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Bobby Benson

Posted by By JOSSY IDAM on 2008/05/18 | Views: 8188 |

Bobby Benson

The 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Benson, musician and entertainer last Wednesday, May 14, 2008, brought together his 10 children, grand children, relations, friends and admirers of the maestro in Lagos.

The 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Benson, musician and entertainer last Wednesday, May 14, 2008, brought together his 10 children, grand children, relations, friends and admirers of the maestro in Lagos.

Around midday, a close-knit crowd of the Benson clan gathered beside the graveside of the music legend in the family estate at Ikorodu, Lagos, and in a unique, quiet way prayed and honoured their father.

Memory lane
At the green lawn of the estate, live size black and white photographs of the ever-smiling musician festooned the graveside. In readiness for the occasion, the grave was re-decorated with a marble stone emblazoned with the musician’s full name: Benarad Olabinjo Shobowole Benson and his bust carved in black stone.

Though the musician wasn’t a regular church goer, a pastor from the Redeem Christian Church of God, Gbagada, conducted an hour and 30 minutes service in his memory. As a gospel band played during the service, sweet, good things were said of him. Maxwell, his son told Sunday Sun his father really didn’t like to simply be labeled a musician only.

“The man was much more. He was a multi instrumentalist, band leader, hotel proprietor and showbiz impresario.” He said. Another of his sons, Adeyemi, a musician and leader of his own band-Breeze in similar tone disclosed that his father was even a stand-up comedian and magician. “those who used to watch The Bobby Benson show on NTA in the 70s will tell you much,” the musician and Bobby Benson’s look-alike said.
Explaining the reason for the occasion, Bobby Benson’s first son, Tony said: “The figure – 25 is my father’s silver Jubilee. We his children decided on this to honour him and remember what he lived for, his good qualities and all that.”

Born April 11, 1922, Bobby Benson in full maturity held music lovers spell bound with hits like Taxi Driver, Mafe, Iyawo, Nylon Dress, Taxi Driver, Niger Mambo, Gentleman Bobby and more. A musicologist, Benson Idonije who was at the event described him as ‘’the godfather of Nigerians’ popular music”

Bobby’s biography
His son, Maxwell is further striving to immortalize the musician’s name. He is currently working on his old man’s biography which he has tentatively titled, Bobby Benson of Africa. Researching on the book has taken him to places. He recently went to Ghana to see Nat Buckle, a renown musician and his father’s friend. He told Sunday Sun he intends going to see the musician’s first wife – Cassandra.
The half Scotish and Caribbean is now 81 and lives in London. He equally wants to meet his father’s old friends like B.B. king and Hugh Masakela.

Bobby’s Women
As a teaser, Maxwell said the book will encompass his music and women. The musician, Sunday Sun investigation revealed had seven wives and sired 10 children. Tony’s mother is half Scotish and half Caribbean, Maxwell’s mother is a Ghanaian, Adeyemi’s mother is from Enugu state, Tutu’s mother is a Togolese. The impresario who died when he was 62 had two Yoruba wives and some more women who had no child for him.
The book which promises to be a stunner, according to Maxwell, will be presented to the public in the first quarter of next year.
Guests to the event were later treated to food and drinks.

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