Nigerians, on Tuesday woke up to news of the death of reggae legend, Majek Fashek and on Twitter there was an outpour of tributes and encomiums on him.
His manager, Omenka Uzoma who confirmed the news of his demise said it was “a time for us all to celebrate his achievements, and not mourn”.
Reacting to the news on Twitter, former senator, Shehu Sani, paid tribute to the late singer.
“Majek rode thru a rough & dangerous terrain in Life. He tried to pick up & now is gone. He was unforgettable”
Singer, Dr SID also tweeted:
“My first memory of Majek was my parents coming back from Lekki Sunsplash in ‘89 with the Prisoner of Conscience and I & I Experience ‘vinyls’. Great music from A true legend, RIP Majek Fashek.”
Actress, Kate Henshaw also joined a list of other entertainers who paid tribute.
🎶The sky looks misty and cloudy looks like the rain’s gonna fall today. 🎶
RIP Majek Fashek… I pray you finally rest well. Thank you for the great songs. Thank you for using your talent to bring smiles on our faces.. Sun rè
Majekodunmi Fasheke (57) was a renowned performer, popular for his 1988 album “Prisoner of Conscience” which housed hits such as Send Down the Rain and So Long for Too Long.
He took interest in reggae in the 1980s at a time when highlife and juju music were more dominant in Nigeria.
He was greatly influenced by afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley, and this made for a certain spirituality that accompanied Fashek’s style of music.
He was an activist who advocated for freedom, justice and fairness through his music.
Prior to breaking into the mainstream media, Fashek was a member of a band called Jastix, comprising McRoy Gregg and Black Rice. At the time, he was known as Rajesh Kanal.
He later split from the band to pursue a solo career under Tabansi Records, where he released two albums: ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ and ‘I&I Experience’.
Both albums shot Fashek to fame, fetching him accolades and international recognition.
He left Tabansi after a short while and he got signed to Interscope Records in 1990, releasing the song ‘Spirit of Love’ produced by American music producer Van Zandth.
In 1992, Fashek made the headlines with an appearance on the American TV show ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ as part of promotion for his album.
Fashek’s career began crumbling owing to drug addiction.
Pictures of him in a bad state surfaced in the media with reports that the musician was struggling with his health, leaving well-meaning Nigerians shocked and concerned.
In 2015,he had spent some time in a drug rehabilitation centre in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.
Fashek reportedly died on Monday in a New York hospital, following a prolonged illness.