Why Orlando Owoh was not rich -Musese


A great  and notable  man in Owo

……Why Orlando was not rich

…….I’m Muzeze not Musese

……..I’ve never smoked in my life

……..I could have been arrested

….. Story behind ‘Musese l’oko Dupe’

It was a beautiful evening . Meeting the heavily- bearded man  was interesting as he was not difficult to recognize  or locate in Owo , Ondo State. He is a very popular and notable figure , above all he is humble and approachable.

Some call him a philanthropist while some  look up to him as a mentor and  want to drink from his fountain of  knowledge. He is well traveled and exposed. Rich in experience no wonder he is good in counseling for the Solomonic wisdom he possessed . He is contended and believes  in God  . While some would prove too difficult  to be interviewed  but he does not as he was willing to talk especially on the late African Kennery, Dr.Orlando Owoh. No wonder he is loved and more popular even after leaving Orlando as his manager for years.

If you are not careful  and very observant you could go to his younger brother for the interview as both of them wear grey beard .


Sitting comfortably at his Ijoko Agba  section , (Seat of Elders) he said ” this place is not meant for just anybody or everybody, it is for decent old people not for riffraff , that is why we called this place Ijoko Agba”. He said in a very serious and sharp voice that would send  pretenders or roughnecks packing !. Truly , within 20minutes   the place began to receive visitors  having intellectual  discussions  from religion, politics,  among others while reeling with laughter .

 Mr. Samuel Olayiwola Ogunleye  (aka ‘Musese’) was the Manager of the late  High Life  musician Dr.Orlando Owoh.  ‘Musese’ spoke on how he used to pack  the illegal substance -Indian hemp in his stockings for the late musician while he  himself  never smoked  cigarette not to talk of touching Indian Hemp. He spoke about the late musician’s  travails especially the Cocaine saga.


He is  a man of  average height and  dark complexioned. His   bushy grey hair  attracts everybody as he ‘celebrates’ it by always  combing it wherever he is. He said ” I cherish my beard and take proper care of it .It makes me  stand out like an albino in the market”, as he said this he burst into laughter.

Asked when he started keeping his beard, he could not remember but said ” When I started working with Orlando was when I started keeping my beard, we have beard in our family , my father had and my brothers too.Our beard is a trade mark  in my family, when they see us they will say this is Musese and this is his brother too.Orlando too kept beard and it was after the trial after he won that   case that he  got rid of  his beard. We were both having beard.

Musese said he does not smoke  or drink alcohol  as many erroneously thought. Though he is over 70 years but  does not look his age , he said ” many don’t know I am as old as that and the secret of my  looking young  is that I don’t do all these things that would make me go old prematurely  .I don’t  smoke  or  drink alcohol but I  drink special  wine.” As he said this , he brought out a special wine , opened it and burst into laughter again.

He continued ” Many thought because I used to  keep  Indian hemp for the late Orlando to smoke  while on tour erroneously  thought I too indulged myself in smoking it , but let me put it to you and set the record straight for the  whole world that I had never for once  smoked Indian hemp in my life”, as he said this he burst into a prolonged laughter , and  continued fiddling with his grey beard he  cherished most.

 Ogunleye , popularly known as ‘ Musese’ . According to him ” only very few people know his real name as he is only known   as ‘Musese’ the late Orlando’s manager  during his life time . Ogunleye spoke on how he got the nickname , ‘ Musese’, he  replied ” I don’t know the meaning ,and the name was given to me by a lady who is not a Nigerian .She is no more alive now  for I would have asked her the meaning and I  have been given that   name since when I was in primary school.  When I was young I had an Italian pen-pal living in Italy who became  my girlfriend while living in Italy  , she was the one that  gave me the nickname  ‘Muzeze’, but my people  at home did not know how to spell or pronounce it , and they started calling me ‘Musese’ , I tried to correct them but  failed . I later left  it as  they understood it,  ‘ Musese’  eventually became  a household name”.

Musese  said  when he went to  Italy  to meet the lady ( he could not remember her name again) that gave him the nickname , his girlfriend at home  (Dupe) was writing him .He said  “Before leaving here( Nigeria )  I was going out with  a lady called Dupe  whom many thought I would marry. She used to write me  while in Italy   while the Italian lady too  was exchanging letters with her thinking she ( Dupe ) was my sister as I introduced her .But  while staying in  Italy I was  receiving Dupe’s letter  as well unfortunately the bubble burst when the Italian lady discovered  the letters and found out that Dupe was my girlfriend .The Italian lady later   reported  me to the authority that was how I was deported back to Nigeria  in 1971. When I was deported from Italy I went to Ibadan  to settle down .


