Abidemi Faboye, the proprietor and principal of Abifab College, Ikorodu, Lagos, the secondary school Ilerioluwa Aloba, aka Mohbad, attended in an interview with Punch talks about the memories he has of the late singer.
How would you describe Mohbad?
I knew him when he enrolled in my school in 2013. His elder sister, Blessing, also graduated from the school in 2013. He was brought from a public school, and he was a quiet boy. He was tall and slim. It was years after secondary school that he added weight.
Did you know he was a member of the Marlian group?
When I heard that he was a member of the Marlian group, I was surprised. I doubted if he could cope with such group. Although he was mature, I felt he must have mixed with a few others who joined the record label. I prayed that God would be with him, because after he left school, we did not communicate regularly.
Did he show any sign of his musical talent while he was in school?
Many of us, including the teachers who taught him, were surprised. When we heard about Imole, we were all surprised. I was not familiar with afrobeats music, until one day, my daughter told me, ‘Do you know Uncle Promise is now Mohbad?’ I took my phone and chatted with him via Messenger. He then gave me his number. His dad is a carpenter, and as a student, he often assisted his dad. He learnt carpentry from his father, who is also a pastor.
Back then, I noticed then that whenever school closed, he did not usually stay for up to five minutes, before going home. His house was a bit far from the school, so I always thought he wanted to get back home on time. He was active in the school’s music club. During quiz competitions, he would lead with songs.
When he rose to fame; sometimes, I would call him, and he wouldn’t pick up his calls. But, he would call me back and say, “Sir, I am in the studio rehearsing.”
He was busy with his music, and he told me that immediately he had inspirations, he would write down the lyrics in a jotter and later develop them.
When he became popular, I was very happy that I had somebody who was not a doctor or pilot, but a musician. He was a real imole (light) of afrobeats music.
He was a child of promise; a star. Before his death, he got to a level where if one tuned in to any radio station, one would hear his songs. When people learnt that he passed through this school, they began to ask how I coped with him.
It was after his death that people got to know he was a product of Abifab College. Now, I receive condolences as if I was his biological father.
His seniors and juniors call me from different places, including the United Kingdom, expressing their condolences. He was a star that we lost too early.
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Photo Credit: Getty