A rights group, Human Rights Writers’ Association Of Nigeria HURIWA, has canvassed the renaming of the National Theatre in Lagos, run by the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, after legendary musician, Fatai Rolling Dollar, who died in a Lagos hospital Wednesday, after a brief illness.
The group, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Zainab Yusuf, said the late musician brought tremendous global honour to Nigeria and remained one of the best-known ambassadors of the indigenous Nigerian music genre until his death.
Rolling Dollar, the group argued, deserve the best national recognition by the Federal Government, saying President Goodluck Jonathan, as a well-known lover of African indigenous creative arts and music should “not hesitate to take urgent measures to immortalize this great man of Music”.
HURIWA recalled media reports quoting widow of the late musician, Zainab Olagunju, as saying her husband died Wednesday morning after a week of hospitalization following his return from the United States where he was also briefly treated and discharged upon completion of a musical performance.
One of his most legendary and well-loved songs remains his single ‘Won Kere Si Number Wa’, which HURIWA described as having become a global brand in most social events attended by black people and even some Caucasians.
The group added, “As a human rights group, with strong bias for the promotion and protection of our revered African tradition and culture, we agrees with the considered assessment of most Music critics around the World that the late Music Legend Mr. Fatai The Rolling Dollar had paid his dues since he began his illustrious Music career in the 1950’s with Queen Mary Orchestra, the Isa Jubril [the first and famous highlife Musician from the conservative Northern Nigeria] who played in Ghana with the Black Beats and Ishola Willie Payne group where they established the Music style of Palm wine Music, in the words of the globally acclaimed Music Critic Benson Idonije just as Juju Music originated from the style expertly delivered to World audience by Fatai the Rolling Dollar”.
“Fatai Rolling Dollar defied conventional science and logic of old age as he remained one of the most sought after dance hall performers and Musicians in Nigeria and across the World even in his very old age.”