The change in fortune of Ajegunle started in the late 1980s, when youths from that part of the world (Ajegunle) began to make their impact felt in the nation’s socio-cultural life, particularly, in the world’s numero uno sport, football.
One prevalent norm in a slum is the unbridled passion of the kids in these areas to taste their opium-music and sports, freely. The nation gained tremendously from the exploits of ghetto kids like Tarila Okorowanta, Junbo Awala, Mathias Enebeli, Godwin Iwelumo, Gabriel Okolosi, Emmanuel Amunike, Samson Siasia, in the world of sports.
These kids who later became superstars in their own rights groomed themselves, unnoticed on the crude Navy playground decades ago. The famous playground was also to serve as the launch pad for streams of talented youngsters from Ajegunle, who have adorned the national team colors and mesmerized the soccer world to the benefit of the nation.
While the kid footballers were finding a place in the Nigerian polity, their counterparts in the music sector were also striving to stamp their arrival in the crowded Nigerian entertainment scene.
Aside singers and talented instrumentalists that rose from the grass of Ajegunle ghettos, the city is also famous for producing some of the country’s finest broadcasters and disc-jockeys. They include disc-jockeys like ace broadcaster, Patrick Oke, Master Lee, Stagger Lee, Silver Oforgo, Steve Kadiri and many others who became house-hold names and organized dance and musical competitions in popular night clubs such as Combo Hotel, Blue Horse and even in school premises.
At that time reggae and pop music were the most popular among the youths. For you to become a successful disc-jockey, you must be able to rap, toast and dance. With time came the emergence of back street groups like Junior and Pretty, Busy Pretty Boys, whose shinning lights were Daddy Showkey, Daddy Fresh and Pretty. These groups of two or three youngsters enveloped the city and its environs with entertainment at several events and fun places.
The most significant leap came in the early 1990s. And the catalyst was the renowned disc jockey and music promoter, John Nabena, fondly called Jonny Nabs. He established a music centre, which was named the Ragga Dub Chapel (RDC), for the talented youths of Ajegunle to evolve and showcase their brand of music. The music centre became the most popular spot for the discovery of reggae and hip-hop artistes from far and within Ajegunle City. The late music promoter, Jonny Nabs once told this reporter, “the Chapel is a mill where we discover and expose talented youths in Ajegunle. And we are going to stop at nothing towards ensuring that AJ City rules the world musically.”
His dreams soon became a reality when in 1993, Daddy Showkey, a member of the now defunct music group Busy Pretty Boys, alongside Tallman, in a solo effort released an album entitled Welcome.