Stories that Captivate: Tunde Kelani’s Latest Cinematic Triumph
Stories have captivated humanity since the beginning of time. In December 2020, veteran filmmaker Tunde Kelani (TK) announced his next project: a film about the life of Àyìnlá Ọmọwúrà. This news created a buzz not just because it marked TK’s return to the cinema after his minor film, Sidi Ilujinle, but also because of the mythical status surrounding his latest subject.
Bringing a Legend to Life
Àyìnlá Waheed, son of Yusuf ‘Anígilájé’ Gbogbolowo, was a revered Apala musician from Abeokuta. His life was cut short tragically in a bar room brawl four decades ago, leaving behind a legacy shrouded in mystery and controversy.
Unraveling the Enigma
Many questions still remain unanswered about Àyìnlá Ọmọwúrà and the circumstances surrounding his death. To shed light on this extraordinary figure, Festus Adedayo published Ayinla Omowura: Life and Times of an Apala Legend in May 2020, providing a comprehensive biography that delves into the musician’s life.
The Challenge of Telling Àyìnlá’s Story
Portraying the life of Àyìnlá Ọmọwúrà in a film presented a unique set of challenges. The late musician’s illiteracy and background limited the availability of digital documentation during his lifetime, making it difficult to uncover details about his life. This is why, despite being labeled as a musical biopic, TK maintains that his film is not a traditional depiction of the genre.
Ayinla: A Cinematic Marvel
Produced by Jade Osiberu, known for her work on Nollywood hits like Isoken and Sugar Rush, Ayinla boasts a talented cast including Adedimeji Lateef, Debo Adebayo (Mr Macaroni), Kunle Afolayan, Bimbo Manuel, Ade Laoye, and Omowunmi Dada, among others.
A Journey Through Myth and Legend
The film takes viewers on a captivating journey, starting in Àyìnlá Ọmọwúrà’s ancestral home in Itoko in 1980, the year of his untimely death. It explores the significant events that shaped his life, from his patronage of traditional spiritual charms to his infamous love affairs and his violent tendencies that ultimately led to his demise. The screenwriters skillfully weave fictional plots around some of Omowura’s greatest hits and his proposed London tour, resulting in vibrant and colorful scenes.
A Fine Balance
While the film incorporates fictional elements, it is impossible to ignore the mesmerizing performances, stunning costumes, authentic locations, and carefully chosen props. Ayinla immerses the audience in the melodious baritone and mesmerizing drums that define Omowura’s Apala music. This rhythm maintains a captivating tempo throughout the film, ensuring there are no dull moments, at least until tragedy strikes.
A Touch of Authenticity
TK makes a cameo appearance in a scene where Omowura is being interviewed by representatives from the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service (WNBS), Ibadan. In line with gossip that has circulated about the real interview, Ayinla’s exit is abrupt after being asked to wear an undergarment. However, a small historical inaccuracy can be noted here: when Omowura passed away in 1980, his mother was still alive, rendering his remark about going to heaven improbable.
Exceptional Performances and Missing Perspectives
Adedimeji Lateef delivers an exceptional performance, bringing Eegunmogaji to life on the big screen. However, fully capturing the essence of Àyìnlá the songbird proves challenging. Lateef sometimes struggles with the lyrics of the songs performed, relying on camera angles and skillful editing to mask any awkward moments. The actors playing the roles of Ayinla’s backup singers also fail to synchronize with the songs throughout the film, which can be disappointing considering the pivotal role backup singers played in the Apala genre.
Despite these remarkable performances, the film falls short in terms of representing the full scope of Ayinla Omowura’s life. Several integral characters and perspectives are missing, such as Adewole “Onílù Ọlà” Alao, the lead drummer and original founder of the Omowura band, and Ayinla Agbejapa, Omowura’s spiritual consultant. Additionally, renowned musicians like WillandPower, Kollington Ayinla, and Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, who went from being the chairman of the Omowura fan club to becoming a major rival of the Apala artist, are not given substantial attention in the film.
A Beautiful Tribute with Minor Flaws
Àyìnlá is a visual masterpiece, capturing the essence of the legendary musician’s life and times. Tunde Kelani once again demonstrates his talent in creating timeless films. Through this cinematic experience, viewers around the world can encounter the enigmatic Àyìnlá Ọmọwúrà and appreciate his musical legacy, even if only through the character portrayed on screen.
Discover more about the fascinating world of Àyìnlá Ọmọwúrà and explore the film that has captivated audiences on [Ratingperson](https://ratingperson.com).