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Celebrating Mohbad’s 28th posthumous birthday: Reflecting on his legacy after his passing

The narrative of Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, also recognized as Mohbad or Imole (Light), serves as a confirmation of the belief that death marks not the ultimate conclusion but the commencement of a new existence.

His untimely demise on September 12, 2023, indeed marked a resurgence in his musical career and prominence. While it might appear that his journey mirrored that of rappers who gained heightened fame and commercial success posthumously, Mohbad’s trajectory carries a unique twist.

In contrast to many rappers who attained fame posthumously and were associated with a gangster image, Mohbad did not have a known affiliation with such activities.

The Martyrdom of Mohbad

The aftermath of Mohbad’s demise unfolded with revelations that nearly pushed Nigeria into social turmoil.

His tragic death on September 12, 2023, took a controversial turn when a video surfaced online showing disruption of the late rapper’s video shoot in Lagos by popular socialite and Marlian Music boss, Samson Balogun (Sam Larry), and others. This incident ignited anger and accusations from thousands of enraged youths on social media, pointing fingers at Sam Larry, Naira Marley, and accusing them of involvement in Mohbad’s death.

The youth’s fury escalated when a letter from Mohbad to the Nigeria Police Force, expressing concerns about threats to his life, emerged online. However, the police stated their inability to act on Mohbad’s petition due to his failure to provide evidence and defend the allegations.

Naira Marley and Sam Larry were later questioned by the police, along with two others, and on October 6, 2023, were arraigned and remanded over circumstances surrounding Mohbad’s death. They were subsequently granted bail by a Lagos State Magistrate’s Court.

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Controversy deepened with the revelation that Mohbad was buried within 24 hours of his death, leading to demands for exhumation for an autopsy. The autopsy took place about a week later, with the police depositing the body in the morgue afterward.

Calls for justice took a new direction as social media influencers and celebrities demanded a DNA test on Mohbad’s son, Liam, amidst revelations of discord between the late rapper and his wife, Omowunmi. Mohbad’s father, Mr. Joseph Aloba, joined the calls for the test.

Widow Omowunmi eventually agreed to a DNA test, advocating for it to be conducted both in Nigeria and abroad. In November, during the Coroner Inquest, she revealed details of Mohbad’s past incidents of bullying, psychological trauma, and an arrest by the NDLEA. She mentioned a fight with Prime Boy, an injection by a nurse, and Prime Boy’s subsequent declaration as wanted by the police.

Prime Boy, before turning himself in, made claims in an interview, including accusations of framing by Mohbad’s wife and disputing police statements about his invitation for questioning.

Mohbad’s death, while sparking industry awareness on contract agreements and hidden costs for young artists, also shed light on mental health struggles among celebrities. Despite the unresolved mysteries surrounding his death, Mohbad’s influence persists on social media and music platforms. Posthumous features in singles and tributes from celebrities have kept his memory alive.

Sadly, on what would have been his 28th birthday on January 3, Mohbad’s puzzles remain unsolved, with the autopsy result, findings from police interrogations, and the Coroner Inquest report pending. The public awaits the reburial or a “befitting” burial, the release of the DNA test results on his son, and closure on the circumstances surrounding his untimely death. Happy posthumous birthday, Imole!

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