It was a befitting posthumous 80th birthday ceremony for Nigeria’s globally impactful late Afrobeat legendary saxophonist and culture ambassador, Orlando Julius Ekemode, last Friday, at his Ilesa, Osun State, home town.
American celebrated songwriter, dancer and performer, Latoya Aduke, led his prodigies, mentees, ‘musical children and grandchildren to hold his 80th birthday remembrance event, with blissful fun memories of departed artiste. Latoya, who is the wife of Orlando and also his prodigy, organized the event.
According to her, the event was held to ensure that the ideals, musical philosophy, creative arts, and cultural essence are upheld from this generation to generation unborn. “Orlando deserves more than everything we do for him.
The OJAHH FESTIVAL slated for next spring in Osun State is to pay tribute to OJ musical genius, humility and prolific messages in his songs. Also His Mastery of Musicianship, not only saxophone, but keyboards, drums, percussion and other instruments.”
Orlando’s posthumous birthday was marked at his illesha home. It was held with a powerful Prayer and Thanksgiving Service conducted by the Cherubim and Seraphim Church of Nigeria, Olomowewe Aladura Isona in Ilesa, Osun State. They were conducted by Church. The services were conducted by the presiding cleric of the Church, Most Supreme Apostle Prophet Hezekiah Oni, JP.
The Egboro Dance and Comedy Troupe thrilled the audience with their creative musical and comic performance. The guests were highly impressed. The guests also visited his beautifully constructed tomb to pay him his due honour. The was ably supported by paramount ruler of the Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Engr), Moses Agunoye, The Elegboro of Ijebu-Ijesa Kingdom.
Latoya is an accomplished musician and dancer with her maiden album produced by the late OJB Jezreel.
She added, “My husband was a great man. A great musician who impacted the World with his music, art, and culture around the World. He took Afrobeat music to America, South America, Europe, everywhere in the world. His legacy will never die, as long as I live. His spirit lives in me. He nurtured me to who I am today and many others around the World.”
“ He has done a lot for music industry and we can’t allow his works to die. This event has opened up other events which are close to the heart for OJ. before he left. We are going complete his house very soon. One part will used for studio, to aide budding artiste to record their songs. The other part will equipped as music school. It will afford youngsters to study music professionally in theory and practical. We will be collaborating with the Department of Music in a reputable University here in Osun State to give our students World-class musical education.”