Concerns as Edo loses four musical legends within one year

Concerns as Edo loses four musical legends within one year


Edo State has lost four musicians within the past one year, raising concerns about health safety and future of the creative industry, as well as their mentees.

By default, Ambassador Osayomore Joseph’s death which occurred on Saturday morning, eve of the 29th Anniversary of the annulled June 12 Presidential election, two weeks after another Benin-based music icon, late Alasca Agho, was laid to rest in Benin.

Osayomore, also known as ‘Ulele power sound’, passage was announced by the Edo State Chapter of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN).

The tragedy occurred five months to his 70th birthday and two weeks after another famous Edo musician, Alaska Agho who was survived with three wives, was laid to rest.

In May 2022, Chief Saka Arala Osula, the Arala of Benin, died after a brief illness. The renowned artiste known for parading the largest music dance Band in the State, transited at the age of 78.

One of his popular tracks, was ‘Omwanagbon’ (somebody). Osula, was a Polygamist with a class as one of the most travelled artist.

He was one of the musicians who performed during the declaration of late Bashir Tofa, Candidate of NRC in 1993 Presidential election which was annulled by the former Head of states, General Ibrahim Babangida (Rted) in Edo State.

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The song writer and producer, lived at his maternal home in Lagos street in Oredo Local Government Area of the State, before he joined his forebears.

Osula who had several music albums to his credit, became famous in 1970’s like Osayomore whose death was rumoured several times at different times before he eventually kicked the bucket, started his musical career in 1974.

Edo State also lost one of his musical icons, the 80-year-old Gitar Boy, Sir Victor Uwaifo, who died in August 2021 during the wave of the Covid-19.

Osayomore’s death brings the tally of Edo-based musicians who passed within a period of one year to four.

A statement by Comrade Willy Eghe-Nova, PMAN said, “sadly, PMAN has this Saturday afternoon, June 11, 2022, lost a great member and music legend, Ambassador Osayomore Joseph. May his creative soul rest in peace.”

The Edo State Chapter of the association paid tribute to the late social critics who used music to criticize local and national corruption positions of authority.

“Truth” and “Teacher”, albums were among the prominent songs of the music Legend who died five months to his 70th Birthday.

Until Babangida invalidated the results of the democratic election of June 12, 1992, which should have brought popular politician M.K.O. Abiola to power, Osayomore criticised the former Head of States, Major-General Ibrahim Babangida for annulling the the June 12, 1993 democratic election which was widely acclaimed to be free and fair and won by the late Moshood Abiola.

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Governor Godwin Obaseki, joined other Nigerians to pen down a tribute in memory of Osayomore after his death on Saturday.

He wrote: ” I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of music maestro, Ambassador Osayomore Joseph, who took the music world by storm with his talent and exported the Benin culture to the world.

Osayomore was an enigmatic and versatile musician, who spread didactic messages with his soulful and sonorous voice.

“His contribution to the creative industry in Edo State is as remarkable as it is transformational.

Obaseki said the late musician was a crucial voice in the quest make society better and more livable with his music which focused on serious issues.

“His long music career, which started in the 1970s, was very productive and enriched the lives of many. The boldness and candour enmeshed in his rhythmic melodies earned him local and international acclaim.

“I commiserate with the Osayomore family, fans and friends of the illustrious musician and pray that God will grant all the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss”, he said.

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