The legendary Nigerian singer and guitarist, Sir Victor Uwaifo, is dead.
His nephew, Uwaifo Peter The Rock, broke the news on his verified Facebook page on Saturday evening.
Uwaifo, who is a gospel artiste and multi-instrumentalist, wrote:
“Daddy whyyyyyyyyyy. Did you leave us now
Prof sir Victor UWAIFO has gone to rest
Black Saturday for me now.
One week now after collaborating with me.”
He, however, did not disclose the cause of his death.
The late singer featured in a track titled “Hallelujah” of his son’s upcoming album about a week ago.
The ‘Guitar boy’ as he was fondly called celebrated his 80th birthday in March.
President Muhammadu Buhari, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, the Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu , and the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) have all condoled with the family of the late music maestro.
The President said this in a statement by his spokesman Femi Adesina, titled, ‘President Buhari mourns legendary music artiste, Sir Victor Uwaifo’.
It read in part: “The President joins the Nigerian music industry and performing artistes, home and abroad, in mourning the first Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism (Edo State), who was also the first musician and instrumentalist to be given a national honours merit, Member of the Order of the Niger, in 1983.
”The President believes the renowned musician, with global appeal and recognitions, lived for many firsts, which include an invitation to the State House by four presidents and heads of state, and winner of a gold disc in Africa for his song, ‘Joromi’, released in 1965 at the age of 24.”
His colleagues, Adewale Ayuba and Omatshola Iseli popularly known as “Tee Mac,” as well as Olusegun Runsewe, director-general, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) have also paid tribute to the veteran musician.
In his tribute, Nduka Otiono, an associate professor of African Studies and English at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, wrote, “It is noteworthy that Sir Uwaifo died in the same week as another Nigerian art master, Professor Yusuf Grillo, died. These deaths signal the passing of a generation whose footprints on our cultural sands need to be preserved.
” One hopes that the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who has paid glowing tribute to Sir Uwaifo, would do more than a commendable press statement by taking practical steps to preserve his legacy. The first step would be for the state government to rehabilitate Sir Uwaifo’s home and museum as a tangible treasure and a shining tourist and research destination in Nigeria and the African continent.”
The versatile artist was born March 1, 1941, and was best known for being a musician, writer, sculptor, multi-instrumentalist and a university lecturer.
The music legend was the winner of the first gold disc in Africa (Joromi) released in 1965 and seven other gold discs for ‘Guitar boy,” Arabade’, ‘Ekassa series’ and ‘Akwete music.’
He was recognised as Nigeria’s most educated performing music legend and artiste with a PhD in architectural sculpture.
He was also the first Nigerian musician to be awarded the National Merit Honours of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON).
The music icon’s greatest hits include ‘Joromi’ and ‘Mammy Water’.
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