It is no longer news that iconic singer, guitarist and songwriter, Majekodunmi Fasheke, popularly known as Majek Fashek, has passed on. The ‘Send Down the Rain’ singer died on June 1, 2020, in New York, USA.
With his death, many people across different walks of life have paid tribute to the late ‘Rainmaker’. His manager and friend, Omenka Uzoma-Day, told Saturday Beats that Fashek passed on peacefully but was afraid to die with his messages. He expained that Majek Fashek did not want to die with hsi messages unreleased, he wanted to die with his messages all out there for the world to hear.
Asked if the singer had any unfulfilled dreams, Uzoma-Day said, “We had plans to record the album, ‘Army of Christ’. He had told me to start laying the foundation and making other plans. I remember clearly that before we started work on the album, he told me that he didn’t want to die with his messages and music. He pushed me to complete it, even when we didn’t have the resources. He insisted I must do whatever it takes for it to be released. I am happy that we have been able to record the album and there are many messages in it. ‘The Army of Christ’ album is loaded. I am going to miss Majek so much. There were times he woke me up in the morning just to play guitar for him so he could sing. After we finished, he would then lead the prayers. I am going to miss our morning devotions and how he used to cook for me. And at other times, he would wake me by 2am to cook for him. If I complained that I was tired, he always argued that I was his manager and he was entitled to me anytime. I had no choice but to obey him.
“We lived together and we were very close. He constantly told me to get married, that he would be the Best Man on the day. He also advised me to be close to my child. He was an African export and there was no one like him. I believe the only other people in his league were Fela (Anikulapo-Kuti), Michael Jackson and Bob Marley. Those people were spiritual in their different ways.
“Majek was very stubborn in the sense that whenever he had his mind set on doing something, he always made sure that he achieved it. That was what kept him alive.”
Uzoma-Day also stated that Fashek still ‘played around’ a day before his death. He added, “A day before (his death), he still played around and prayed. He just slept and didn’t wake up. He died a peaceful death. Co-incidentally, he passed away barely 15 minutes to my birthday. We always celebrated the day together but now, whenever I want to celebrate my birthday, I would always remember him. Majek was a national treasure. His birthday, March 7, should be celebrated all over the country.”
Paying tribute to his late dad, the singer’s son, Randy, said in a video recording on social media. He said, “I thank everybody who has showed love to us these past days. My family is devastated by this situation and we’re doing our best to give one another strength to overcome this. My father was an incredible person beyond the spiritual talents that he had. We appreciated his uniqueness, decision to stand for things no one else would stand for, his mistakes and experiences. The other part of him that most people don’t know is the dad aspect. He was a loving father of three— me, Michael and Destiny. I can go on for days on the amazing experiences we have had with him.
“I loved my father and I will miss him. I know he’s in a good place. God has a reason for everything. If you knew dad, you would know that he never said ‘bye’, he always said ‘peace and love’.”
Meanwhile, a former president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, Charles Oputa, aka Charly Boy, told Saturday Beats that his father, the late Justice Oputa, once brought Majek Fashek to him in his village in Imo State. He said, “I don’t want to do what others are doing by giving tributes. Majek was like a younger brother to me and he started with me in the village. Many people don’t know this but it was actually my father, the late Justice Oputa, that brought Majek to me. I recall that I was living in the village (Oguta, Imo State) then, away from my family. When I didn’t make any requests for money from my father for over two years, he later came to me and asked if I needed money or any other form of help. I told him that the only thing I needed was Majek Fashek, who was still a member of the group, Jastiq. I had heard about him from some musicians because I was trying to set up a band. I told my father to look for Fashek and give him whatever he wanted in order to come to me in the village. And a week later, Justice Oputa brought Fashek from Lagos to the village. Then he worked with me as a studio assistant and shared whatever income we made from the studio. At a time I even used to ask God how he could make Fashek so handsome and I wasn’t so fine.”
Another singer, Ade Bantu, said the ‘So Long, Too Long’ singer’s death was a devastating blow to music lovers all over the world. In a tribute sent to Saturday Beats, Bantu wrote, “Once again, death has dealt a devastating blow to music lovers across the globe. The news of Majek Fashek’s passing will need some time to sink in. These days, the grim reaper seems to be working overtime and I feel like I am becoming numb from mourning musical icons, elders, friends and colleagues. Majek was a gifted vocalist with a rare vulnerability and sincerity in his delivery that people instantly connected to.”