In October of last year, during a launch event for her second studio album Colors and Sounds, during an interview with VJ Adams, singer Niniola opened up about the story behind one of her singles from the album titled Addicted.
Speaking about it, Niniola talked about how the song reminded her of her father and how she wasn’t ready to address all that yet on a song because she wanted people to feel happy not sorrowful. She said:
'Addicted' is very special to me cuz when I heard the beat, the first emotion that came to mind was the relationship with my father and the love that I had for him while he was alive and the love that I still have for him. When I started writing lyrics, I started realizing that I was singing about my father and uhmm, his death – the way he was killed. I stopped in my tracks and I said no way! People need to dance and not wallow in sorrow so what I did was I still took that emotion but I just changed the lyrics and made it a bit happy.
Addicted went on to become a mega hit all around Nigeria but still, fans couldn’t shake this story that Niniola told. What exactly was this story about her father and what did she mean when she said ‘the way he was killed’ – fans had questions and now in an interview with CNN, Niniola is opening up about everything.
It is an incredibly sad story of loss and pain so please, prepare yourself for this one because it’s very heavy. Are you ready to dive in? Then let’s go!
In an interview with CNN, Niniola Apata finally recounted the very painful memory of her father’s death saying:
My father (Simeon Apata) was everything to me and to everyone, and he always wanted to be better. He gave his life to his family and the nation. He was an ex-soldier. He left the army due to a leg injury. In our area, he was sort of like an unsolicited vigilante. When robbers would come into the neighborhood, instead of calling the police first, the neighborhood would call my father first. He was that kind of hero.
I remember that day assassins came in -- he had a bad leg and they kicked one of his legs and he fell to the ground. And he was asking them, 'What you want? What? Tell me what you need?' and they told him, point blank, 'We came for your soul and that's what we're taking away.' Right in front of his family. He begged them not to hurt anybody and just take his life if they had to.
He was shot in our presence. It is still traumatizing. I can never, ever get over it. We can never forget about him, forget him.”
This story absolutely broke my heart. The fact that she watched it happen right in front of her eyes is very traumatizing. It is understandable why Niniola didn’t want to talk about this then and still struggles to talk about this now because losing a parent is already hard enough, but watching him get shot right in front of your eyes – I’m so sorry.
In an ode to her father in remembrance of him, Nigerian singer Teni who also happens to be Niniola’s biological sister wrote to her father saying:
APATA GANGA!!!!! ERINLAKATABU!!!!!! Hey daddy your little girl ain’t so little anymore, yah girl is going on tour, yah little Teni is now MAKANAKI, I wish you were here to hear people sing my songs word for word. They thought killing you was the end, but we only just started, we are taking this to the . And yes I did it, I graduated from the university. I’m working really hard to make you smile wherever you are. RIP to the bravest man I’ve ever heard of. Bad boy benzy! OGA, philanthropist, soldier, business man, Thank you for all the lives you touched. Love you always till we meet again. “Won ro pe o tan, sugbon olorun so pe o ku, omo laso”
May the soul of their deceased father rest in peace.
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