Michael Collins Ajereh, renowned in the music industry as Don Jazzy, has shared a poignant insight into his early life, revealing that he once sold ‘akara’ (bean cakes) alongside his mother in the hopes of catching the attention of generous individuals who could change his circumstances.
In a candid conversation on the latest episode of the Zero Conditions podcast, Don Jazzy took a trip down memory lane, reminiscing about his days growing up in Ajegunle, a suburb in Lagos, Nigeria. The veteran producer and music executive disclosed that he and his mother would fry ‘akara’ and set up a makeshift stall in a bid to attract the attention of well-to-do individuals.
Don Jazzy shared, “I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember sitting down with my mum frying Akara (bean cakes) there, sitting on the bench there in Ajegunle, and any big man that passed by with their Peugeot 504 or Mercedes 230 or whatever would come to buy Akara.”
Reflecting on his humble origins, the founder of Mavin Records highlighted the pivotal role that his early experiences played in shaping his character and ambitions. The challenges of poverty served as a catalyst for his growth and resilience, propelling him toward his eventual success in the music industry.
He further recounted, “I also remember the thought in my head: ‘I wish this man would just look at me and say, Young boy, just take this, I know that you need it’.”
Don Jazzy’s journey from selling ‘akara’ on the streets of Ajegunle to becoming a music mogul is a testament to his determination, creativity, and unwavering spirit. This revealing conversation offers a unique glimpse into the life of one of Nigeria’s most celebrated music icons, showcasing the remarkable transformation that can arise from humble beginnings.