Tunji Oyelana is a Nigerian comedian, actor, and musician of distinguished personality. His real name is Tunji Oyelana but he is also known as Sura the tailor after a character he played in the NTA Ibadan series during the 1980’s by that same name. He has distinguished himself as a musician; many of his songs topped the music charts for long periods of time, and at the same time his music is conscientious.
Tunji Oyelana has won numerous awards for his music which are mostly done in the Yoruba language. He is credited to having sold the highest number of records as a Nigerian highlife musician. One of his biggest contributions to the Nigerian music scene was in the 1980’s when he teamed up with Nigeria’s Nobel Laurate, Wole Soyinka to produce a song that exposed the corruption in Nigeria’s political system.
Tunji Oyelana is a politically conscious person; apart from being a former lecturer at the University Of Ibadan; he proved his mettle when in 1996 he and Wole Soyinka produced the song I Love My Country. In that song he called out massive corruption going on in government, and was promptly declared wanted, forcing him to flee into exile together with Wole Soyinka.
Tunji Oyelana Biography
Tunji Oyelana’s real name is Tunji Oyelana, and he was born in Ibadan, Nigeria on 4th of October 1939. His father and mother both supported him through school, and after graduation he taught at the University of Ibadan. He was the resident artist who inspired students to use music and the arts not just for fun and relaxation, but to express themselves.
He was soon recruited by Wole Soyinka in the 1960’s to express characters in his plays. He travelled around the world with Prof. Wole Soyinka whom he calls ‘Oga;’ the Yoruba word for boss.
In the 1970’s he became well exposed enough to start his own music band The Benders with whom he toured the world, thrilling audiences with his renditions of Yoruba songs. His songs are mostly in the Yoruba language; and he often told folklore in his songs; upholding Yoruba traditions, and culture. Many of his songs are classics today, and he once had domination over the airwaves.
His most popular work of all time has to be Sura The Tailor, a Sitcom which he did with NTA Ibadan. This sitcom became famous throughout the country and beyond, and even today the theme song remains popular.
In the 80’s he returned to Ibadan to teach music and arts, and only left after he did a song with Wole Soyinka which caused the government of General Sani Abacha to declare him wanted. He fled to London, and immersed himself in Wole Soyinka’s stage plays.
Tunji Oyelana Net Worth (2023) – ($3,000,000)
Tunji Oyelana’s Net worth is estimated to be in the region of $3,000,000. The source of wealth being salaries earned from stage plays, teaching, TV series, and royalties for his music.
Tunji Oyelana Wife
Tunji Oyelana has been married for several years. His entire immediate family lives with him in London.
Tunji Oyelana Age (83 Years)
He was born on 4th of October 1939, making him 83 years old.
Tunji Oyelana House
Tunji Oyelana lives in a beautiful house in London, the United Kingdom. He has not returned to Nigeria for several years; it is unclear whether he retains a connection to the country.
Some of Tunji Oyelana’s Films Include:
Stage Plays he featured in:
The Beatification of Area Boy
Enia bi aparo
Mo lo so ko
Which Way Africa?
Alaru T’onje Buredi
Which Way Africa?
Sura The Tailor
1977 – All You Need Is Love
1994 – Un dieu au bord de la route – He did the music in this film.
Please note that these are just selected works: his complete works are quite many.
Tunji Oyelana is a Nigerian icon of music and the arts. He has been a lecturer, an actor, a musician and a stage performer. He has also been a man who spoke out when things were going wrong in his country. Ideally, he should be a professor emeritus at a Nigerian university so that young ones can gain from his wealth of knowledge and experience. He should serve as an inspiration to the younger generation.