Queen Salawa Ibiwunmi Abeni, popularly called QSA by her numerous fans and the undisputable waka music modernizer, recently declared in London that her ex husband, Alhaji Kolawole Ilori, the fuji musician popularly known as Kollington Ayinla will remain part and parcel of her life. She made the statement when cornered after her show stopping performance at the annual London African Music Festival at the bowl of Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, put together by Joyful Noise’s Biyi Adepegba. In her words “Even though Kollington and I have gone our separate ways 23 years ago, I still consider him a big part of my life because I bore him children who bear his name. His name will forever be written in the history of my life. Though we do not have a smooth relationship, and I have been solely responsible for the upbringing of my children up to university level, I still maintain the fact that he is part of me. Let God be the judge of whatever bad Kollington has done me.”
QSA who is gradually bouncing back to the music scene after years of treating her throat ailment and being advised to take a break, is thankful to God for everything. She never imagined she could be a force to reckon with, with her poor education which could not land her the job of a cleaner, let alone a celebrity.
Born on the 5th of May 1961, She hails from Ijebu Waterside and grew up in Igbogun, Epe Central of Ogun State. She started singing in and around her little village in 1974 till she was discovered and shot into limelight in 1976 when she released the album that sold over a million copies, her debut album titled “Late General Ramat Murtala Mohammed” under the Late Lateef Adepoju’s record label- Leader Records, she later on married him and bore a son, the late Olanrewaju Adepoju, the young chap who died in a car accident years back. She left Adepoju’s record company for Kollington Ayinla’s and later married him. She bore him a girl and two boys – Aminat Okikiola, known as Candy- the CEO of Candiva Signature Empire, a record company, Abdulsheriff –known as Big Sheff, a rap artiste and Olatunde, a Unilag graduate.
QSA has over 60 records to her name. She was crowned the queen of waka music, her genre of music, by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi in 1992.
|Queen Salawa Abeni|
|QSA and her daughter, Okiki|
|Okiki and her brother, Big Sheff|
|Okikiola -Candy, CEO of Candiva Signature Empire|
|Cover of one of her earliest releases|
|Alhaji Kollington Ayinla|
|Ayinla and Abeni|