Asked  to comment on the waxed  record of ‘ Musese loko Dupe‘ ( Musese is Dupe’s husband ) , “this is another story”, the septuagenarian    declared as he does not want to talk about it again, but when pressed further he said     “It was a talking drum of Chief Ebenezer Obey that  its beat sounds  like that , it was not meant for us ( Musese and Dupe).  But when she ( Dupe)  was celebrating  her birthday in the 70s ,my friends  mischievously translated Chief Obey’s talking drum to it . I think it was in  ‘Ajo Mo re Oluwa  si mi dele’s’ album”.

Asked where the Dupe is now, but the grey bearded grandpa said in a voice laden with emotion ”Dupe  died  long time ago , it was unfortunate we did not marry .She was my girlfriend. She was attending   St. Louis Grammar School, Owo while  I was a student at  Imade, Owo , Ondo State”, he continued ”Dupe’s  parents accommodated me when  I was living in Lagos .They were great people . But we did not marry and that is life”, he said , shaking his head intermittently.

Asked to talk of how he met and became the Manager of  the late Musician,Dr.Orlando Owoh,  the grey- bearded man went down memory lane   ” On  my deportation  from Italy  I went to Ibadan to settle down .Anytime  my older brother who was serving in the Nigerian Army in Kaduna  comes home he would bring  Orlando’s records .My street  was very close to   Orlando’s own , while I was living in Omodigbo Street  Orlando was  living in  Oremeji”.
He continued ” There was a man called Orimaro he was a palm wine tapper and that was where we used to go and drink anytime I go to Orlando’s place …myself , my late friend , Kanakana Olympio was in   Custom , we all lived very close . And anytime Orlando was around we would go to Orimaro  to play .One  day we asked Orlando what his problem was , and he said there was no Owo native  who had ever come to help him financially or whatever .And he said he  had nobody from Owo to manage his band .He ( Orlando ) then  asked  me to come and manage him ,that was how I  became his Manager “

A man of  Culture, during Igogo festival

Musese who spent over 30years as  the Band Manager of  the late Musician said it was not easy with the late ganja singer , ” He had so many obstacles , he was a great man … When I met Orlando he had no instrument , he had  nothing. And when  I came ( from Italy ) I still had some money with me and we started hiring  instruments , he (Orlando) appreciated it and was telling everybody  about what I did” , Musese said .


In spite the fact that he does not smoke he still supported  and defended Orlando’s smoking of  the  ‘weeds’ . Musese  with voice raised declared ” I  supported him smoking of  Indian hemp .Yes, he was smoking ‘Igbo’,  so what? .But  for me I don’t smoke and had never tasted it in my life”.
He continued “I discovered that  Orlando’s smoking  of Indian hemp did not affect him , anytime he smoked he knew what he was doing . Orlando has a secluded area in   Decca’s studio’s compound where he used to go and smoke Indian hemp .When we were supposed  to start  recording by 9pm , he would not come into the studio until around 2am  but would have been quietly  be with his guitar alone smoking his weeds and strumming his guitar .But when he enters the studio he would just be recording without rehearsal .
” I don’t smoke  but I drink  beer  anytime I have money but if I don’t  have I don’t .I don’t buy Igbo for Orlando , he always have in stocks. When traveling  with him and was in my knicker I would put it ( Indian hemp) in my stockings for him .Those who knew us together then knew I don’t smoke .He was a great man. I spent over 30years with him as a Manager before he died”.

Musese did not forget one  of the biggest challenges his late boss faced while alive .Musese said  the cocaine saga that made Orlando sang of his  Alagbon Experience is real  , Musese recollected how it all happened , he said “the day he was arrested I was not in Lagos , if I  was  not around I would be   arrested too.That day when I got the message I had to come down to Lagos  from  Kano  before I got there they were already at Alagbon.I heard about the whole story , how he was arrested , Osennenpen too,infact those who were around him were arrested .If I happened to be around I would have been  arrested too. I was very lucky  that I was not around  for if I were to be around  I would have been taken away , nobody would have believed I don’t smoke or sniff Cocaine for   I was the closest  person to Orlando among the boys , though  I was his manager . The Nigeria security officials  went to Sunny Ade  to ask whether I smoke but he only knew I only drink”.
He continued ” They ( security men ) went to Chief Edebo  who lived in Ibadan to ask too but  they missed me for I took a footpath to Chief Edebo’s house while the chief told  me they came for me from Alagbon .   They even thought  I was giving Investigation Police Officer ( IPO) money  but instead it was IPO in charge of our case that was giving me money , it was a highly celebrated case”.

