Thursday 14 October 2021


It is a Yoruba tradition that an elder does not participate in the funeral rites of a younger acquaintance, no matter the level of relationship. But, sometimes this tradition is sidelined on grounds of courtesy. It is the same with this short tribute to my Kakaaki mentee, ADEBAYO FAYAMAN-BAY ADESEWO who, like the others, passes for a younger brother or sister. 

His mortal transition was announced to me by his indefatigable younger brother, Om'Oba Jerry Adesewo. Thereafter, my mind has been playing back the images of a relationship that dated back to 1979.

Fayaman and his immediate elder brother Toyin 'Natty' Adesewo were my students while I was teaching in Saka Tinubu Memorial High School. They were juniors by one year to Jahman Anikulapo, Kayode Tomoloju and Loni 'Spak' Adeyokun (at Saka) and Antar Laniyan as well as Ola (Akin)Tehinse of Lagos Baptist nearby. The two brothers were classmates to Abiodun Ayoyinka (Papa Ajasco). One can go on and on.....

The Fayaman factor had been there with me all that while. In Class Four he was cast for the role of Jenwitemi in my experimental educational drama titled KATIGORI GBEKEYAN. Interestingly, Natty Adesewo acted as the human mascot, the hunchback, Tuere, whom the story was about. They performed with their immediate seniors. When  he was in Class Five, I adapted a WASC Literature Text, Peter Abraham's novel, MINE BOY, to a stage play. Fayaman performed the lead role, Xuma, brilliantly on all fronts, with a mimetic and lyrical force even to the  song, 'Little Black Bird', recently released as a track in 100 Songs.....

Since those seminal years theatre grew in FAYA and FAYA grew in theatre. KATIGORI GBEKEYAN was produced as a TV-serial. He was there. 'Kakaaki Dance, Songs and Ritual';  Fayaman was a rich voice. EVERYBODY WANTS TO KNOW, WE ONLY WENT IN SEARCH OF HAPPINESS, WILTED PETALS, etc., Fayaman gave a great account of his talent among his equally endowed peers.

I recall when Kakaaki decided to embark on travelling theatre programmes, Natty and Fayaman arranged for their family house in Wasimi, on the way to Abeokuta, to be used as the camp.

Faya was an irrepressible spirit. He went for a special orientation in the Hubert Ogunde Theatre under my good friend and son of the doyen, Adelaja. He returned to Kakaaki and choreographed some of our dances. We do not forget how, in league with Jahman and Natty, he was a force in securing locations at Isheri Olofin for most of our old LTV 8 recordings.

When NANTAP was established under my Chairmanship in 1989, Jahman used the Kakaaki linkage in Abuja, comprising Loni Spak Adeyokun and Fayaman to collaborate with, I think, Israel Eboh, the current NANTAP President to arrange for the registration of the Association.

To cut it short, Faya was there with us at COJA 2003 during the presentation of my play, AMINATU. He also played a major role in the movie version of the play. And this apart,  numerous plays of mine were produced by Faya and his younger and ebullient brother, Om'Oba Jerry under the banner of Arojah Playhouse, a legacy that will endure across time and space.

For the fact that some of the families of Kakaakis and friends have become like mine, I will continue to cherish everyone in the social unit, just as role-models among them, like Fayaman, will remain unforgettable.

May the soul of Prince Matthew Adebayo Fayaman Adesewo rest in perfect peace IJMN. Amen.

Written by Benson Tomoloju (Pappy Ben)

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