President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the family, friends and all lovers of vintage highlife music as played by Dr. Victor Abimbola Olaiya, who passed on at 89.
Buhari noted that the highlife maestro, known for his mastery of the trumpet, brought joy and delight to people across generations, with his songs which were both entertaining and didactic.
He said: “His 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, therefore, urged the younger generations of musicians to learn a lesson from Olaiya so that their songs can also remain evergreen, and outlive them.
In the same vein, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has commiserated with the family of the doyen of highlife music, Olaiya.
Fayemi, who said that Ekiti State and Nigeria had lost a global music icon that was one of the foremost musicians in the country, described the Ijesha-Isu-Ekiti born Olaiya as “Ekiti’s precious and priceless gift to the whole world.”
Olaiya, according to the governor, was a passionate singer, great entertainer, multi-talented instrumentalist and composer who had a good mastery of the stage.
Also, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described Olaiya as a legend of his time, whose music signposted a great epoch in the history of Nigeria.
In a statement in Abuja yesterday, the minister said that Olaiya’s death, even at a ripe old age, came as a rude shock.
He said the demise of the music legend was a great loss to the creative industry in particular and the entire country in general.
‘’Sir Victor Olaiya’s was not just a musician but a great patriot, hence it was not a surprise that he played officially when the country became Independent in 1960 and when it became a Republic in 1963,” he said.
The minister extended his condolences to the family, friends and associates of the late Olaiya, and prayed to God to grant repose to his soul and comfort the family left behind.