Dear Majek Fashek: How the world remembers you

Dear Majek Fashek,
So long…
Rest In Peace.
You came, you sang, you conquered.
You teach me to start well.
I also learn to end well.
I truly will remember you for your beginning.
When you sang and the heavens got entertained.
I will forget you last days.
Permit me to.
It truly doesn’t take anything away from the fact that you had the blessings of the sky whenever you sang Send Down The Rain.
It doesn’t take anything away from the fact that when you released Pangolo I was in Officer’s Village Ojo Barracks. Where I lived with my uncle and attended Command Secondary School Ojo.
My uncle had a giant radio with sweet sounding speakers as a bachelor and I appreciated every bit of the Pangolo song.
I will never know which version of Redemption Song is better. Yours or Bob Marley’s. Most times, yours is better.
You inspired a generation. You entertained a world.
You told the story of America (New York) in such a way deserving of a Nobel Prize.
“Majek Fashek ina New York…what you see is confusion…what you see is destruction…what you see is illusion…Hopeless people ina new york…beggars on the street of new york, Tre, tre, tre, tatitre”.
Perhaps prophetic. Or not. However, in 2020 we see that the nation is not so perfect.
Oh, life.
You are done here.
You are now there.
The afterlife zone.
Majekodunmi Ifakiisheke…
…meaning, ‘Don’t let it hurt me’ and ‘The god’s priest doesn’t decieve anyone’.
What a name reduced to Majek Fashek.
Yet your death truly doesn’t hurt us. It frees us from the burden we carry knowing you suffer in pains and ill health.
Also, you were truly the god’s priest and the real you didn’t decieve anyone. Rather you sermonized us with messages and words of wisdom.
From Africa Unity where you asked, ‘When will the Africa people United. When will the black people come together”.
To So Long, Too Long where you say, “There’s work to be done Africa…Arise from your sleep Africa”.
(And they probably thought you were trying to fix a rhyme when you included, ‘arise from your sleep America’).
Or Send Down The Rain where you sang and prayed for heavenly blessings. You also preached about Times, Seasons, Purpose, Hardwork, Sowing & Reaping.
In Religion na Politics you also talked about fake religious people and the corruption therein. But that doesn’t stop you from singing about the Holy Spirit.
You were very spiritual in the way you sang about the Spirit of God. In the Spirit Of Love you remind us that “heaven and earth will pass away. But the Spirit of Love will always be the same’.
You delivered one of the most powerful songs of hope in the Holy Spirit:
“Holy Spirit take over the world now…those who sow in tears shall reap in joy on that day…there will be no more tears … no more war”.
I guess you never forgot your Aladura Church roots. Where you got yourself busy serving God as a choir member. Composing songs and playing instruments.
It was the musical lessons and development of those choir days that enabled you to get established as one of the world’s greatest reggae artiste as well as get you to work with Tracy Chapman, Jimmy Cliff, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Beyoncé and many others.
You refused to be a Yoruba, not because you detested the tribe. But because you were raised by your Edo mother in Benin City when your Ijesha father left your mum. You spoke Benin fluently and were a typical Edo boy before you went global.
Many will mistake your voice for Bob Marley. And others will mistake your message for Fela Kuti’s. In those days Nigerian musical legends created their sounds in fuji and juju. You went for the Caribbean Reggae genre.  And you dominated it.
Your Legend spotter,
PS: Your four kids will remember you this way. Icon.