Ex-Army Brigadier-General, Simeon Apata was a civilian war veteran with the Nigerian Army. He was known for always confronting armed robbers and killed some whose menacing acts in his locality were a source of worry.
Rt. Brigadier General Simeon Olaosebikan Apata was a wealthy retired army officer and the father of Nigeria’s talented singers, Teniola (Teni) Apata and Niniola Apata.
He founded the Apata Memorial High School 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.
Omoluwoleja SIMEON OLAOSEBIKAN APATA born in Ilejemeje from Iye- Ekiti, Ekiti state, Nigeria. He was later assassinated by unknown gunmen on 8th January 1995 in front of his family. His death stunned Lagos and left a vacuum in his home.
The widows of Simeon Apata are Gladys Ify, Margaret Olayinka and Margaret Folajogun. They opened up to GREGORY AUSTIN NWAKUNOR on the last moment of their husband, saying, “the death created a big vacuum in their lives.”
He fought in the Nigerian civil war and was known for his bravery.
In 2018, Teni wrote a song in memory of her father. The song was titled ‘wait’ and inspired by late father’s death. In the song she described the love between her father and her mother and how her mother wished he had not died and left them.
Some years after his death, his daughters (Niniola and Teni) have become popular musicians in Nigeria and beyond. They both miss their father and wish that he was still alive to see how successful they and their other siblings have become.
In 2021, Teni released her debut album titled ‘Wondaland’ and dedicated it to late dad Brigadier-General, Simeon Apata.
“Dad’s song is a song for everyone that has lost someone. Dealing with loss is crazy because people tell you that you’ll get over it, but you never get over it. You just don’t get over the loss”, said Teni.
“When I was recording this song I was sitting in my living room and watching my father’s funeral, his body in the casket, my mother crying. I needed those emotions to be able to record that song in its true form. Everything I sang had to be from a place of truth,” she continued.
Teni spoke rather fondly of her father, describing him as “a genius” and “a man deserving of idolisation”. She also revealed that her father planned ahead for the family, such that even after his death, she was still able to go to school in the United States, and her family could live a decent life.
In October 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari conferred Teni (and others) with national awards in recognition of ‘her’ giant strides, service and achievements in the Nigerian music industry.
Teniola Apata “Teni” got the honour of Member of the Order of the Niger, MON.
In an Instagram post, Teni Apata captioned;
“With honour and gratitude to God, it was indeed a joyous moment to receive a National Honor yesterday. I was conferred MON (Member of the Order of the Niger) by His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR @muhammadubuhari President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the National Awards Committee headed by Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, the Emir of Lafia, after diligently going through over 5,000 submissions.
“Special thanks to God for this, the Federal Government, my loved ones and to you all supporting me from day 1. This honor is for the entire family of Rt. Brigadier General Simeon Olaosebikan Apata (Ascend), My Father.
“I was granted this award for “consistent and meaningful participation in community and/or national development; rendering unsolicited, selfless and philanthropic services to humanity; outstanding sacrifice in the defence of a cause popularly adjudged to be positive, relevant and beneficial to the nation and community.’’
“To all the young girls this one is for you. Let’s not forget to stop dreaming. Nothing is impossible”.