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Dr. Victor Olaiya’s Place In History Is Guaranteed – Buhari

Sir Victor Olaiya

Sir Victor Olaiya

President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned with the family, friends of late singer, Dr. Victor Olaiya, who passed on at 89.

His condolence message was shared by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in Abuja today.

According to PMB, Olaiya brought joy and delight to Africans across generations with his entertaining and didactic style of music.

He added that he also taught the citizens lessons on life, good neighbourliness, and national cohesion with his amazing sound.

His words, β€œHis 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 then begged the younger generations of musicians to leanr a thing or two from the singer so that their songs can also remain evergreen, and outlive them.

R.I.P Dr. Victor Olaiya.

Victor Abimbola Olaiya (born 31 December 1930, died 12 February 2020), also known as Dr Victor Olaiya, was a Nigerian trumpeter who plays in the highlife style. Though extremely famous in Nigeria during the 1950s and early 1960s, Olaiya received little recognition outside his native country. Alhaji Alade Odunewu of the Daily Times described him as “The Evil Genius of Highlife.”

Olaiya was born on 31 December 1930, in Calabar, Cross River State, the 20th child of a family of 24. His parents, Alfred Omolona Olaiya and Bathsheba Owolabi Motajo, came from Ijesha-Ishu in Ekiti State. Olaiya came from a very rich family. His father’s house called Ilọijọs Bar stood on 2 Bamgbose Street, Lagos Island, until it was demolished on 11 September 2016. At an early age he learned to play the Bombardon and the French Horn. After leaving school he moved to Lagos, where he passed the school certificate examination in 1951 and was accepted by Howard University, US, to study civil engineering. Olaiya instead pursued a career as a musician, to the disapproval of his parents. He played with the Sammy Akpabot Band, was leader and trumpeter for the Old Lagos City Orchestra and joined the Bobby Benson Jam Session Orchestra.

Olaiya married many wives. He has children and grandchildren. One of his daughters, Moji Olaiya, was a Nollywood actress. He sings with his son Bayode Olaiya.

Olaiya’s music bridges between Ghanaian highlife and what would become Afrobeat.


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