A two-time former governor of Ogun State and veteran journalist, Chief Olusegun Osoba has revealed what the late music maestro, Sir Victor Uwaifo, told him two months after his 80th birthday.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP Sunday last night, Chief Osoba who said Uwaifo’s death is a big blow that hit him hard revealed that the late music legend told him the story of Joromi and the details behind waxing the song.
Sir Victor Uwaifo, Edo-born “Joromi” crooner and iconic highlife music percussionist, died yesterday at the age of 80.
The cause of death of the music legend, whose “Mammy Water” album was a hit for decades, was not known as of press time yesterday.
Reacting to the death of his friend, Osoba said “Uwaifo would be remembered in many ways. We were always in touch. At any show he performs, he would always thrill his audience by playing “Joromi” and “Guitar Boy”. I insisted that he should tell me the story of “Joromi” and the details of his waxing of the Joromi song, which he did. He educated me and told me the hot story behind Joromi”.
The former governor said he spoke with Uwaifo not too long ago when he clocked 80 years early this year.
Osoba continued: “I was away. So when I came back, he sent all the souvenirs and his autobiography as well as some items like perfume and other things to me.
“We were recapping all that happened in our younger days and I didn’t know that was our last conversation. I mean, he was in such a talking mood. We stayed out a longtime. We talked about our days in Lagos, our lives as young people and even our school days.
“He was an ebullient personality and a cultural giant. Just about three years ago, he came to Lagos to launch his project. He is a man who believes in the development and sustenance of our culture. That is why many of his lyrics are concentrated on culture. We grew up together in Lagos. He was in St. Gregory’s College Lagos and I was in Methodist Secondary School”.
Breaking the news of the death of the late professor of Visual Arts from the University of Benin (UNIBEN) on his Facebook page, one of his children, Uwaifo Peter de Rock expressed anguish over the passing of the music star.
“Daddy why you leave us now? Prof Sir Victor UWAIFO has gone to rest. Black Saturday for me nooow”, the young Uwaifo wrote with 34 sad emojis arranged in pair of 17 lines.
“One week now after collaborating with me”, the distraught Peter added.
The legendary musicologist served as commissioner for arts and culture under the governorship of Lucky Igbinedion.
A first class graduate of Visual Arts from the University of Benin, his undergraduate project of a King On A Horse is a signature arts poster at the Ekenwan Campus of the university.
Sir Victor Uwaifo played the guitar with dexterity and had highly ambulant kinetic dancing steps.
Details of his death were still unknown at the time of filing this report.
BREAKING: Popular Music Icon, Victor Uwaifo, Is Dead(Opens in a new browser tab)
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday condoled with the family, friends and associates of legendary musician and multi-talented artiste, Sir Victor Uwaifo, who passed on yesterday, leaving a legacy of successes in many areas of life, including academia and administration.
The president in a statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina, joined the Nigerian music industry and performing artistes home and abroad in mourning the former commissioner for arts, culture and tourism in Edo State, who was also the first musician and instrumentalist to be given the national honour, Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) in 1983.
Buhari expressed the belief that the renowned musician, with global appeal and recognitions, lived for many firsts, which include 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.
The president noted the glory that Sir Uwaifo brought to Nigeria through his international tours, and the active role he played in national development, returning to school to get a first degree at age 54 with first class honours, masters degree at 56, and a doctorate at 77.
He prayed for the soul of the departed musician, writer, sculptor, musical instrument inventor and university lecturer, knowing the entire country, particularly the music industry, will sorely miss him.