Remembering our musical icons: What would have become of them today?

Published:19 Jan, 2013

Admire their talents, envy them for daring to be what we can’t. When they were snatched from us by death, we felt a personal loss and showed an unwillingness to let go. And so, we transform these mere human beings into musical icons whose stars often shine in death even more brilliantly than in life. WG imagines what they would have become today if they had lived…

 

Fela Kuti (October 15, 1938-August 2,1997) The king of Afrobeat

The Afrobeat king would have fought to legalise marijuana in the country. Not only that, Fela would be a pot-smoking, wrinkled 75-year old still performing like Fatai Rolling Dollars, to huge audiences worldwide.

His electrifying performances, seismic music and defiant lifestyle which gave him a worldwide following would have gained more prominence today than ever. Fearlessly confronting the Nigerian establishment through his music, Fela surely would have become a thorn in the flesh of the present administration’s as he was, during the dark days of the military for its inability to tackle the insecurity problem in the country, especially the infamous activities of the Islamic sect, Boko Harram.  Trust him, Fela would have been the first person to occupy Nigeria, fighting against injustice and the freedom of the oppressed people.

fela

*Fela

One of his fans simply enthused, “Fela would have become a deity with many worshipers.” His music indeed, would have gained more popularity just as his irrepressible rebelliousness and determination to champion the cause of Nigeria’s underdogs through his music would have earned him innumerable physical assaults, police raids at his New Afrike Shrine and numerous arrests.

But above all, Fela would have been larger than life, doing collaboration with his two sons, Femi and Seun as well as globalising Afrobeat genre. Interestingly, 16 years after his death,  memories of  Fela still lives on. Despite a new museum which was commissioned last year in his honour, his New Afrika Shrine, Fela’s famed nightclub, still attracts fans from Nigeria and beyond, who dance to the spellbinding Afrobeat rhythms until sunrise.

 

Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe (March 1936-May 11, 2007) The king of Highlife

Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe would have turned 77 years of age in March, if he had not transited into ancestry. He bowed out of the stage when his music was massively gaining popularity among the elites in the society. With a career spanning 40 years, Osadebe was one of the best known Igbo highlife musicians that ever lived. But unfortunately, he died without a successor.

His most popular hit, “Osondi Owendi” released in 1984, and was remixed by late MC Loph, established Osadebe as a king of highlife genre in Nigeria. While he lived, he wrote over 500 songs; half of which were released commercially. He had been a part of the Empire Rhythm Orchestra, led by E. C. Arinze in which he had learned much of his music skills.

Osadebe’s style which included social commentary, similar to, but not as confrontational as Fela Kuti’s formed part of the elements that stood him out among his contemporaries in the highlife genre.

If for anything today, Osadebe would have either made more hit songs, or taken  highlife music  to its greatest heights. His usual manner of carrying his audience along, allowing room for ‘people on the dance floor’ to indulge in the songs would have edified by  now. But despite the insinuations that  his  career had reached its zenith before he passed on, it’s arguable however that the Osondi Owendi exponent was ready to surmount all the odds in order to still be relevant in the nation’s music industry.

One of  Osadebe’s last albums, “Kedu America”, was a testament to the unwavering powers of his creativity. But his death, which occurred  in far away Connecticut on May 11, 2007, due to severe respiratory difficulties ended the journey of 40 years. He’d still be playing the field and adding to his giant brood as he pushed 77.

 

Dr. Sir Warrior (1947– June 2, 1999) The end of an era

The demise of Ezebuiro Obinna aka Dr. Sir Warrior, will continue to astound the entertainment industry any time it is remembered. He was one of the most influential musicians to come out of the Igbo nation  and the leader of the famous Oriental Brothers International Band which ruled the Nigerian highlife music scene for several decades.

Born in Umuhu, Inyi-Ogwugwu in Agbaaja, Mbaise. Sir Warrior started his music career as a part of the most successful bands in Nigeria in the early 1970s, the Oriental Brothers International Band. At a time of immense loss and great struggle after the civil war, the Oriental Brothers offered a rare light of hope to the Igbos.

The first split within the group occurred in 1977 when founding members, Dansatch Opara and Prince Ichita left to start their own bands under the Oriental Brothers moniker. The Opara brothers later joined The Oriental Original.