“No”, the old man said emphatically , and added ” Orlando was never a troublesome person .On   why he didn’t ask  Orlando  to stop  taking  ganja , but he responded ” he is like Fela. Some people take it ( Indian Hemp) and go  mad but when these people take it they would be singing sense and be active.”
 When asked to compare the two with the late Bob Marley    he said ‘ I have never met Bob Marley when alive.
” It was only Orlando who  Fela  allowed to play at  his (Fela’s) Africa  shrine .And he ( Fela ) used to say he does not want cocaine or  heroine at his shrine. He once said if it was only Igbo ( Indian Hemp) that Orlando was accused of    (during his arrest of being in possession of cocaine ) he could have come and fight for him when he was jailed.”
Pressed further on who among the two ( Orlando and Fela)  could win in a competition of smoking Indian hemp, the old man declared without mincing  words that ” Fela  was greater than Orlando in smoking  of Indian hemp” .


Asked the most difficult question he confessed very difficult to answer when asked to tell the best records of Orlando, he confessed ”I cannot  say this is the best record but I  prefer Ero Ki mama mi, infact i cannot say, the one that sold most  and  i cannot say  this one or that is the best record except those who are recording them like Decca people and those people were recording for like Alhaji Shanu Olu, Prince Daile, Jolaosho who can say how much they are selling Orlando records but they will never tell us”.


Musese complained bitterly about the present crop of musicians , he said ”Precisely  I don’t know what they are playing nowadays  for instance they don’t have anybody to emulate, you see if he knows you are being emulated he would be going ahead while you will be coming behind. What these boys are singing nowadays have no meaning .In those days musicians would sit down, song writers  would do their  job . Orlando as a person would not write anything .There was a time he told me that whatever he was going to sing had been written on the blackboard, that is inside the studio.He would not put down anything .Music would come to him immediately he entered the studio.These boys nowadays I don’t know what they are singing, I am sorry to say there are musicians and there are musicians . What they are singing today had no meaning .When Fela sings it has meaning, when Haruna Ishola sings , Sunny Ade sings they have meanings .  I k Diaro  he waxed a record in 1962 , Gbam gbam la ngbo a o mo bi ibon ti ndun, olori dori re mu o,konikaluku  biye sara , oro Nigeria yio o ko ma baa dogun, we have never had anything like Biafran war by then when he sang this song ,then he was warning , he was warning  .But listen to what these boys are singing nowadays”.


”It is the government that can stop them , if anybody is going to the studio let them produce their demo, and if it is good ,okay,  fine but if it is  not good let them forget it and ask them to re wax , they should be stopped.You cannot say because you are a musician and be producing rubbish.If this can be applied  these musicians would sit tight”,  the man said in annoyance .


After the death of Orlando , Musese went  into another business , he said ”I am on my own .I am no more in the music line since Orlando is no more .I am in Owo here , I  have a small beer parlour here called Seat of Elders, I know the type of people that come here , people of like -minds , my old friends .The seat of Elders means , Ijoko awon agba , people coming here are responsible” 

Musese said it was true that the late Musician, Orlando was hardworking ” If anybody say Orlando could have been richer than how he was I would believe it because Orlando was such a person that if you are in need  at that time if he had it he would give you whatever the amount you are looking for  Orlando would give it to you .It is God’s work. T o me personally, Orlando was not reckless but that is the way God wanted him to be  because Orlando would not like to see anybody suffering , that is way he was. When you get to somebody and beg him for 1,000 naira and the person is having 10,000 naira but   telling  you he didn’t have those people get rich quickly because they  cannot spend. And Orlando would have been richer if the people we are recording for are …. like I said we didn’t know how many they were selling records , when they sell about 1,000copies they would tell you they sold only 200copies and there is nothing we can do about it .We cannot go to the market and be asking how much they sold. That is the problem we have all over the place , that is Nigeria recording companies for you for they are there to cheat!. Again ,Orlando   did not place value on money  for  I can tell you this  also that the producers we have in Nigeria are rip-off because our producers are nuisance , when they make  100,000 naira they would falsify the figure , they are not trustworthy , that is why Orlando never made it before he died .Another  factor was overgenerous , he was generous   to a fault  for he was after other people’s welfare .He would not eat alone , and he had a lot of people living with him at his own expense. No wonder some people like a – one time governor of Osun State  Prince  Olagunsoye Oyinlola ,   Abiola of  Ilesha , Die the Matter, The king of  Ipe Oba Apata, the Olugbenga of Ugbe , Ayesoro  a car  dealer in Akure stood by him  by him when he was alive “.


