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Precursor of Waka, an Islamic-inspired Yoruba music genre, Alhaja Batile Alake is dead.
Aged 78, Batile died in her home town; Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State in the early hours of Saturday, while preparing for the Subh (daybreak) Muslim prayer.
Confirming the demise of the musician to The Nation on telephone, Alhaji Kunle Halidu, manager to Salawa Abeni, the deceased’s younger colleague, said Batile was buried at about 4pm in her home town according to Islamic rites.
He said Salawa is not in town and so could not attend the burial, but that she had sent her condolences to the family of the late singer.
Batile popularised the waka, during her active days in the 50s and 60s, by playing at concerts and parties throughout Yorubaland. She is touted as the first waka singer to wax an album.
Although Waka queen, Alhaja Salawa Abeni became very popular for adding style to the genre and earning the title of ‘Queen of Waka Music’ by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi in 1992.