While Warrior lived, he was indisputably unbeatable. His discography was luminous with over 100 tracks that continue to be great hits any day.  He had about 12 platinum and 10 gold hits in his career. His 1978 album, Nwanne Awu Enyi went gold, selling more than 7.8 million copies.

He was immortalized with the Imo State Heartland FM (100.5 MHz)dedicated to playing his evergreen songs. But unlike Osadebe, Warriors has since resurrected in two of his sons, Uche Obinna and Ajuzieogu Obinna and his brother, Emperor Teddy Obinna  who have taken after this magnificent maestro.

Believe it or not, if he had not succumbed to death on June 2,1999, Warrior would not only have given highlife music a new meaning in the country, he would have been fascinated to see his two sons take after him. Besides, he would still be a much-sought-after highlife maestro in the country.  But like his fellow highlife artistes noted, “ since his exit, it has been difficult to get another person with similar qualities as Warrior.”

 

Sonny Okosun (January 1, 1947-May 24,2008) The freedom fighter!

He towers among the giants of contemporary Nigerian musicians. With his signature fusion of reggae, highlife, Afro-funk, traditional melodies and rhythms, the catchall description “Ozziddi”, Sonny Okosun was a force to reckon with, in the nation’s music industry during his lifetime.  He used his music to tackle head-on the most incendiary political and social issues gripping the African continent, especially the now abolished apartheid in South Africa.

*Sonny Okosun

*Sonny Okosun

Born in Enugu, on January 1, 1947, Okosun launched into stardom in the early 70’s with his fiery Oziddi music, in an era when highlife music was at its peak of popularity. He first started with Help then Fire in Soweto. But his music, which took the country by storm, and which was acclaimed to be his best, was Papa’s land. He was a strong voice and advocated a popular ideological struggle in the fight against apartheid through his songs.

While he lived, Okosun maintained a high profile at world music festivals across the globe. Though,  he  used the last days of his life to win souls for Christ as an Evangelist. His death  which occurred on May 24, 2008, in Washington D.C, after battling colon cancer, marked the end of an era for a man who dedicated his life, fighting for the oppressed in the society.

If he had been alive today, Okosun would have made the difference in the nation’s music circle. Perhaps, he would have either  set up a contemporary music school that would immortalise his ‘Oziddi music’ .

 

Orlando Owoh (February 14, 1932 -Novemeber6,2008) Inspiring young musicians

Even in death, Orland Owoh’s music has continued to take a top spot in the catalogue of brilliant, locally-made music; music that captured the pulse of the ‘independence’ generation; with a firm grip on the core elements of traditional African lifestyle, history, lore and idioms.

With a story to every song, a musical ensemble uniquely his, a queer baritone voice like no other, and a dramatic private-public life, Owoh who died on November 6, 2008, stayed on top of his game, remaining relevant through different era, and eventually influencing a generation of musicians who continue to derive inspiration from his timeless pieces. Indeed, like never before, Owoh would have continued to inspire the young musicians.

Thanks to his “Iyawo Olele”, a parody of the cheating wife, which was reworked by Nomoreless and dozens of present-day musicians. Kangaroo, an excellent cut whose beats and chorus have been sampled by many Nigerian and Ghanian musicians were some of his contributions that would have still made Owoh relevant in the present music indsutry.

Also, many of Owoh hits are still relevant today; their musical direction, their message. From Logba Logba to Ibaje Eniyan, Money Palava, Alagbon, Yellow Sisi, and Laiku Egiri, Orlando Owoh made music that can stand the test of time; music that’ll endure the most volatile changes and guide future generations on how to go about documenting a tradition musically. Orlando Owoh had over 45 albums to his name, most of them his own original compositions.

Rave singer 9ice, who is presently on a performance tour of the United states, called Owoh’s death a “tragedy”.

 

 

via Vanguard

Related Posts

Recent Posts

EFCC rearraigns Dasuki, five others for diversion of funds.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday re-arraigned, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser (NSA) and five others, for alleged diversion, and criminal breach of trust at an FCT High Court. The others were Bashir Yuguda, Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the NSA, Dalhatu Investment Ltd., Sagir Attahiru and Attahiru Bafarawa, a former governor of Sokoto State. They were re-arraigned on a 22-count charge before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, and they pleaded not guilty...

FG to investigate why production of Big Brother Nigeria is in South Africa.

