Remembering Simeon Apata, the military father of Nigerian singer Teni, who got assassinated

Michael Eli Dokosi Jan 17, 2020 at 05:00pm

January 17, 2020 at 05:00 pm | History

Michael Eli Dokosi

Michael Eli Dokosi | Staff Writer

January 17, 2020 at 05:00 pm | History

Singer Teni and deceased dad Simeon Apata via Instagram

Nigerian musician Teniola Apata, better known as, Teni the Entertainer is enjoying all the acclaim, fame and wealth that music offers.

Her ‘Case’ and ‘Billionaire’ songs fell on fertile minds and hearts as has others. She is the 2018 Headies ‘Rookie of the Year’, 2018 Best New Artiste at the Soundcity MVP Awards Festival, as well as the Most Promising Act to Watch at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards in 2018. She is also a 2018 BET Awards ‘Best New International Act’ nominee. Surely, her stock is rising.

Few people, however, know that Teni’s father Simeon Apata was a retired Army Brigadier-General with the Nigerian army. He was also a civil war veteran.

Apata’s legacy is that he founded the Apata Memorial High School – an elite military-style private boarding school in Lagos, Nigeria in 1980.

The school reported to have about 1550 pupils and 150 teachers is regarded as a leading school in Oshodi-Isolo local government and one of the best in Lagos state attracting wards of the Nigerian elite.

Those in the know also say while alive, the army man confronted armed robbers and killed some whose menacing acts in his locality were a source of worry. While making sure his area was a safe haven it might have cost him his life when he was assassinated by gunmen on January 8, 1995. His death stunned Lagos and left a vacuum in his home.

Of that experience, Teni said her ‘Wait’ song was of the incident and in memory of her father.

“Wait tells the love story between my mum and dad. I got the inspiration when my dad passed and my mum was crying, wishing he could have stayed back,” she said.

The Apata Memorial Schools, in Isolo, now managed by his three wives are thriving and while Teni said she wants to be a “billionaire” even though her “papa no be Dangote or Adeleke,” folks say she sure is an ‘Ajebutter’ (refers to someone who has been over-pampered) and not an ‘Ajepako’ (hustler).

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