Sir Victor Uwaifo was an unforgettable African superstar — Okoroji
Posted by News Express | 29 August 2021 | 59 times
By TAIYE OLAYEMI
Tony Okoroji, Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), has described late Sir Victor Uwaifo as an unforgettable African superstar.
This is contained in a statement signed by Okoroji and made available to the media on Sunday.
Uwaifo who died on August 28, 2021, at the age of 80, was a one-time member of the Board of COSON, Nigeria’s biggest copyright collective management organisation.
Okoroji said late Uwaifo, the great composer, lyricist, melody maker, multi-instrumentalist, sculptor, designer, performer per excellence and intellectual giant was truly a legend of the Benin Kingdom.
He said Uwaifo was also an icon of the Nigerian nation and an unforgettable African superstar.
He also described Uwaifo as his brother, older friend, confidant, professional colleague, 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.
Okoroji who just arrived the country from the United States of America on the same day that the news of the death of his great friend, broke down, saying “Prof had called me in the United States of America about a week and half ago to enquire after my health and the success of the recent 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.
“He described the series as historic and asked me to send the entire series to him by e-mail which I did.
“Uwaifo who was in good cheer, spoke with my son, TJ, for a long period and they shared jokes and laughed.
“We promised to visit him in Benin City, I had no idea it was a ‘bye-bye’ call”.
It will be recalled that on March 6, 2021, in Benin City, Chief Okoroji on behalf of COSON, decorated Uwaifo with the “Grand Copyright Medal of Honour”, the first time anyone anywhere has been so decorated.
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.
The decoration was done by the celebrated former President of PMAN with the support of the gospel minister and COSON Board member, Kenny Saint Brown (KSB).
At the event, blessed by the Catholic Arch-Bishop of Benin, Most Reverend Augustin Obiora Akubueze, were several traditional rulers, professors and academic dons, from across the nation, businessmen and politicians.
Also present were representatives of several institutions attended by the legend, such as the University of Benin, Yaba College of Technology, Western Boys High School, St Gregory’s College, Lagos, etc.
At the event, Uwaifo performed a widely applauded version of his evergreen hit song and first African gold disc winner, “Joromi”, with the audience singing along and his guitar spinning wildly.
Uwaifo was the most educated and academically decorated performing artiste in the world., receiving several national and international awards.
In 1997, he was awarded the Certificate of Honour by the House of Representatives, Boston Massachusetts, he was documented in the Groove Dictionary of Music and Musicians Vol. 8.
He is also documented in the Men and Women of Distinction in the Commonwealth, 1983.
He has been presented with a Doctor of Letters (D. Litt) Degree (Honoris) by the University of Benin, the Benin National Merit Award, the University of Benin Distinguished Alumnus Award and the National Honour of Member of the Order of the Niger by the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In 2010, Uwaifo was one of the select Nigerians awarded the fellowship of the Nigerian Academy of Letters at a grand event at the University of Lagos.
Uwaifo, who served as Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism in Edo State between 2001 and 2003, was born on the 1st of March, 1941, in Benin City.
He attended Western Boys High School in his hometown and later, St Gregory’s College, Lagos.
He subsequently proceeded to Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, from where he obtained a National Art Diploma with distinction and shone as an outstanding athlete.
He received a B.A Hons, First Class, Fine and Applied Arts, from the University of Benin and a Masters’ Degree in Sculpting from the same university.
He also obtained a Ph.D in Architectural Sculpture from the same university where he has been a Professor for several years. (NAN)
Source: News Express
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