The federal government has directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the reported shooting in South Africa of the ongoing Big Brother Nigeria reality show.   Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has asked the NBC to determine whether Multi-Choice has breached the Nigerian Broadcasting Code in any way, by shooting the show in South Africa, as well as the issue of possible deceit, since the viewing public was never told that the event would...

Bill Gates could become the world’s first trillionaire

In our lifetimes, we could see the first trillionaire. And, most likely, that first trillionaire would be Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates . That's according to research by Oxfam, an international network of organizations collectively working to alleviate global poverty. Its recently published report finds that eight billionaires from around the globe have as much money as the 3.6 billion people who make up the...

Yahya Jammeh will be ‘allowed to keep’ luxury car collection – Barrow

Gambian ex-president Yahya Jammeh will be allowed to keep his collection of 13 luxury cars and fly them out to his exiled home in Equatorial Guinea, a spokesman for new president Adama Barrow said Tuesday.Barrow’s spokesman confirmed to AFP an agreement had been struck to facilitate Jammeh’s exit on Saturday in order to end a weeks-long impasse caused by the ex-leader’s refusal to recognise Barrow’s election victory.   “What is very clear is that arrangements were made and the...

Death toll in Italy’s avalanche disaster climbs to 14

The death toll in Italy’s avalanche disaster rose to 14 Tuesday as rescuers extracted the bodies of two women from a devastated hotel and continued their search for 15 people still missing, local authorities said. Six other bodies were found between Monday afternoon and the early hours of Tuesday, the sixth day of what increasingly appears to be a forlorn search through the snow-covered wreckage of the Hotel Rigopiano. Eleven staff and guests survived the disaster, two men who were outside...

Lagos records 115 tanker accidents in 2016 – Official

The Lagos State Fire Service recorded 115 petroleum tanker accidents in 2016, Nwanovim George, the former Chief Fire Officer in the state has disclosed. Mr. George made the disclosure on Tuesday in Lagos at the ongoing national training for tanker drivers organised by Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, branch of NUPENG. Mr. George, who is currently the Personal Assistant to the Director, Lagos State Fire Service on Training Matters, said the service has already recorded six tanker in January 2017. He urged tanker...

Premium Times: How SSS lied against EFCC boss, Magu.

On Thursday, the Nigerian Senate declined to confirm the appointment of Ibrahim Magu as substantive chair of the country’s premier anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The upper legislative chamber claimed it could not approve the presidency’s request to confirm Mr. Magu based on a security report forwarded to it by the State Security Service. “The Senate wishes to inform the public that based on available security report, the Senate cannot proceed with the confirmation of Ibrahim Magu...

British PM must get parliament approval to trigger Brexit – Supreme Court

The UK Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May must get parliament’s approval before she begins Britain’s formal exit from the European Union, EU.   The UK’s highest judicial body dismissed the government’s argument that Ms. May could simply use executive powers known as “royal prerogative” to invoke Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty and begin two years of divorce talks.   However, the court rejected arguments that the UK’s devolved assemblies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should...

NYSC orientation back in Adamawa after 3-year break

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has resumed orientation of corp members in Adamawa state, after a three-year suspension caused by the Boko Haram insurgency.   The last orientation was held in Adamawa in March 2013.   Speaking to Tuesday in Yola, Mohammed Abubakar, state coordinator of NYSC, said 2, 500 corps members were deployed to the state.   “Registration of corp members started this Tuesday morning by 7 am and you can see they are trooping in; we are expecting 2, 500 corp members,”...

“Quit whining, no one owes you anything”, Fayemi tell Nigerian graduates.

Kayode Fayemi, minister of solid minerals development, has admonished Nigerian graduates to quit complaining and stop waiting for the government to solve their problems. He said this on Monday while delivering the 49th convocation lecture of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka. Fayemi urged the undergraduates to work hard to achieve their dreams and stop waiting for handouts. “Quit whining, no one owes you anything. The earlier we realise that no one owes us anything, the better for us and the more...

President Buhari rejects senate’s recommendation for SGF’s sacking

President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected the recommendation of the senate for the sack of Babachir Lawal as secretary to the government of the federation (SGF).   Buhari said his decision was informed by the failure of the senate ad hoc committee on humanitarian crisis in the northeast to give Lawal a fair hearing. ? He conveyed his decision in a letter read by Senate President Bukola Saraki on Tuesday.   In December 2016, the senate recommended the sack of Lawal for alleged corruption.   In its report,...

JUST IN: Again, CBN MPC retains interest rate at record high.

