grew to become Larinloodu, Omo Alapata, Alani Debe-debe and many others. Baba Suwe in no way died in motion picture plots, and he had an eternal smile planted on his deal with, even in moments of tragedies.

So for a long time, Nurudeen Babatunde Omidina switched roles. He was Baba Suwe on movie sets, and Babatunde Omidina driving the digicam. A comic fool in the day, a never-smiling disciplinarian at night time.

It is the stuff of tragedy that at the twilight of his life and job, the two people disappeared into skinny air, leaving the guy in the lurch. And so when dying loomed, he was neither Babatunde Omidina of the regal airs, nor Baba Suwe of comedian self-importance. He turned a frail-on the lookout Nurudeen, his confront a pitiable blur. He didn’t smile, neither was he fierce-looking. He exuded distress. The silly theatrics, the sardonic humour, the stern appears, the airs of grace had been all gone.

I once wrote on this web site that Yomi King a.k.a Opebe, the king without palace, was the yin to Baba Suwe’s yang. But Moladun Kenkelewu was in truth his spouse, equally on display and in the other area. The other working day at his burial, Thompson of the ‘Mr Deinde’ fame stated that Babatunde Omidina died right before he ultimately died. He died, initial, in 2009, right away Moladun died. But we may never know.

Lots of reported the ghost of Moladun haunted him, and there had been tales of complicity and deal with-ups. There was also the fantasy of a murder. We may by no means know. But what we do know is that if at all he died soon after Moladun’s loss of life, he in truth resurrected. He even built designs to jet out of the region two several years later on. But he satisfied a dead conclusion at the Murtala Muhammed Airport.

The gentlemen of the NDLEA claimed he experienced cocaine in his bowels, but the actor stated he experienced no this sort of contraband. So they compelled him to defecate, to discharge the drugs from his nether area. He disagreed, and then protested, á la Odunlade Adekola of the ‘You Wanna She’yeye Mi’ fame, who not long ago shone in a viral clearly show of idiocy. The NDLEA preferred him to reel in his possess vomit. He never ever did. In the wake of the circus display, Yoruba newspaper headlines screamed “Oyagbeti!”, and his poop took on a individual everyday living of its possess. A lot of required to know the color, the texture, the form. Fela Kuti would have known as it “Expensive Shit”. He was later produced, and then he attained a further victory in court docket pronouncements. He was awarded N25m, but he by no means received the financial award. His law firm, the great Bamidele Aturu, passed on, and Baba Suwe sucked into the shadows of the silence of the courts.

It would surface that Babatunde Omidina started to die the moment NDLEA commandeered him to defecate. Ceaselessly. It was a single gradual and painful loss of life staged in the full glare of the legislation. But it was loss of life all the exact, remarkable in its newsworthiness, spanning about a decade. It’s one loss of life that played out in advance of our eyes. On the internet pages of newspapers, in radio and Television bulletins, in the face of legal rights activists, in Mama Esther Ajayi’s cathedral of saints, in movie theatres, even in the temple of justice.

It’s the sort of tragedy novelist Teju Cole would have referred to as “Death in the Browser Tab.”

Sound Sultan, no blueblood of the Sokoto caliphate, encouraged hope. He was a single artiste whose functions we all held in awe in our sitting down rooms, but we did not accept with comparable power outside the house.

When he burst on to the scene with Jagbajantis on the cusp of the millennium, we admired the genius he introduced to bear in arty marriage of arithmetic and politics. Then arrived Koleyewon, a reflective choose on the point out of the nation. And then came Campus Queen, the adore magic birthed in collaboration with the great Tunde Kelani. When he sought greener pasture at Kennis Music, and warned about the self-importance of exile in ‘Ajo o da bi’Ile’, his voice despatched shivers down our spines, and we cowered in the protection of our properties. We all echoed his brilliance, but we by no means rewarded it perfectly sufficient.


The acceptance of Twitter has brought about as well quite a few ahistorical banalities. And that is why numerous poo-pooh the legacy of Sultan and his peers: 2encounter, Faze, Baba Dee, Tetuila, Trybesmen, and even the Olympic-Touch-bearing Eedris Abdulkareem. When it was time to have a handshake across the Atlantics, Sultan and friends were being there as guards. Their initiatives birthed a quantity of tasks, lots of of which outlined the accomplishment of today’s stars. 2confront had a duet with Bennie Man and Reggie Rockstone, and a different controversial a single with R. Kelly. Tetuila established a monster strike with Tic-Tac. Sultan, Faze and 2confront built magic with Haiti celebrity Wyclef Jean. It was all a big offer at the time. That was extensive prior to the D’banj-Snoop Dogg collabo materialised, or even the P-Square-Akon duet, which numerous now tout as the watershed minute in Nigerian artistes’ peep into the international house.

At the twilight of his lifetime and career, Seem Sultan’s title almost never materialised anyplace on Twitter trend lists, contrary to Wizkid and Davido and Burna Boy and Tiwa Savage. But he wasn’t locked in battles with obscurity either, compared with Eddy Montana and Tetuila and Azadus and Rasqui and Lexy Doo and Mr Kool and Jazzman Olofin. So he was suitable there, midway involving obscurity and limelight, experienced and courteous, serving as inspiration to younger artistes. He ran his race with the grace of royalty, free of charge of scandals. Not for him the vainness of instagram clout, nor the theatrics of Twitter ‘vayolence’. Like Wyclef boasted in King of My Country, a sequel, suicide is for cowards and Lanre Fasasi died with his honour. In that sense he was Sultan—–the king of audio.

Sultan died in America, following a battle with throat cancer. Baba Suwe died in Ikorodu, after his struggles with diabetic issues and related conditions. Babatunde Omidina and Lanre weren’t just buddies when they were being in this article, but they both brought pleasure into our homes. Just like Rachel Oniga, Chico Ejiro, Earnest Asuzu etc.

Lanre Fasasi was king of audio Babatunde Omidina Sultan of comedy. Lanre did stand-up comedy and was rather fantastic. Baba Suwe tried comedic tunes in flicks and came out a lovable fool. Equally adult men are now united in equally kingdoms, as king and Sultan, preening like peacocks. Might they locate authentic relaxation in that area, significantly away from earthly vanity.

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