Buhari, Celebrities Pays Tribute To Victor Olaiya


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Victor Olaiya

President Muhammadu Buhari has condoles with the family, friends and all lovers of vintage highlife music as played by Dr Victor Abimbola Olaiya, who passed on at 89.

The President notes that the highlife maestro, known for his mastery of the trumpet, brought joy and delight to people across generations, with his songs which were both entertaining and didactic.

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According to President Buhari, “His place in history is guaranteed. He sang, not just for the entertainment value, but also taught critical lessons on life, good neighbourliness, and national cohesion. He will be sorely missed.”

He urges the younger generations of musicians to learn a lesson from Olaiya, so that their songs can also remain evergreen, and outlive them. Noting that the departed musician’s works transcended Nigeria, the West Coast, and, indeed, the African continent, the President prays God to rest Olaiya’s soul, and comfort all those who mourn him.

For the music industry, It was another day of grief when the news of the sudden demise of   Nigerian Highlife maestro, went viral on social media, sending shockwaves throughout the Nigerian music industry with many entertainers mourning and expressing their condolences.

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Breaking the sad news in a statement, Bimbo Esho, the Managing Director of Evergreen Music Company, said the veteran singer died while on admission at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

Nigerian Music legend, Tuface Idibia while reacting to the death of Veteran musician, Victor Olaiya in his Instagram page wrote: “Devastated by the news of your passing. Dr. Victor Olaiya – maestro, mentor, legend.

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“Thanks for the beautiful music. Thanks for the inspiration. Blessed for the honour of sharing a mic and stage with you. Rest in peace baba.”

Don Pedro Aganbi, the national coordinator of the Nollywood mandate group, describes the death of highlife legend, Victor Olaiya as a sad day for Nigerian music. “Sad day for Nigeria music as the last of the last high life iroko departs.No doubt he has written his name in gold. He has also left shoes behind difficult to fill. I appeal to the government to turn the Stadium Hotel into a national monument in memory of this music cum highlife legend. He will be greatly missed” Don Pedro said.

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Born in December 1930 to Alfred Olaiya and Bathsheba Olaiya, the late musician was the  20th  child of a family of 24. Olaiya was one of the legendary foundation stones of modern Nigerian music.

His music bridges between Ghanaian highlife and what has today become Afrobeat. Just as his musical style was influenced by James Brown, with horn parts harmonized in Brown’s style, as opposed to the mostly unison lines of Afrobeat.
The music includes the swinging percussion of Tony Allen, but not the syncopated style that Allen later pioneered. Olaiya released an album with Ghanaian highlife musician E. T. Mensah. Both the drummer Tony Allen and vocalist Fela Kuti played with Olaiya and went on to achieve individual success.

In July 2013, Victor Olaiya released a music video remix of Baby Jowo(Baby Mi Da)with 2face idibia and was received with much acclaim. A  trumpeter who plays in the highlife style, through extremely famous in Nigeria during the 1950s and early 1960s, Olaiya received little recognition outside his native country.

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