Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has described the late music icon, Victor Olaiya, as a legend of his time, whose music signposted a great epoch in the history of Nigeria.
Mohammed, in a statement on Thursday by his spokesman, Segun Adeyemi, said Olaiya’s death, even at a ripe old age, came as a rude shock.
He said the demise of the music legend was a great loss to the creative industry in particular and the entire country in general.
“Sir Victor Olaiya’s was not just a musician but a great patriot, hence it was not a surprise that he played officially when the country became independent in 1960 and when it became a republic in 1963,” Mohammed said.
“The doyen of highlife music charted a path for many generations of Nigerian musicians, and this great role was not lost on him when he did a ‘collabo’ with 2Face Idibia that was received with much acclaim.
“It was a symbolic handover of the torch of excellence to the new generation of Nigerian musicians.”
Mohammed said the best tribute that can be paid to the memory of the late music legend is for today’s generation of musicians to continue to strive for excellence in their field.
The minister extended his condolences to the family, friends and associates of the late Sir Olaiya, and prayed to God to grant repose to his soul and to comfort the family he left behind.