Lagos, Nigeria – The Nigerian golden Reggae legend, Majek Fashek has passed on at the age of 57. The performer, popular for hits such as Send Down the Rain and So Long for Too Long, died in his sleep on Monday morning, as reported by his manager in New York.
Majek Fasek, born Majekodunmi Fasheke, 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, worked with various artists worldwide including Tracy Chapman, Jimmy Cliff, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg, and Beyoncé.
An International renown artist, that could easily be listed as part of Africa’s unappreciated legends spent the latter days of his life in penury, as compared to his counterparts in first world countries. He was hardly celebrated by public figures or the government of Nigeria. He is among the many legendary talents in Nigeria who have no cultural relief fund or support from the government to celebrate many of their historic contributions to the heritage and culture of the country. As of the time of this publication, no official tribute has been aired on Nigerian National television or announcement of his memorial.
His last days were replete with multiple allegations of excessive drug use and illness, most of which the artist declined to publicly confirm. In mid-2000 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.
In September, his publicist sought financial help from the public to help care for the Nigerian legend, a call that was heeded by many, including businessman Femi Otedola. He was treated at a hospital in London for several months before he moved to the United States in January 2020 to be with his family.
He would be remembered by fans and the many people who recount the wonderful memories of a rising African star that was born in Nigeria. 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.
He is also remembered in South Africa, for his contribution during the apartheid struggle. He wrote the song Free Africa, Free Mandela, calling for the release of the leader of the African National Congress in South Africa, Nelson Mandela.
The song is a beautiful reflection of what is happening in Africa with racism and the current campaign that followed the death of George Floyd in America, The songs of Nigerian Majek Fasek are one of consciousness and now part of the historic African pieces for blacks everywhere says Dr. Uman from the Arts college in Canada.
Writing on Instagram, Mr. Uzoma said it was “a time for us all to celebrate his achievements, and not mourn”.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.
Farewell,, from the fans of the rainmaker :