The Life and Tragic End of Nigerian Artist Mohbad: A Look Back


Tuesday, September 12 2023, marked a sad day in the Nigerian and African entertainment industry as the news of the untimely demise of Mohbad, a rising star in the music scene, shook fans and colleagues alike. Amid the flurry of opinions, controversies, and questions surrounding his career, record label disputes, and tragic passing, here is an overview of Mohbad’s life and journey.

Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba – The Mohbad Journey

Born on June 8, 1996, Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, better known as Mohbad, was a talented Nigerian rapper, vocalist, and songwriter from Lagos. His early career was marked by a stint with “Marlian Records,” a label founded by the renowned Naira Marley. Mohbad made waves with hit singles like “Ponmo,” “Feel Good,” and “KPK (Ko Por Ke),” the last of which earned three nominations at The Headies awards in 2022.

In 2019, Mohbad signed a contract with Marlian Records World, leading to the release of his debut EP titled “Light” in late 2020. This eight-track record featured collaborations with industry heavyweights like Davido, Naira Marley, and Lil Kesh. The EP’s success garnered Mohbad five nominations at the Beatz Awards in 2021, solidifying his presence in the music scene.

The Controversies Surrounding Mohbad

In October 2022, Mohbad made headlines by announcing his departure from Marlian Records. He later accused Naira Marley, the label’s head, of physical abuse and assault. Mohbad alleged that his decision to hire a new manager to oversee his music affairs led to an altercation with his former label boss, resulting in physical harm. A viral video showed Mohbad with visible injuries, uttering the ominous words, “If I die, blame Naira Marley and Marlian records.” This incident sparked outrage on social media, with calls for justice against the label and its owner.

Subsequently, in late November 2022, Mohbad took the bold step of establishing his record label, “Imolenization.”

Bella Shmurda’s Revelation

In a January 2023 interview, Bella Shmurda, another Nigerian artist and songwriter, disclosed a distressing chapter in Mohbad’s life. Bella revealed that Mohbad had once attempted suicide, a dark episode connected to his struggles within the record label.

During the interview with media personality Chude Jidenowo, Bella recounted the harrowing incident when Mohbad contemplated jumping from an upstairs window due to label-related issues. Fortunately, friends intervened and prevented the tragedy.

Bella Shmurda emphasized the need for open dialogue about such issues within the music industry, expressing concern for fellow artists facing similar challenges.

Mental Health Struggles

Mohbad had been candid about his mental health struggles. In a recent interview with City FM, he shared how remarks made by his former label, Marlian Records, had affected his career. The label’s claims of his difficulties and challenges resulted in event promoters dropping him from their shows, causing distress for the artist.

The interview, conducted in August 2023, garnered attention as viewers noticed Mohbad’s sad demeanour throughout most of the conversation. Despite acknowledging his well-being during the interview, it was evident that he carried the weight of his experiences.

A Tragic End

Sadly, this interview would be one of Mohbad’s final public appearances. On September 12, 2023, the artist passed away at 27. While details surrounding his death remain unclear, multiple reports have surfaced, one of which suggests an ear infection that led to a fatal injection.

Mohbad leaves behind his wife, Omawunmi, their son, Liam, and a legacy encapsulated by his famous nickname, “Imole,” meaning “Light.”

The story of Mohbad is a reminder of the challenges and tribulations that artists may face in their pursuit of success. His legacy as an artist and the conversations sparked by his passing serves as a testament to the importance of addressing mental health and the well-being of individuals in the entertainment industry.

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