Many did not know the circumstances why he left Orlando’s Band , but the septuagenarian cried  ”I never left him!. What happened then was that he was given a contract in Ondo State then during Baba Adefarati era as a governor so, they said the money of the contract was so small , he was expecting something like 2million and above and this contractor  was given about 650,000 and he refused to do it , and I was asked to return the papers for that contract , when I  got to my friends  who knew about it said why didn’t I do the contract and that if I should return the paper it might annoy the government , may be they have some other bigger thing to give me  and I now came back to Lagos to tell Orlando , will you allow me to do it , and he said ” if you can do it” , that  was what brought me  down to Akure but unfortunately …. I never succeeded in that contract  .Aside that as at that time  my house rent was pilling up in Lagos .Orlando said I should come back and I said I cannot come back, let me remain here ,Even at that time , he was planning  after the ,Ero festival ( Age grade festival) at Ifon because he was one of those who was to participate in the Ero festival then , so I was here in case there is any engagement for him  I would let him know  and we would  be going together .But I just decided to remain here . I was fed up of Lagos .I never had any misunderstanding ,Osenenpen is there to testify to this.I was here , he was there.

The role  of the Ooni of Ife , Oba   Okunade Sijuade Olubuse  remains evergreen in the memory of the Manager especially when  Orlando was in jail , he said “many were behind him,  I would say a big thank to Kabiyesi, the  late Ooni  of Ife  who stood by Orlando  while  in prison ,I have never seen any person or king  like him . Anytime  we were from the court , Ooni ‘s palace was always first point of call .Kabiyesi  shall be forever remembered for his great assistance.He really stood by Orlando”.

Though Musese is no longer with the Band , he however added that the Boys had gone  their different ways as the band members are no longer together  ” I am no longer with them .Most of the boys had decided to be on their own .  They might not be able to manage  the Band and they left” , he stated .

What still pained Musese is the way and where the late Musician was buried , according to him, he had wanted Orlando to be buried in Ifon, in Ondo State his country home, he said ”  I was  the chairman of the Burial Committee with Oblazo .After about series of meetings  we went to the late Olusegun Agagu the then governor of Ondo state , there was this Commissioner from Ifon whom Agagu asked to take over .They had completed  Orlando’s building in Ifon  but only the  roofing  left  to be done, we went to Lagos to see the Orlando’s wives ,they said Orlando should be buried in Lagos”.

Bing very close to Orlando , he knew  when he was angry and happy , Musese said ” He is always happy .He has no time .When we quarrel he would say ” You are calling yourself a Manager but you are a ‘damager’, he easily forgives and forgets”.


In tears ,Musese said his saddest moment was when Orlando was arrested while his  happiest moment was  when he was released .But sadly , he narrated how he heard the news of Orlando’s death, he said ”Infact I  never expected him to die when he died  and we never thought he would die , although the thing affected him three times , we never thought that was going  to be  his  end.When he died  there was nothing we could do.I  think he died around 10 o’clock in the  night that day. It was Olu Osennepen who phoned me  immediately that Orlando had passed on that night and I wept for I never knew I would not see him again.”
Musese went down memory lane  and spoke of being athlete,a Splinter , ” I represented 100 meters when Queen Elizabeth came to Nigeria in 1956.Up till 1970 , I represented Imade  College . I was the Senior Boy at All Saints’ Modern  School  , that was 1963/ 64 .I  remember some of  my friends and classmates like Chief Akin Aruwajoye ,Justice Olateru Olagbegi ( retired ) were my classmates, this I remember very well”.As the interview was going to an end , the Elders’ Forum [Ijoko Agba] began to receive visitors and while some came for counseling , Musese said ” you can see and testify to what I told you, this place is always full with good ,knowledgeable and intelligent people”


Musese advised musicians as he did not support drugs , he advise that  if you are taking drugs and it enhances your performance and don’t misbehave, good But if it affects you please don’t take it , he counselled, ”think deeply, know what you are doing  if you know it doesnt help , please stop it ”