Nigerian reggae legend Majek Fashek dies at age 57

By | June 3, 2020

Nigerian reggae legend Majek Fashek dies

The performer, popular for hits such as Send Down the Rain and So Long for Too Long, died in his sleep in New York, his manager Omenka Uzoma told the BBC. Writing on Instagram, Mr Uzoma said it was “a time for us all to celebrate his achievements, and not mourn”.

Nigerian reggae legend Majek Fashek dies

Nigerian reggae legend Majek Fashek dies
Nigerian reggae legend Majek Fashek dies

The musician, whose real name was Majekodunmi Fasheke, also worked with stars like Jimmy Cliff, Tracy Chapman and Snoop Dogg. “He’s done a lot for Nigeria and Africa,” his manager said. Majek Fashek had been ill for some time but the cause of his death is not clear. He was drawn to reggae in the 1980s at a point when highlife and juju were more dominant in Nigeria.

The artist said Bob Marley was a major influence as a consequence his musical style and looks mirrored the Jamaican legend. His 1991 release So Long for Too Long, which carried a strong political and pan-African message gained Majek Fashek acclaim across Africa. The song was a call for Africans to rise up, both in the continent and those in the diaspora.

Nigerian reggae legend Majek Fashek dies

He sang:

  1. Arise from your sleep Africa
  2. Arise from your sleep America
  3. There’s work to be done Africa
  4. He also had a message for black people in the US:
  5. Remember, remember, Marcus Garvey
  6. Who had a dream for you Africa
  7. Remember, remember, Martin Luther King
  8. Who had a dream for you America

He also wrote the song Free Africa, Free Mandela, calling for the release of the leader of the African National Congress in South Africa, Nelson Mandela. As a sign of his international reach, he appeared in 1992 on the high-profile David Letterman chat show on US television, where he sang So Long for Too Long.

In the mid 2000s there were reports that the musician was struggling with his health. Pictures of an emaciated Majek Fashek shocked Nigerians who were concerned about the star.

In 2015, he spent some time in a drug rehabilitation centre in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

Source. BBC

About Nigerian reggae legend Majek Fashek

Majekodunmi Fasheke, popularly known as Majek Fashek (pronounced as Ma-je-ko-dun-mi Ifa-kii-she-eke) (March 1963 – June 2, 2020) was a Nigerian singer-songwriter and guitarist. He was best known in his home country for the 1988 album Prisoner of Conscience, which included the multiple award-winning single “Send Down the Rain”. Also known as The Rainmaker, he worked with various artists worldwide including Tracy ChapmanJimmy CliffMichael JacksonSnoop Dogg, and Beyoncé.

Early life

Fashek was born in Benin City to an Edo Old Bendel State mother and a Ijesha father,(Osun State, Western Nigeria) but identifies with his Benin roots. Various translations of his name Fasheke (Ifa-kii-she-eke) include “high priest who does not lie”, “powers of miracles” and “(system or medium of) divination does not lie” After his parents separated Fashek remained in Benin City with his mother, and soon joined the choir in his local Aladura church and learned to play the trumpet and guitar whilst composing songs for the choir.

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