HomeNewsHuman InterestEntertainment celebrities pay tributes to late Victor Uwaifo

Entertainment celebrities pay tributes to late Victor Uwaifo

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Prominent musicians and stakeholders in the country’s entertainment industry have continued to pay tributes to the late music legend, Sir Victor Uwaifo, who passed away weekend in Benin, Edo State.

Uwaifo died after a brief illness at the age of 80.
His death has sent another shockwave through the country’s entertainment scene, as he gave up the ghost almost at the same time the industry lost two prominent actors, Victor Olaitan and Prince Ifeanyi Dike to the cold hand of death.
However, since Uwaifo’s death was announced by his son, via his Facebook page, many prominent Nigerians and musicians have been paying tributes to the late music icon.
Leading the pack is Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji who described late Uwaifo as “a legend of the Benin Kingdom and an unforgettable African superstar.’
Uwaifo, Okoroji said was a one time member of the Board of COSON, Nigeria’s biggest copyright collective management organization
According to him, the late music legend was not only his brother, older friend, confidant, professional colleague, but also a staunch supporter and an unapologetic partner in the work of the promotion of the unity and progress of Nigerian artistes and the protection of their legacy.

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Okoroji who arrived the country from the United States on the same day that the news of Sir Victor Uwaifo’s demise broke, said the deceased had called him while he was still in the United States about a week and half ago to enquire after his health and the success of the recent white wedding of my son.
“He said that he loved the series of articles I have been doing lately on my “Saturday Breakfast” column on the growth of the Nigerian recording industry. Prof described the articles as historic and asked me to send the entire series to him by e-mail which I did. Prof Uwaifo who was in good cheer, spoke with my son, TJ for a long period and they shared jokes and laughed and we promised to visit him in Benin City. I had no idea it was a “goodbye” call,” Okoroji said.
It would be recalled that on March 6, 2021 in Benin-City, Chief Okoroji on behalf of COSON decorated Prof Uwaifo with the “Grand Copyright Medal of Honour”, the first time such an honour would be bestowed on anyone.
The decoration was the climax of the big celebration of Prof Uwaifo’s 80th birthday which attracted the high and mighty to Uwaifo’s Superstar Highgate on Victor Uwaifo Avenue in Benin City. It was done by the former President of PMAN with the support of the gospel minister and COSON Board member, Kenny Saint Brown (KSB).
During the decoration, Chief Okoroji said “I have had the privilege of presenting the Copyright Medal of Honour to a few very distinguished Nigerians and an international personage but not once have we presented the Grand Copyright Medal of Honour to anyone, anywhere. Today will be the first time ever because in every way the gentleman standing next to me has created history in so many-many ways. He has been in the battle for the respect of intellectual property in Nigeria not apologizing to anyone, not giving a hoot to what anybody says but leaving a lasting legacy for our nation”.
Also, paying tribute to the evergreen “Joromi” singer, Bimbo Esho, son of Mr Femi Esho, a patron and promoter of evergreen Nigerian and Ghanaian music, said late Victor Uwaifo would be remembered for his immense contribution to the musical legacy and development of Nigerian music particularly the highlife musical genre.
According to him, ” My dad, who was shocked on hearing the news of the death of this musical icon reminisced how he started his musical romance with Sir Victor Uwaifo in 1962 when Sir Uwaifo was a young student of St. Gregory’s College, Obalende Lagos.”
He said Sir Victor Uwaifo was a guitarist for EC Arinze a popular Highlife musician who played at the then Kakadu Night Club in Alagomeji.
Stressing further, he noted that Sir Victor Uwaifo featured as a guitarist in the popular song Time for Highlife by E.C Arinze. The song later became a popular signature tune used during a Highlife Music Series anchored by Chief Olu Falomo a popular top shot in Radio Nigeria. This one hour Radio program was a delight of all Lovers of Highlife Music every Saturday evening in the 60’s.
Describing the deceased as a man of different parts” Esho said that his creation of Ekassa and Akwete music style greatly helped in the development and showcase of the Benin culture to the world.
“He will no doubt be sorely missed for the musical vacuum his death will be leaving in the Nigerian musical space particularly the Highlife Music Genre.”
“With timeless Evergreen Songs like Joromi, Guitar Boy, Ekassa, Akwete, Ebiss Ebiss and different live recordings Sir Uwaifo will forever live in our heart”, he said.
For Nollywood and music industry patron, Andy Boyo, Uwaifo was larger than life and a bunch of talent.
” I was not expecting his demise now. An outstanding musician, A first class university graduate at the age of 52, a sculptor an administrator, a sportsman ( high jump specialty) an Engineer ( inventing many shades of guitars from the spinning guitar to the double guitar and other numerous inventions) and so on. I thought he will live a lot longer. But God knows Best. I for one will miss his absence. But he will live forever through his music,” he said.
Tee Mac, the former president of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), said that the nation has lost a special musician who was always available to help young artistes and uplift the entertainment industry.
According to him, late Uwaifo was a very active member of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) and that as the Chairman of the Entertainment Foundation, he will ensure that Uwaifo’s legacies were sustained.
“Victor Uwaifo’s death is a sad development, as an artist, he was constant with his art works, he represents to me a true artist, from making his sculptures, to music to painting and writing.”
“I met him in November 1970 and since then, we have attended many shows together, I go to his house and even slept in his house countless times. He was a great friend.
Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture,NCAC, also described late Uwaifo as ‘a musician of a lifetime’ considering his huge contributions to the growth of the Nigerian entertainment industry.
“Being a unique fellow, loaded with lots of talents, the late Uwaifo had contributed to the development of the entertainment industry and NCAC would immortalise him and his works,” he said.
Runsewe noted that institutions and students also needed to study Uwaifo and his works, to spur their creativity in and inspire even unborn Nigerians.
On his own, legendary Fuji musician, Adewale Ayuba described late Uwaifo as a responsible singer who had recorded zero controversies over the years, adding that he had left an indelible mark on his chosen career, as a calm and consistent artist.
He urged up and coming artistes to critically study the late musician’s works, life and times, as his life was a good example of how an artiste’s life should be.
While paying tribute to the late highlife maestro, Daddy Showkey, posted some of his evergreen songs on his Instagram story and wrote “Guitar boy bows out.”

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