Adams Oshiomhole to rehabilitate Majek Fashek
“With the level of creativity embedded in him, I thought Majek would be an international legend by now.” With these words, Reggae star, Orits Wiliki, one of the men that discovered and recorded Majek Fashek's first album, Send Down The Rain, captured his expectations of the future Rainmaker, whom he met in the mid-1980s in Benin City.
However, despite an initial successful album and a deal with Interscope, an American label, Majek's fortunes dwindled amidst controversy that he was doing hard drugs in God's own country.
He relocated to the country late last year and, despite statements that he would soon return to his American base and various concerts tagged, Majek Fashek's Farewell Party, he has simply stayed put, confirming rumours that all was not well.
Well, now, there is hope in the air. Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has come to his rescue.
The governor marked his first Workers' Day celebration on May 1, 2009, at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, as the Chief Executive Officer of Edo State.
However, the high point of the event was when Rainmaker, Edo State-born Majek, took to the stage and re-enacted his magic to the delight of the audience.
Clad in his trademark hat, blazer and key-holder for an earring, and wearing a cheap chain on his neck, he was in his full ghetto regalia. It was reminiscent of his heyday when his hit album, Send Down The Rain, held sway.
Though looking emaciated and showcasing a ghost of his former robust self, Majek's voice resonated like he was on the stage for a live recording. In what appeared like a test of his popularity after a along absence, the crowd sang along to his choruses as he dished out snippets of his old vibes like I Am An Hungry Man and Send Down The Rain.
The receptive crowd of workers from both the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Nigerian Labour Congress (NUC) were surprised when mid-way into the programme, which featured speeches by union leaders, Majek suddenly popped on the podium with his guitar and an emergency band.
When he ended his show, satisfied that he was welcome back home and with the applause of the crowd thundering after savouring the good music on a hot May Day, Majek could not wait to meet Governor Oshiomhole.
Though we learnt that at a dinner later in the day, the maestro, in a one-on-one with the governor, had a story to tell about how his trip to a foreign land went awry because of a number of intriguing issues.
There were indications that Governor Oshiomhole no doubt became convinced that there was more to the challenges which Majek went through after being acclaimed a superstar in Africa and rated as successor to the late reggae legend, Bob Nesta Marley.
On how he came to be part of the May Day celebrations, we learnt that some Nigerians of Edo extraction living in the USA were concerned about the challenges facing Majek and decided that bringing him back home to Nigeria was the best bet. They rallied round and got him a nationwide tour tagged, Return of the Rain Maker, which between November–December, 2008, took Majek to Lagos, Port Harcourt, Jos, Kaduna and Benin City, on a musical journey that did not turn out in his favour as far as money was concerned. Those concerned Nigerians wanted to raise enough funds for the medical rehabilitation of the star.
Conscious of the fact that for the musician to remain the star he is and continue to render his philosophical lyrics and songs of redemption, he needed more. His pals later came together and decided on the meeting with Governor Oshiomhole on May Day.
We gathered that Majek has since set up a medical appointment with Dr. Moses Momoh, the Edo State Health Commissioner, on a number of
issues bordering on his health as priority. We learnt that this is the first step Governor Oshiomhole hopes will open the doors to a proper assessment of the needs and challenges facing the musician.
Currently living in Lagos, Majek, whose nuclear family lives in New York, USA, has a son, Randy, whom we gathered is not into music like his father, but has a baritone voice that could jolly well pave the way for a musical career tomorrow. From here, he is expected to access the Oshiomhole government's total package designed to give him proper medical rehabilitation so he could regain his physical capabilities well enough to re-enact his musical prowess.