Though Nigerian gospel music star, Sammie Okposo, may be dead, his birthday was still a cause for a celebration on Tuesday night, 30 May, in the Nigeria gospel music scene.
What would have been Mr Okposo’s 52nd birthday was observed with tributes from his family, colleagues and fans across social media.
It was heartwarming to see his legacy and contributions to the Nigerian gospel music scene still being celebrated, even after his passing – a testament of his impact on his fans and colleagues.
The passing of Okposo at the age of 51 shocked many who recognised him as one of Nigeria’s most talented gospel musicians and songwriters.
After starting his career as a soundtrack producer for Nigerian films in 1992, he achieved great success and garnered a loyal following.
His burial took place at a private cemetery in Ikoyi, Lagos.
On what would have been his 52nd birthday, his wife shared touching memories of their time together on her Instagram page.
Via an Instagram reel posted with one of his songs titled ‘Shine’, she shared pictures and videos of them, expressing her love for him and how much she misses him.
She said that she still finds his death painful, but as an anchor, she holds onto the Grace of God in her moments of silent tears.
Her caption read, “My dearest hubby; It’s your birthday today; though I miss you always, I miss you more today; I know how much you loved your birthday; it was unique to you, and you are not here with me. This is incredibly painful.
“In my moments of silent tears, I find His grace strong and joyful because that’s what you would have wanted; and held firmly to the blissful memories, the fun, the laughter we shared. I know you are resting in the Lord, but in my heart, you are always here; I feel your presence.”
Many fans thronged her comment section to express their condolences to the legendary gospel music singer’s family whilst paying tribute to him.
Notable among them is the popular Wazobia FM On Air Personality (OAP), known as Lolo One. She described him as a great gift and that he would be fondly remembered.
She wrote, “It was a blessing to have this great gift serve us all. We would remember him fondly. My coloured TV, as I would call you. You are strong and loved.”
Another user @it’skelvinbond wrote, “Salute to the legend. We celebrate his life and legacy with you today and always.”
Also, @ayovincentmusic said Sammie Okposo was a legend who lives on in their hearts.
She wrote, “This legend lives in our hearts. You are strengthened and comforted daily by the Holy Spirit. Uncle Sammie, till we see again, happy birthday.”
Notable Hit Tracks
This song is Okposo’s first track on his debut album, ‘ Unconditional Love’. It was released in 2002 and won many hearts of gospel music enthusiasts with its rendition in pidgin. It is considered Okposo’s groundbreaking entry into the gospel music industry.
‘Jump and Shout’
The upbeat praise track finds it easy to make listeners dance at Christian parties, gatherings and church worship sessions even to date. This was rendered partly in the Ghanaian Twi language.
The record is a famous medley that explores different praise songs across parts of the country. The Delta-born gospel artiste sang in other languages in the album, including Isoko, Edo, Efik, Yoruba, and Igbo. It was released in 2004 as the ninth song on his second studio album, ‘Addicted.’
‘Lift Him High’
This is also from his 2004 album. The track is a sample of ‘Lord I Lift Your Name on High’, initially released in 1989 by the Maranatha Gospel band.
‘Na Only You I know.’
The track takes a different turn from Sammie Okposo’s regular upbeat tempo that characterises many of his songs. Instead, he explored his vocal range with other gospel acts such as Kefee, Essence, Ige, Samsong, and Soji Isreal, who were all featured on the track.
Despite most of his international status, Okposo always highlighted his Nigerian roots with his songs. Okposo left his Delta origins in this track and rendered the way in the Yoruba language featuring Mike Aremu.
While his untimely death is a loss for the industry, his music will continue inspiring and uplifting many, for years.
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