In the year 1976 at just 15 years of age when many young girls of her age would have been expected to still be under parental guidance Salawa Abeni followed her burning passion for Music and in no time she rose to the limelight of Stardom with her debut album released under Leader Records. The song was in honor of the then Nigerian Head of State Late General Murtala Mohammed who was assassinated. The album became the best selling Yoruba song by any female artiste in Nigeria and it gained public interest and acceptance.
Queen Salawa Abeni gave a complete redefinition to Waka music an Islamic influenced traditional Yoruba music style.
Salawa Abeni has been one of the suitors of Alhaji Ayinla Kollington before she got married to her first husband Lateef Adepoju the owner of Leader Records.
Salawa Abeni became a victim of musical love enchantment between two men at a young age. There have been claims that when she fell out with Alhaji Kollington Ayinla he recorded a song titled Tani O’Jo in 1981 ( who does the Child Resemble) as a claim to the paternity of the child Salawa had for Adepoju and that in Salawa’s album Ikilo done same year she responded and said Baba Re Ni O’jo.
Alhaji Kollington was known for his verbal missiles and notable vulgar language in songs. One of such songs was directed at Salawa with lyrics Awa Lakoko Jesu Awe O dun mi Pe kogboyinbo O Ayamu Sorry ( We are the first to sow our Royal Oats in Her, Painful she’s not educated).
In what was to become a twist of fate when Salawa Abeni seperated from her first husband, Lateef Adepoju she recorded a song titled Kolawole Ni Mo Ba Lo( I have gone with Kolawole) under Olumo Records in 1984 to launch her reunion with Ayinla Kollington who she later got married to in 1986 . In continuous celebration of their union she released yet another album titled Ife Dara Pupo ( Love is Good) after been signed to Kollington records.
One could see how these lovebirds used the power of their music to arrest the mind of their fans all through the 80’s to 90’s and becoming cynosure of all eyes.
In the year 1991 she released a Song Ile to Jona where she played the role of a good wife who was seen sympathizing with her husband’s misfortune caused as a result of fire incident that razed his Alagbado house. She later divorced Alhaji Ayinla in 1994.
For Salawa Abeni she believes her children have been her greatest source of strength, encouragement and joy. One of her biggest loss has been her inability to retrieve her early LPs which she released under her first husband’s label and which should have been fetching her lot of money now considering her creativity and all the efforts she has put into her musical career.
Salawa Abeni was crowned the Queen of Waka Musi in 1992 by Oba Lamidi Adeyemi ( Alaafin of Oyo) and today she has proven that even if we walk through hell we can still be an angel.