Buhari, Obaseki mourn as Joromi crooner, Uwaifo dies at 80

August 29, 2021
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Deji Elumoye in Abuja and Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

President Muhammadu Buhari and Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki have mourned the death of ‘Joromi’ crooner and highlife music icon and multi-instrumentalist, Sir Victor Uwaifo.

The music legend, whose song “Mammy Water,” was a hit for decades, died at the age of 80.
One of his children, Uwaifo Peter de Rock, broke the news of the demise of his father, a professor of Visual Arts, University of Benin (UNIBEN), on his Facebook page, yesterday evening.
While Peter did not disclose the cause of the death of his late father, he nevertheless, expressed anguish at the passing of the music star.

In his Facebook comments, Peter said: “Daddy whyyyyyyyyyy Did you leave us now.
“Professor (Sir) Victor Uwaifo has gone to rest. Black Saturday for me one week now after collaborating with me.”
The legendary musicologist served as Commissioner for Arts and Culture under the administration of former Governor Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State.

A first-class graduate of Visual Arts, his undergraduate project of a ‘king on a horse,’ is a signature arts poster at the Ekenwan Campus of the university.
Uwaifo played the guitar, flute, keyboards with dexterity and had highly ambulant kinetic dancing steps.
Details of his death were still unknown, as at the time of filing this report.

In his condolence message, President Muhammadu Buhari, through his Media Adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the multi- talented musician, left a legacy of successes in many areas of life, including academia and administration.
He joined the Nigerian music industry and performing artistes, home and abroad, in mourning the former first Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism in Edo State, who was also the first musician and instrumentalist to be given National Honours Merit, Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) in 1983.

President Buhari believed the renowned musician, with global appeal and recognitions, lived for many firsts, which include invitation to the State House by four presidents and Heads of State, and winner of a gold disc in Africa for his song, “Joromi’’, released in 1965 at the age of 24.

President Buhari also yesterday extended heartfelt condolences to the family of the legendary artist, Professor Yusuf Adebayo Cameron Grillo, the pioneer Head of the Department of Arts and Printing, Yaba College of Technology.
The President believed that from his stained glass paintings, to showcasing the rich Yoruba culture and heritage in his works, the legendary artist and founding President of the Society of Nigeria Artists (SNA) was a master in promoting creativity and raising awareness on the beauty in indigenous traditions.

Meanwhile, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has also mourned the passing of legendary musician.
The governor, in a statement, expressed shock and sadness over the news of the passing of Prof. Uwaifo, noting that his death was a loss to Edo State, Nigeria and the Black race.
According to him, “I received the news of the loss of legendary musician and art teacher, Prof. Victor Uwaifo, with shock and sadness.

“He was talented, phenomenal and an illustrious son of Edo State who wowed the world with his array of skills, notably his music talent.
“An all-round artist, Prof. Uwaifo was an enigma, who made music for all, bringing the contemporary Benin culture to the world stage and providing vicarious experience of the peculiarities of our art and culture to a global audience.”

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