award-winning reggae star, Majek Fashek to live performance, VICTOR OGUNYINKA, chronicles
the rise, fall and rise of the reggae legend.
“Addiction is a problem that can affect anyone
irrespective of race, socio- economic status or religion.”
uniqueness of reggae music is clearly spelt, in colour, style, choice of words
and even intonation.
over the world that has imprinted their legacy in the minds of followers and
distant admirers alike. In Africa, Lucky Dube has remained a household name for
his philosophical and sometimes prophetic style.
larger than life in the trade of reggae music is Nigerian born star,
Majekodunmi Fasheke, popularly known as Majek Fashek.
mainly 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” His real birth date is not known as both parents gave him
contradicting months, and he would later adopt his musical hero Bob Marley‘s birthday – 6 February – as his own. After his parents separated, he lived
in Lagos with his father, a school principal who died when Fashek was 10; the
latter moved back to Benin City with his mother, and soon
joined the choir in his local Aladura church
with his cousin future bandmate, Amos McRoy Gregg and learned to play the trumpet and guitar whilst composing songs for
best known for the 1988 album Prisoner
of Conscience, which included
the single “Send Down the Rain”, winning him several awards. Also known as The
Rainmaker, he has also worked
with various artists worldwide including Tracy
Dogg, and Beyoncé.
Lucky Dube, Bob Marley and a host of others, and like many of the reggae
apostles, he had a fair share of how not to be an exemplary model and like
many more, he is up and running, making live performances look like a
many other musicians, Fashek was caught in the wind of exuberance; having
fallen so deep and almost uncontrollably to drugs, which at some point, made
him bankrupt and caused some psychological disorder.
Services, centre for psychological medicine, Abuja. A save-Majek-fund raising
project was raised by one of his backup singers, Monica Omorodion, thankfully,
they didn’t have to wait for long as Warri young billionaire, Ayiri Emami, took it all
upon himself to redeem and save the face of reggae in Nigeria by footing all
concluded 2015 felabration festival, whining and drooling, one begins to
wonder if he was ever out of the scene but of course, falling they say doesn’t
define failure but staying therewith is the final nail on a failure’s coffin.
But for Fashek, it was just one of many ways one cannot stay ontop of the
ladder after fighting through hardwork to get up.
it worth, his time at the rehab may have yielded one noticeable difference
already; the free smoking reggae star was, maybe not so energetic on stage as
before; critics and fans have attached different meanings to it, ranging from
old age to inability to run from pillar to post on stage, probably as a result
of not taking drugs before going on stage.
about three to four months in rehab, Fashek seems to have turned a new man. While
speaking to journalists at the rehabilitation center, he revealed that he was
on his way to recovery as a result of him listening to advice. He also lent a
word to youths on drugs and its dangers.
help me access care, especially Chief Ayiri Emami, Monica Swaida who started
the campaign and my brothers, Black Rice and Charly Boy, who have stood by me
during this period”.
anyone irrespective of race, socio- economic status or religion. It is good
that Majek has come out to willingly let people know his problem, but he is not
the only artiste with such a problem, we need to offer them help, without being
also gave a word on drugs, saying that Nigerians should rather encourage and
support Fashek while also seeing him as a model to make those with
addiction problems to seek help.
drugs without necessarily knowing the implication to their mental health, but
refuse to seek treatment because of criticism and stigmatisation.
activities, for Fashek, it was not all rosy with the media. He accused the
media of hyping his addiction condition and making him worse than ever.
the media played a massive role in making me the ‘rain maker’. Sadly, they have
also been an instrument to my predicament. I have played with a lot of
reputable international stars and done a lot of positive stuffs, but this was
never reported by the media in Nigeria.
media hyped my struggle and made me feel more worthless than I already felt, because
of my botched contract with Island Records. I am hopeful that as I make this
recovery journey, that you all will be kinder to me and report stories that
would reflect my victory from my addiction,” he said.
and bosom friend of the reggae star, Charles Oputa, popularly called Charly boy, was quick to appreciate the
efforts of well wishers in getting Fashek back on his feet, adding: “Finally I
want to use this space to say a big thank you to all the people, who
contributed in cash, time and the show of love and support to our beloved
recruited by her into this campaign, to Dr Vincent for going beyond the call of
duty, to my man Black Rice for being
a friend indeed, and to our main man, Chief Ayiri for picking up all the bills.
May the good Lord bless each and everyone for your support and kindness. It is
well,” he said.
While Fashek has proven to be a winner
on the stage with multiple awards to his credit, he has also proven to be a winner even when his strength could not carry him; well wishers have however
emphasised that the only way the Rainmaker would appreciate the gesture of all
and sundry is to steer clear of what got him into deep waters few months back.