Thank You For The Music


Oh all alone,

when I think about the good times

that we shared together baby…

Some days ago, I left the heat and darkness of my room to go hang out with friends. Amidst all the banter, someone played Never Far Away by Lagbaja, and it felt like I had stepped into a time machine. Nostalgia came knocking. She took me back to younger days and simpler years.

She took me to the house I grew up in, and to times spent playing with my neighbour’s daughter, Chiamaka. We spent an awful amount of time in each other’s houses. When my parents weren’t in, we would play Lagbaja’s CD on a large TV with a small screen, watching with fascination, wondering who the man behind the mask was, following the lyrics on the screen while our bodies moved ever so slightly to the music.

We were sworn sisters and nothing in the world was going to separate us. Until my family had to move. I remember how that my sadness had been too deep, too heavy for me to cry. My last memory of her is watching her wave as my father’s car drove away for what would be last time. I knelt on the backseat, fighting back tears, waving hard until she faded away.

Lol. Why am I crying a bit now? Silly.


Odun nlo sopin o

Baba rere

Fi sho re sho wa o

During Christmas holidays, as kids in some parts of the world listened to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’, I was in my grandmother’s house listening to a more indigenous classic.

I would follow her to the Yoruba speaking Church she attended.  I didn’t understand most of what was going on, but I remember choristers in oversized blue and white suits, performed Odun N Lo Sopin at the end of the every year.

When that song is played, what I really hear, is the sound of my grandmother’s pepper stew simmering, the slap of her slippers against the cemented floor as she comes to wake me up for school, the roaring of her old Mitsubishi as she starts the engine to life.

Also, are you really a serious person if this jam is not on your Christmas playlist already?


Vul’indlela wemamgobhozi

He unyana wam

Helele uyashada namhlanje…

Brenda Fassie was a huge part of my childhood, as my dad played her music a lot. I like to listen to it particularly on days when home feels distant. Her music takes me to hot Sunday afternoons with my family, orange plates of jollof rice and sweaty bottles of Pepsi. We would sit in front of the television to watch beauty pageants, and when they weren’t showing my father would play old Brenda CDs.

I miss those Sunday afternoons, before everything got serious. Now no one’s really at home long enough to sit in front of the television.


What is that piece of music you hear, that transports you back in time and space?

As I type this, I’m listening to Boney M’s Ride to Agadir. The music takes me to a cold morning, I am in my dad’s old green Mercedes on the way to school. I’m late for school but we’re both singing and nodding along to the music.

What are the soundtracks of your life?

Where do they take you to?

35 thoughts on “Thank You For The Music

    1. Shina Peters’ music: seven seven seven is a number, Oluwashina.
      That music always propels me way back in time, to my father’s Peugeot 505. That was the music he played the most each time we were on a long-distance road trip. My sister and I imbibed that music with our baby food.

  1. This makes me nostalgic and mushy. The sounds of Don Moen and Jim Reeves remind me of the days when I had fewer responsibilities😪

  2. Lagbaja reminds of me of driving round town with my dad. Funfact: I met Lagbaja irl when I was 6/7 years old.
    Mariah Carey reminds me of being home on Saturdays with my mom.

  3. Never Far Away was a big track from my childhood too. Reminds me of when things were easier and all I was concerned with was sleep, food and play. Just like you, listening to some songs take me back to the memories of the first time I heard them and the feeling is nice and can be overwhelming. 2face Idibia’s “I’ve got my conscience by my side” song is playing in my head right now. Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Michael Jackson’s man in the mirror takes me back to primary and Secondary school days, it was the VHS cassette in primary school, vcd in jss and DVD in senior secondary school. Songs to keep you awake while you read.

  5. Dupe, you literally took me through your childhood. Felt like I was watching a movie of you growing up. Great article! I enjoyed this! Life’s so different and busy now, and I’d give anything to go back to when things were just plain simple.

  6. First time reading your piece of work…. It really takes one back to the good,serene old days. Days which were filled with home works, foods to eat, Sunday morning moi moi and pap… Days we really didnt bother what happened the next minute because we were
    not bothered. Now we’re grown ups pursuing this thing called *Life* .

  7. From Haruna Ishola hits in the car, to Orlando Owo on the radio on my way to secondary school. To Don Moen Sundays through my dad’s phone alone. Then Michael Jackson Saturdays through the same phone. The oldest iPhone that probably exists in our time. It’s been a journey.
    Thank for the trip back.

  8. I miss those day.This had tears drop a little..I remember the song olori oko reminds of cool evening with my parents and afuyegege,early morning song for like a year that my and my sister’s loved when we we’re all going to school…This takes me back to those days.
    Thank you for this piece sis

  9. I can totally relate. Every song I listen to that I’ve heard before evokes strong feelings of nostalgia. The memories begin to play very vividly in my head. Great read.

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