By SAMUEL ABULUDE, Lagos
Distinguished personalities and members of the music industry have expressed sadness on the death of the veteran saxophonist, Pa Chris Ajilo who passed on Saturday morning, February 20, at the ripe age of 91.
Pa Christopher Ajilore died at Ijebu-Ijesha, Osun after having malaria fever that refused to go even after being treated.
Veteran musician and saxophonist, Orlando Julius Ekemode is distraught because of his closeness to Ajilo. He noted that he will be missed in the music industry.
“I am very sad that Pa Ajilo has left us. I had a special relationship with Pa Ajilo. I will always remember him. He was the person who saved my oldies for me when he worked at Premiere (Polygram) Records. The reels were scattered everywhere. He did that for many musicians. God bless Him. The Toju who recently passed, the CEO, came and returned the original music to me,” says O.J
Evangelist Ebenezer Obey who eulogised the veteran said Pa Ajilo was a great man, a thorough professional and one of the greats in the music industry. “We will miss him. He was talented with the alto and tenor sax. He gave us great music like Eko Gba gbere. I really condole with his family on this great loss,” says Obey.
Folk singer and playwright, Elder Jimi Solanke said he really mourns Pa Ajilo for his impact on his life as he was once a vocalist with the Chris Ajilo and the Cubanos in the 60s. Solanke noted that his relationship with him was very cordial as he had reaped from Ajilo’s tutelage over the years.
“Pa Ajilo is one of my professional Ogas. He is very experienced and very talented.
I will miss him. Everything Pa Ajilo taught me, I am putting it to use now. Pa Ajilo taught me classical tunes I am using today. I was his vocalist at Lafia Hotel, Apata when the Chris Ajilo and the Cubanos was the resident band there in the 60s.
“Less than a month ago he called me and we chatted for a long time not knowing that will be the last I will hear of him.
Pa Ajilo lived a good life.
I was at his birthday at Ijebu-Ijesha when he was 90 years old in 2019. There is nothing I celebrate that he is not there with me.
Graphic Designer and famed album illustrator of Fela’s album, Lemi Ghariokwu said Pa Ajilo was his father in the industry having known him for 40 years and they both shared same birthday.
“Pa Ajilo and I shared a father-son relationship. We shared a great bond and same birthday. It was a shock that I heard on Saturday morning that he passed on. Oh my family and I will miss him He is a legend, a doyen of Nigerian music. Pa Ajilo played a major role in the great days of high life music in Nigeria,” says Ghariokwu.
Chairman of Collecting Society of Nigeria, COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji was shocked at the news of his death and promised to eulogise him later.
The ‘Eko Gba Gbere’ hit maker and music producer of repute left the music industry having paid his dues.