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Friday 27 January 2023

Tunji Jumping

In the unlikely event that any of you haven't spent all your Bandcamp Xmas vouchers yet you could do worse than pop over to the Soundway Records page and pick up a copy of "A Nigerian Retrospective 1966-79" by Tunji Oyelana. At just £8 for 24 tracks it is an absolute steal.

Tunji has had an interesting life and is still going strong at the tender age of 83. As well as making a lot of excellent music with his band The Benders he has also been a university lecturer and an actor, in which capacity he regularly worked with Wole Soyinka. The two of them wrote a musical called "I Love My Country" sending up the Nigerian political elite, which eventually led to them both being forced into political exile in the 1990s. 

Tunji settled in the UK and until fairly recently could be heard regularly strutting his stuff at his wife's restaurant in Camberwell - as featured in this short documentary made by his family and friends to mark his 80th birthday in 2019.

I've cut out the middle, man, and gone with the first and last tracks on the compilation. "Which Way Africa" is a magnificent piece of polemic. Unfortunately it seems that neither Africa nor anyone else was writing down the directions.

"Ojo" - Tunji Oyelana

"Which Way Africa" - Tunji Oyelana

Video clips of Tunji in his prime are rarer than hen's teeth, but there are plenty of other "Which Way" songs to choose from. I chose this one.


  1. "you haven't spent all your Bandcamp Xmas vouchers yet "
    I have, but I do have my birthday coming soon!!

  2. The previous video was bad enough but this one, despite having the name of one of our cats in the title, is a million billion times worse

  3. Those Tunji Oyelana tunes are fabulous.