Nigeria’s reggae music icon, Majekodunmi Fasheke, popularly known by his stage name, Majek Fashek, is dead.
The death of the music legend was announced by his manager, Umenka Uzoma who wrote;
“Today been having pressure calls, well it is true that the African No 1 Legendary ICON has gone to be with the LORD his Maker.”
“Let celebrate him, his achievements, and his family, whatever decisions made by his immediate family will be notified.”
Majek had been plagued by a mysterious illness for years now which affected his music career greatly.
Majek was born in Benin-City, Edo state, and died at the age of 57.
According to reports, the “Send Down the Rain” crooner, died in a hospital in New York on Monday June 1.
Until his death, he was one of Nigeria’s surviving Reggae music legends. Majek attracted international attention in 1987, with his self-penned tune, ‘Send down the Rain.’
The singer also played a supporting role in the 2000 Nollywood movie ‘Mark of the Beast’.
Below are 13 things you probably didn’t know about Majek Fashek
1. Majek Fashek various translations of his name Fasheke (Ifa-Kii-she-eke) include “high priest who does not lie”, “powers of miracles” and “(system or medium of) divination does not lie”.
2. After Majek’s parents separated, Fashek remained in Benin City with his mother and joined the choir in his local Aladura Church and learned to play the trumpet and guitar whilst composing songs for the choir.
3. In the early eighties Fashek, who at the time went by the stage name Rajesh Kanal, joined the group Jastix with McRoy Gregg, and was lead singer for Black Rice. They were best known as the in-house band on the show Music Panorama on NTA Benin City.
4. In 1988, shortly after Jastix disbanded Fashek, he began a solo career by releasing the album Prisoner of Conscience and became Nigeria’s top reggae artist after the song Send Down The Rain became the most popular song of the year.
5. In 1989, he won six PMAN awards, which included Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Reggae Artist of the Year.
6. After leaving Tabansi Records, he was signed to CBS Nigeria in the early 1990s and released So Long Too Long. In 1990 he was signed to Interscope Records and released the critically acclaimed album Spirit Of Love, produced by “Little Steven” Van Zandt.
7. Fashek played a supporting role in the 2000 Nollywood movie Mark of the Beast and starred in a commercial for non-alcoholic beverage Diamant.
8. In 2016, he performed in a comedy show (with more than ten thousand audiences in attendance) in Lagos, Nigeria, with a roundly power-filled and soul-lifting performance.
9. In December 2016 Fashek contributed the song “We Are Not Afraid” to a video featuring 200 celebrities to raise funds for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Human Rights Watch (HRW).
10. During the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians, he was unhappy about the Nigeria-South Africa crisis. He recalled that he did a song Free Mandela and it helped back then.
11. Fashek was married to Rita Fashek who inspired the song “Without You”; the couple had four children together, but have since divorced.
12. In 2015, it was revealed that Fashek was bankrupt and battling drug addiction. After admitting that he needed help, he was admitted into a drug rehabilitation centre in Abuja, but has since recovered, and returned to music.
13. Besides his struggle with drug addiction, other health conditions required his hospitalization on several occasions. He was rumored dead in September 2019 but his manager quelled the rumors, confirming that Majek had indeed been critically ill, hospitalized at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, England, and in dire need of financial assistance