Fans and colleagues of the late Nigerian music legend, Majek Fashek, have been remembering him with fond tributes.
Majek, who toured the world with the sound of African reggae with hits such as the ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ and ‘Send Down the Rain’, died in New York, on Tuesday.
He was 57.
Nigerian entertainer, Charles Oputa aka Charly Boy, has joined the swell of tributes flowing in for his late colleague.
Charly Boy, who was a former president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), narrated how he met and worked with Majek for the first time over three decades ago.
“My father came from Lagos to Oguta, my home town, along with Majek Fashek, and he spent one year with me. In fact, he (Majek) sketched his hit song ‘Send down the Rain’ in my small studio back then in the village. This was where I also learnt a lot from him about music.
“Majek was both handsome and talented as a music artiste, and he was a lyrical wizard because his lyrics were so powerful and revolutionary. There were other talented musicians during his era, but the message in his songs is so on point and that is why I admired him so much,” he said.
The ‘Areafada’, as he is fondly called, said although Fashek is no more, his songs will remain timeless because of the inspiration behind the lyrics. He however prayed that God would grant the family of the departed artiste the strength to forge ahead, as death is an inevitable debt every mortal must pay.
Charly Boy made this known in a NAN interview.
Blackky, Oritz Wiliki, Burna Boy, others pay tributes
Paying his own tribute, veteran reggae singer, Orits Wiliki, described Majek Fashek as a mentor and one of the pillars of reggae music in Africa.
“You call him a mentor, a foundation member, and one of the pioneering reggae artistes in Africa. Majek would be remembered for the messages that he preached through his songs while on earth.
Indeed, other stars, including Dr. Sid, Dr. Toolz, Mr Eazi among others have continued to express sorrow as well as pay their tributes to the late music star on social media.
Dr Sid said “My first memory of Majek was when my parents were coming back from Lekki Sunsplash in 1989 with the ‘Prisoner of Conscience and I & I Experience vinyls.’ Great music from a true legend.
Burna Boy said, “Majek Fashek was a great musician. The lyrics to his song So Long, Too Long remain true as a wake-up call to Africans till today. Crown. Rest in Peace To A Legend ✊🏽.”
The chairman of the Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, Tony Okoroji, said, “In various ways, we will celebrate the life of this incredibly talented Nigerian. I hope that before the day is over, I will speak with Randy, his son who lives in New York. We have to deal with the time difference between Lagos and New York and we will make the necessary announcements.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, also has described Majek’s death as a huge loss to the creative Industry.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Minister said Majek was the archetypal musician, as he was not just a singer but also a songwriter and a guitarist.
“He blazed the trail not only for today’s reggae artists but for the entire generation of musicians in the country.
“Majek Fashek will particularly be remembered for his groundbreaking album, ‘Prisoner of Conscience’, which featured timeless songs like ‘Send Down The Rain’, ‘Redemption Song’ and ‘Afrikans Keep Your Culture’. Long after his demise, Majek Fashek’s voice will continue to echo across space and time, thanks to those iconic songs,” he said.
Mr Mohammed expressed his condolences to the family, friends, and fans of the late musician, as well as to the entire creative Industry, and prayed to God to grant repose to his soul and comfort his family.
“One of the best tributes we can pay to Majek Fashek is to do everything we can to ensure the rebound of the Industry, to which he gave so much, from its present state, occasioned by the effects of the pandemic,” he said.