Much is not known about the man – who taught ace music producer and songwriter Cobhams Asuquo – Mr John Yekini.
Mr John Yekini is an illustrious Music Consultant at the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind FNSB, of which veteran music producer and songwriter Cobhams Asuquo a student.
“FNSB is the only blind boarding educational and vocational NGO in Nigeria, and, as its name portrays, attracts visually impaired people from all parts of the country.”
Mr John Yekini says it all in an interview with Vanguard
He introduced himself thus:
“I attended Pacelli School for the Blind after I lost my sight at the age of three in the sixties due to measles. I am now in my sixties. I took interest in music at a very young age. I started learning the trumpet, then I went on to learn the accordion, and then the piano and other instruments. Also, I went to Scotland to study music. Presently, I am the Music Consultant of the Vocational Training Centre for the Blind at the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind. I am married with four children.”
Mr John Yekini explained that it was never easy at the time as there was no state-of-the-art equipment as that has changed now. He said he was grateful to some Irish sisters from Dublin who established Pacelli School for the Blind.
He narrates how his choice to do music came about.
The Irish Sisters brought all sorts of instruments to the school. I loved the sound of saxophone and trumpet and then I decided I wanted to go into music. But then, I was chased away because they said I was too small. So I arranged with the then music teacher, Mr. Falana, that I would come privately so that he could teach me how to play the instruments. We started with the trumpet, then followed with the drums, accordion, keyboard, etc. And that is how my music career started. I went to Scotland to study music and perfected my skills there.
He further spoke about being a music teacher.
I returned to Nigeria and went back to Pacelli to teach for 21 years as music teacher. Then I moved on to the Ministry of Education, Isolo to teach for 14 years. Now I am the Music Consultant at the Vocational Training Centre of the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind (FNSB), Oshodi.
Mr John Yekini was excited to mention one of his students who has made him proud Cobhams Asuquo.
Let me think of one you may know. I remember I had a student called Cobhams Asuquo. I am sure you have heard of him. I taught him how to play the keyboard and he has done me proud. There are many others who have forged successful careers in music. I can’t even remember all of them. There are too many to count! Many of them have their own bands and they are making money, so I am happy. Many play music in their churches too.
When asked his secret of looking good he said this:
I have a home. My wife is there and my children are there. Routinely, they make sure that I look good – because I am good! (he chuckles!)