Olayinka Joel Ayefele is a Nigerian gospel singer, producer, song writer and an on-air personality. He was born on 1st February 1968, and raised in Ipoti, his home town Ipoti-Ekiti, a city in Ekiti State in southwestern Nigeria.
He attended Our Saviours Anglican Primary School, Ipoti Community Secondary School and then proceeded to Ondo State College of Arts and Science, Ikare, Akoko. He learnt to play trumpet and guitar at an early age, and used to play in churches to make ends meet.
Ayefele worked for many years as a journalist and broadcaster at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Ibadan, where he also produced jingles and musical works on radio.
On 12th December 1997, he was involved in a ghastly motor accident which damaged his spinal cord and paralyzed his lower body on his way to Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation (OGBC) for a program. He was admitted in the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan for nine months.
While he was at the hospital, his very good friend Kola Olootu advised him to put some songs together, the plan was to launch the album, use the money for further treatment abroad. Thus, ‘Bitter Experience’ was released in 1998, recounting his ordeals. The album sold out, this led to a great turning point in his life and in 1999 ‘Sweet Experience’ was released telling the success after the bitter experience in his life.
He is referred to as the Gospel Tungba-highlife musician. He is a versatile artiste; his songs are a blend of Fuji, Jazz and Highlife usually in English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. He has released so many other albums over the years including: Life after Death (2003), Fulfillment (2004), New Dawn (2005), Goodness Of God (2012) and many more. In 2015, he launched his own record label Ayefele Records.
He is happily married to Temitope Titilope who he met in 1996 before the accident, they were together in trying times and later got married in 2000. The couple is blessed with kids. Temitope has an NGO whose vision is to become the leading NGO providing a distinctively unique service to disadvantaged children, motherless, physically challenged, abandoned babies and empowerment of indigent in the society.
Ayefele has been able to improve and sustain the tempo of his music, album after album. He sings the praises of some of his fans making him the first gospel artiste to do so in an album. He argues that the reason why he introduced such idea into his music is trying to attract such people to him ‘There is no way you will win somebody’s soul without first attracting the person to you, that is exactly what I am trying to do with my music, I generalize it and make it a music that everybody can listen or dance to particularly the non-Christian’ he said.
He has travelled, to several countries to perform, his music has gained prominence and is widely accepted home and abroad. ‘At times, I think it is a dream because the kind of accolade that people give us anywhere we perform, both Nigerians and non-Nigerians, is overwhelming’ he said.
He has been honored with many awards, both nationally and internationally including the ‘Member of the Order of the Niger’ awarded by the former president of Nigeria Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
On 30th April 2015, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) granted Yinka Ayefele a limited broadcast license, with a transmitting frequency of 105.9MHz after pursuing the license for seven years. The radio station, Fresh 105.9 FM, provides news, information, and entertainment to Nigerians in Nigeria and diaspora from Ibadan Nigeria.
The Oyo state government partially demolished the Music House building worth 800 million naira according to him on 19 August 2018, following controversy over planning permits. The house also has in it the radio station.
‘I had a choice, to die or to live. I chose to live. I didn’t want to become a liability. I decided to live and make it. I learnt how to play all musical instruments on my own. I was in persistent pains 24 hours, five of my ribs got broken in the accident, but I had to forget my pains and forge ahead.’
The voice of a journalist turned gospel artiste is not only touchy but also a source of inspiration to the younger generation, his philosophy is there is no substitute to hard work, Success may not come as fast as expected but it will surely come sooner that you think.
Published By: Church Gist