For the second time in four months, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided on Tuesday to hold benchmark interest rates at record high of 14 percent.   Godwin Emefiele, governor of the bank, announced that the committee also decided to keep cash reserve ratio (CRR) and liquidity ratio at 22.5 percent and 30 percent respectively.   He said the 10 members present at the meeting decided unanimously to keep the asymmetric corridor at +200 and +500 basis points.   The...

SON confisticates 1,000 bags of underweighed rice in Osogbo

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in Osun says it confiscated more than 1,000 underweighed bags of rice in Osogbo markets on Monday. Mr Sunday Badewole, the SON State Coordinator, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Osogbo on Tuesday. Badewole said the agency made the confiscation during the enforcement operation where more than 1,000 bags of 5kg, 10kg and 25kg of bags of rice were confiscated. He said many of the rice sellers had...

Sambisa, The Forest of Learning – By Buki Ponle

By now, it is crystal clear to the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG), or any other groups and individuals with similar perception, that government is not toying with the safety, lives and property of Nigerians. This is clearly evident in the latest search conducted for the missing Chibok school girls in the notorious forest called Sambisa. Few days ago, the Federal Government, represented by the Minister of Information and Culture and that of Defence, arranged to join the Nigerian troops...

No Parliamentary Approval, No Brexit- Supreme Court Rules

It was a massive victory for Gina Miller as the Supreme Court has given a ruling giving the Parliament the right to approve the start of Brexit. Addressing journalists outside court after the judgment, Gina Miller thanked her supporters for the steadfastness. “In Britain, we are lucky – we are fortunate to have the ability to voice legitimate concerns and views as part of a shared society” she said. “I have therefore been shocked at the levels of personal abuse that I...

Court Orders Release of Ex-NSA Dasuki Again

An Abuja High Court has again reaffirmed the bail granted former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and five others in the arm deal trial involving $2.1 billion. Justice Baba Yusuf reaffirmed the bail on Mr. Dasuki on the ground that he was entitled to it and having been admitted to same since 2015 when the federal government brought criminal charges against him. Mr. Dasuki and five others were re-arraigned before Justice Baba Yusuf on the criminal charges that were transferred...

China urged to strengthen its nuclear arsenal to “force the US to respect it”

China must strengthen its nuclear arsenal to “force the US to respect it” in response to the stance of new US President Donald Trump, a leading newspaper said Tuesday. The comments in the Global Times, a popular paper known for its inflammatory rhetoric and hawkish views, came just days after President Xi Jinping called for the eventual global elimination of atomic weapons. In recent days, Chinese social media has carried pictures purporting to show an advanced intercontinental ballistic missile system deployed...

Yaya Toure explains why he’s not keen on playing in China

Yaya Toure says he wants to remain at Manchester City and is not interested in moving to China, amid reports of a big-money offer from the Chinese Super League.   Reports last week said Toure, 33, had rejected an approach from a Chinese club that would have seen him paid around £430,000 ($536,000, 499,000 euros) a week.   With his contract up at the end of the season, the former Ivory Coast midfielder faces an uncertain future, but he says he has no...

Kenya Conducts Mass Killings Of Dogs

Yesterday, January 23, 2017, Kenya Veterinary officers killed 82 dogs, 2 cats and a honey badger after rabies had been detected among some animals in Yatta, Machakos, LIB reports. According to the authorities, the animals were killed following the threat of rabies which is a deadly viral disease that could affect the local community.    

RCCG sends message to all senior pastors over MMM, other schemes

The Redeemed Christian Church of GOD (RCCG) has said that the doctrine of the mission does not support get rich quick schemes. This was made known in a memo addressed to pastors in charge of regions and provinces, by the General Secretary of the church, Pastor Johnson Odesola, on Wednesday, January 18, 2017. Pastor Odesola stated in the memo that some pastors and staff of the mission are getting themselves involved in all manner of money-making schemes, to the extent...

How Auchi Poly student duped white woman of $267,000 via dating

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Monday arraigned one Akintunde Vincent Abiodun begore at a Lagos State High court sitting in Ikeja for alleged love scam. The accused, a student of the Federal Polytechnic Auchi, Edo state was said to have defrauded his victim, D. Bonnici of $267,000 online by claiming to be Christopher Williams from the United Kingdom. According to the complainant, she met the 37-year-old man on a dating site on the internet and allegedly fell in love...