It has been said that whatever we do in the world today, will become history tomorrow. One of the prominent magicians who will always be relevant in the history of Nigeria and Africa as a whole, was Professor Peller. Born in Iseyin, Oyo State in 1941, he was named Moshood Folorunsho Abiola. Many people had thought Peller was a Professor in a university, until when it came to the know that Professor Peller was a stage name he had actually picked for himself.
Peller attended Moslem School, Iseyin and Native Authority Primary School, Iseyin. He started performing illusion tricks in 1954 travelling to Ibadan, Lagos and Oyo for performance. In 1959, he changed occupation and began to work as a representative of G.B.O. and later moved into trading. His interest in illusion continued and in 1964, he attended a school of magical arts in India, where he spent 18 months and thereafter settled in Liberia after completion. In 1966, he had his first post-training show at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos.
Even though he was the undisputed legend of magic in Nigeria, Professor Peller was said to be a devout Muslim, who did not miss any of his Islamic obligations.
LOVE AND MARRIAGE
Professor Peller was described as a very romantic man. He was said to have married so many wives but the most prominent of them all with whom he performed his magic tricks is Alhaja Silifat Adeboyin Peller. She was said to have fallen in love with him while she was still in secondary school. She confessed that she had always admired him and his performances even before then, and each time she watched him perform, her heart fluttered with affection for the fine magician with tribal marks.
They met in Iseyin Grammar School, Oyo State in 1967. Peller had gone to perform in the school but was carried away by the ravishing beauty in the crowd called Silifat. After that encounter, they became friends and dated for a couple of years before getting married in 1971. Together, they had five children.
While Professor Peller was alive, he taught Lady Peller some magic and ensured she got some training in Michigan, USA. This explains why they always performed together.
Professor Peller was a wonderful father and some of his children include –
SABURI (aka Pastor Kayode Abiola): Now a pastor, he was born in October 1960 and practised magic like his late father. He gained some degree of prominence before squandering the profits on women, cars and ultimately, drugs. Peller tried his best to assist Kayode when he was alive, he fought with him, took him to court, all to no avail. He later became a changed man after the demise of his father and the dwindling of his own magic firm, which he named Fantastic Young Peller.
NIKE: Probably the most well-known of the Peller children. Nike Peller is a famous thespian cum magician. On the 20th of November, 2010, she was made a traditional chief and was conferred upon the title ‘Yeye Agbasaga’ (the Custodian and Promoter of Culture) of Erin Osun, near Osogbo, Osun State.
SAHEED (aka Zeeto): A lawyer (he practised in England) and also keen on sustaining the magic world created by their late father. In July 2013, he made his sister, Nike, disappear and reappear before an audience in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
SHINA: He is a Nigerian entrepreneur, politician, industrialist and a member of the 9th National Assembly representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa Federal Constituency.
PELLER’S UNFORGETTABLE MAGIC PERFORMANCES
Peller laid his wife, Lady Peller into a coffin, cut it in half without bleeding, and raised it back to life.
He locked her in a cupboard, chained the cupboard in a no escape way, but when he opened the cupboard later, the woman had disappeared.
Whenever Peller stretches his white handkerchief up and down, a white dove will fly out of the handkerchief.
Whenever Peller pulls out the two-piece metal cufflinks of his shirt’s sleeves, he will stretch them out and turn them into flowers.
Peller also swallowed a stone in front of all the viewers, turned to the spectators, and defecate the stone that he swallowed live on the stage.
Peller had previously allowed his body to be cut in half, there was no single bleeding and the body joined itself and recovered.
One mistake Peller made, which has been said to be the cause of his death, was to reveal during an interview that the only time he was without any magic was when he was praying. He had revealed during the interview how he respects God and always disarm when praying. This revelation was said to have been exploited by his enemies.
According to history, Professor Peller was assassinated in his home in Ibadan on the 2nd of August 1997, while he was praying. The magical hero only spent sixty-six years, before his life was taken. Interestingly, he was killed the same day that Fela Anikulapo-Ransome Kuti also died.
Without a doubt, it is safe to say that the late Peller popularised the art of magic in Nigeria and polished it to such an extent that not even his children, have been able to duplicate magic. While Professor Peller was alive, he was known as the most brilliant magician in all of Africa. He performed not only before princes but also held kings spellbound with his magic. Unarguably, Professor Peller was the most powerful and influential magician that ever walked the Nigerian soil.