March 1, 2024
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13 Things To Know About Queen Of ‘Waka’ Music, Salawa Abeni As She Turns 60





Queen Salawa Abeni is a Nigerian singer known for promoting the ‘Waka’ genre of music in the 70’s.’

As she turns 60, here are some facts about her.

1.Salawa Abeni was born on May 5, 1961, in Lagos State.

2.She hails from Ijebu in Ogun State.

3.She only got up to the elementary school training because her father did not believe in training women.

4.She began her journey into waka music at the age of 13 in 1974.

5.She released her debut first album, Late General Murtala Ramat Mohammed in 1976 under the Leader Records.

6.The album became the first recording by a female artist in Yoruba songs to sell over a million copies in Nigeria.


  1. Abeni founded ‘The Waka Modernisers’ in 1977 releasing over 14 records within that time.

  2. In the mid – 80s, following a quarrel with Fuji star, Kollington, Abeni released a couple of tracks ridiculing Kollington, his looks, his parents, and relatives in what some believe to be a publicity stunt.


  3. In 1985, Abeni recorded a tribute album to Haruna Ishola eventually burying the hatchet with Kollington and joining his label from 1986 to 1994 releasing 10 records.

  4. She was crowned ‘Queen of Waka Music’ by Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamide Adeyemi in 1992.


  5. Some of her popular songs include:

  • Late Murtala Muhammed
  • Shooting Stars
  • Okiki Kan To Sele/Yinka Esho Esor
  • Orin Tuntun
  • Iba Omode Iba Agba
  • Ijamba Motor
  • Ija O Dara



  1. Abeni had a son, Idris with late Lateef Adepoju who was the owner of the Leader Record label before splitting with him. Idris died in a car accident on Oct 2nd, 2000.




  1. She soon got married to Fuji musician, Alhaji Kollington Ayinla. They had three children before their split in 1994.

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