Bayo Odusami was probably the most popular stage manager for Live Music concerts in Nigeria, perhaps only comparable to Eddy Lawani.
His size made him stand out in any crowd. He was earlier a Deejay before his managerial attributes took center stage.
Na waa. “Awi baba”. That’s what I called him. Hmmm. This life sef. I just remember all those our road trips B&H, NBL, East, West, North and South of Nigeria. A movement kick-started by the Benson and Hedges Wicked and Wild Concert at the Tafawa Balewa Square in 1999.
Those early years when P Square, KC Presh, Nigga Raw etc were opening acts and contestants for Star Quest etc. Howie T (pronounced Awi tee) was Manager of the Live stage and our ally. He was a brother. We will share a bottle or two of whiskey and crack jokes as he tried to speak Igbo language to no avail.
Gyration music has its own spirit and I was always billed to perform last. Oh yes. I remember a show at the stadium in Portharcourt when at 4am, fans were jogging as we sang “Jaaja Jaireeee”. Awesome.
Howie T was always the guy standing at the tip of the stage after my name was announced by the Master of Ceremony. Then as I climbed on stage, he will pat my back and scream into my ears: “Tony… Finish dem make we go”. Nostalgic.
I vividly remember going through P Square’s compilation of first possible songs to release. Myself, himself and Paul were in his hotel room at Uyo, Akwa Ibom state. I believe it was a Nigerian breweries event. He will later bring Paul and Peter to my office in Agboyin street, Surulere. You could say Howie T nurtured the P Square.
Our friendship didn’t end in music tours as I cast him for a role in my movie “Dry Fish” where he played the role of ‘the answer to the prayer of an oppressed boy Kelly played by Mcsmith Ochendo who asked God to make him BIG’. Dauda Kingsley Ogbonna was the villain in “Dry Fish”
Oh!!! Howie T. We “crowned” him Eze añuli (King of happiness), because he always loved to be happy. He always said “Anwuliiii” instead of “Añuli”. But who cared as long as our Yoruba brother was catching his fun. Daddy Showkey, Dadi Monso, AB Cowboy, Wilson Etolue, Mister Raw and very many other friends and Musicians will be sad to hear about Howie’s death.
Even our brother and former Manager, the Late Chuks China Anachuna aka Bambino, (Bless his soul) will shudder in his grave. They were allies. They were both jolly good fellows. Life is transient. Death has taught me that this world is not our permanent abode. Naaaa. In Living, God just gives us an opportunity to make an impact before we exit the stage.
See the nice memories I am sharing about this Yoruba guy. Life really is about impact. What will people miss you for? Of course, we can’t please the whole world but it’s crucial to make an impact. What impact did we make on society while we were alive? Good or bad? Now, that’s the real judgement.
Rest in peace bro.