So Abiodun reminded me about Majek Fashek this evening and I’m listening to him right now. I have been a hardcore fan of Majek for as long as I’ve been alive, maybe even before I was born. I have Majek songs that he’s forgotten he sang and that man has no bad song, all of them are amazing. I don’t have a favourite song of his but Mother always makes me smile.
There’s a line in that song that goes Mama Tete Oyoyo, on and on. It’s nearly impossible to find a child under the age of three who can pronounce my name, they usually say Tete or Atete. At the time the song was making the rounds, I wasn’t even old enough to pronounce my name properly. So I thought Majek sang the song for my mother and grandmother (God rest her soul) who were Mama Adaeze and Adaeze’s Mama.
Kingsley Ogoro used I Come From The Ghetto in Osuofia and even if that movie had been total trash, it would have still been one of my favourite films because of that song. I don’t know if it’s because Lawanson is my hometown or just because I’m razz at heart but I love that song in ways I can’t explain. So Long makes me sad, nearly thirty years after the song was made, we aren’t even sitting around for So Long as the song accused. We are lying flat now.
I try not to listen to Majek often, it always ends up in tears. After Fela, Majek was the Nigerian musician with the best sound, the only reason I rate Fela above him is because Afrobeats became a movement that endures until today while Kpangolo (Majek’s sound) has no successors. I always wonder what Majek could have become if he hadn’t become a slave to white dust, I wonder how a man so insanely talented allowed his gifts die and it scatters my head.
If you ever need a cautionary tale about the dangers of drug abuse, all you need to do is put up an old picture of Majek and a current one. I remember finding a picture of him that shocked me, he looked so handsome and resembled Bob Marley.
PS Majek songs are not to be played on phone speakers or ordinary speakers. Surround sound systems all the way.