No surprise little or nothing was heard about Ibiwunmi Salawa Abeni for some years till recently. Salawa in an unique chat with LoveHaven Journal, disclosed she was on sick mattress for six years! Paralysed really! And it was shortly after she misplaced one in all her sons, Olanrewaju.
She additionally spoke about how buddies abandoned her and glad GOD lastly restored her. It’s such a touching story, however thank GOD it has a contented ending!
Why had been you off the leisure scene for some years?
I used to be sick for like 5 – 6 years. It began in 2008 and I didn’t get better till six years after. I used to be not acting on stage and different social occasions. Instantly, I grew to become terribly sick and couldn’t exit.
I couldn’t consider work as a result of I couldn’t stroll—I used to be paralysed. All I considered then was getting again on my toes. I saved praying to Allah to assist me meet up with the misplaced years. Proceed…
What was the character of the sickness?
I can not actually clarify what occurred however it was paralysis and was extraordinarily unhealthy. I might neither stroll nor do something. I thank Almighty Allah as a result of not everybody might undergo what I went by means of and nonetheless survive.
Thank GOD for my siblings, my youngsters, my band boys, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Governor Fashola and now Governor Ambode, who later took the duties upon him after my restoration.
To be out of labor as an entertainer for six years is not any joke. My band boys stood by me they usually didn’t go! It’s not simple to carry down band boys for 5/six years and suppose they might nonetheless give you the results you want.
However what was going by means of your thoughts in your sick mattress?
Then, I saved asking GOD and myself how was I going to make it once more? How and when would I get better? Would I ever stroll once more? Is that this how Ibiwunmi Salawa Abeni would finish? Would every little thing be restored once more? It was a attempting time as a result of I bought all that I had because of the sickness.
Did you name out to buddies and followers?
The sickness began briefly and all of us thought I might be advantageous very quickly. In fact I had buddies and initially I didn’t even consider calling out as a result of I assumed it could quickly be over. However when it grew to become insufferable and I began promoting off my issues—homes, automobiles, jewelry and so forth— I began calling out to buddies. It was a difficult time for me however thank GOD, I’m absolutely again and restored now.
What do you suppose will need to have triggered off the sickness?
Nicely, I feel it began after I misplaced my son, Lanre. I began having hypertension after which different signs cropped up. In my sick mattress, I knew I might not die as a result of my late mum, who was alive then would pray for me and say I might be the one to bury her and never vice versa. She died two years in the past at 98 years previous.
It will need to have been a troublesome time for you and your loved ones?
Sure, it was. I began to sing as a teen and I had hustled, suffered and after I was about feeding fats on the proceeds of my labour, the satan struck. I prayed and saved telling GOD that He ought to enable me eat the fruits of my labour. At a degree, every little thing was exhausted together with cash.
That was after I began calling individuals to present me cash. Some responded, some didn’t and would ignore my name. They had been like, ‘Salawa is sick, she wants cash, that’s why she is looking.’ I cried however I saved trusting GOD.
What about your followers? Weren’t they apprehensive that you just had been out of attain?
They grew to become apprehensive and saved sending messages through textual content messages and thru the social media. I used to be flown overseas at a stage and after I returned and was nonetheless recuperating, I noticed a few of my followers who requested me if I used to be nonetheless singing once more.
I used to be damage! I knew I used to be far behind however I saved telling GOD to assist me. A lot of my followers who knew me after I was a teen, to turning into a spouse, mom and now grandmother stood by me and stated, ‘we might do every little thing to see that you just don’t die together with your expertise.’
My youngsters additionally stood by me. I prayed to Almighty Allah that after the demise of Idris Olanrewaju, GOD ought to by no means enable me see the demise of any little one once more. He ought to enable me eat the fruit of my labour—these youngsters are GOD’s presents to me.
How did you sail by means of this attempting interval?
GOD despatched me helpers. I might ceaselessly stay grateful to Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu—he’s a father. His mom, Mama Abibatu Mogaji was my mum. I knew mama after I was very younger.
I used to be on the bandstand when she was 70, 75 and 80 years respectively. Mama would prepare dinner and ship stews and soups to me. Mama would give me cash. She handled me like a baby. As previous as Mama was when she noticed that I couldn’t stroll once more, she would ship individuals to wish for me and all the time checked on me.
Then, there was Alhaji Ayinde Barrister, who was a pillar of help for me. I known as and informed him, ‘Dad, I slept and awoke seeing myself this manner.’ I known as him Daddy and he requested for my residence tackle after the decision.
He got here to my home and instantly he entered, I began weeping. Alhaji Barrister stated, ‘Ibiwunmi, don’t cry as a result of I do know you’d be the one to bury me, not the opposite means spherical.’ The daddy-daughter love between us has prolonged to his youngsters, who love me to bits. He was a great father.
Did you attain out to different musicians?
Some ran away, some didn’t even choose my calls. After my restoration, some informed me that they didn’t know the place I used to be and couldn’t find me. Throughout my sickness, I learnt this— be taught to assist each other. It’s foolhardy to attend for a fellow artiste to die earlier than donating cash for burial or to present to the household.
Render assist whereas somebody is alive and don’t shed crocodile tears at burial. I don’t pray for anybody to be sick or die—it’s horrible. However then, I by no means took offence in anybody. I used to be simply praying to GOD to revive me.
Had been you so near your son that his demise hit you to the extent of being sick?
The issue began after I misplaced Lanre. I misplaced every little thing with him— the volumes 1- 15 of my LPs are nonetheless along with his late father’s recording firm and none is able to launch them to me. His demise was an enormous blow. I didn’t know I might survive.
He was the one bond between his late father, Lati Adepoju, and I. My concern now could be to get my profession again. Although lots of my followers know that I’m again and they’re supporting me, I don’t need my profession to perish.
I need to be previous and be a legend, whose music would outlive her. I’m nonetheless a younger lady, my youngsters are nonetheless younger however I need my profession to soar and make affect within the lives of youthful generations. I do know Salawa Abeni is a expertise that may’t be wasted.
After your recuperation, what and the place was your first efficiency?
It was a burial get together in Lagos. I used to be not feeling too advantageous however then, I managed and sat down all through my efficiency. After the get together I wept.
I knew my voice was intact, the composition of songs was okay however I couldn’t carry out as Queen Salawa Abeni. I prayed and informed GOD, ‘this isn’t Ibiwunmi, assist restore my vitality and vitality.’ GOD did that and I can now dance and stand all through any efficiency.