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By Bimbo Esho
I was at a meeting somewhere in Surulere this afternoon when a friend called me to ask me if I heard the news of Wonder Dayo Kujore’s death. I was in great shock because I remembered I chatted with this great icon a few weeks ago discussing an event our company Evergreen Music and National Theatre was putting together in December.
Immediately after my friend dropped I put a call through to his number to authenticate the news. The woman who picked his phone didn’t allow me to talk and she said straight away “Aunty Bimbo to to Ni nkan ti E Fe be re ( Aunty Bimbo what you want to confirm is true). The woman introduced herself as his wife and said he has been ill. I suddenly noticed her voice fade away as I presume she must have been in shock like the rest of us.
The news of his death is touching because WonderDayo Kujore was just coming back to the limelight after a long break from music.
I remember with nostalgia the day I sent him his picture taken from an album sleeve from our archive. He told me he was just 18 years old in the picture and he reminisced how he received tutelage under Prince Adekunle before forming his own band.
Little did I know it will be his last supper when our company decided to give him recognition away for his contribution to Juju music at an Elders Forum event tagged FAAJI AGBA EKO held at Up Asso Club in 2020. So hard to forget his gratitude that night and his contagious gentle mien and how he kept calling me by my Oriki.
His song Wisdom released last year has continued to receive massive airplay on radio and frequently performed by some new generation Juju acts.
The Abeokuta born musician who would have been 64 in April will be sorely missed by all in the entertainment industry and his legacy will continue to stand the test of time.
- Bimbo Esho is the CEO of Evergreen Music Company, curators of classic African muisc.