Celebrity Picks | 1 May 2011 09:44 CET

Music stars of yesteryears (2) ..Where are they now



Ras Kimono, Lijadu Sisters, Sir Shina Peters, Uwaifo, Onyeka Onwenu and Christy Essien- Igbokwe Apart from Mandy Ojugbana, who has obviously taken to the air-waves for a promising career in the Nigerian electronic media, the likes of Uncle Tunji Oyelana, Hakeeb Kareem, Dizzy K Falola, Lorine Okotie, Alex O, Alex Zitto, among others could be described as most wanted music stars of yesteryears. However, in this concluding part of our series that started last week, few of these stars of yesteryears have actually fizzled out while some have actually made a return to the game in which they set the pace many years ago.

Victor Olaiya

Baby Jowo, Omo Pupa, Odale Ore, Iye Jemila, among other classic hits of his rocked the music scene in the 60s and 70s and they conveniently placed Sir Victor Olaiya in the league of Nigerian living music legends. Although, the octogenarian highlife music genius no longer hits vocal booths for new album, he's learnt to be performing once in a while at his Surulere, Lagos' Stadium Hotel.

Christy Essien- Igbokwe

One time PMAN President and Calabar born lady of soul shook the music world back in those days with such songs as Omo mi seun rere, which is still a classic. Christy remains an icon and a living music legend. Her disappearance from the music scene few years ago has however left no one in doubt that probably the velvet- toned voice songstress has dumped her music career for good. Christy's plans to record another album and the recent remix of her old song Omo mi seun rere by one new female singer which had her dropping few lines, is an indication that she is making a comeback to the music scene.

Bongos Ikwe

Aside been the sweet voice behind the sound track of Cock Crow at Dawn, the old popular television drama series, Still Searching, Teardrops, and Mariama are some of Ikwe's classic songs that earned him an enviable position among the top 10 music stars of yesteryears. While he's still a making a frantic effort to return to music, Bongos Ikwe is currently making ends meet as an hotelier in Oturkpo, Benue State.

Dan Maraya Jos

He is the favourite of the Northerners in the 70s and 80s. Dan Maraya Jos became the toast of Hausa music lovers with the songs like Gulma Wuya, Auren Dole, Jawabin Aure, and host f classic hits. Ever since he came to Lagos to perform and was honoured during one of PMAN's events, few years ago, little or nothing has been heard of the Jos, Plateau State based Dan Maraya.

Felix Liberty

He is one of Nigerian great artistes who were carried away by their fame. The reckless life-style of Felix Aigbe Liberty of Ifeoma and 419 fame was the genesis of his fall scene and this really affected his music career. But thank God, he had since been arrested by the Holy Spirit and the lover boy as he was fondly called in those days is now a pastor, singing for the Lord.

Lijadu Sisters

They were the first Nigerian female identical twins to dictate the pace in the Nigerian music industry in the late 60's, 70s and early 80s. The sisters with voices released their debut album titled Iya Mi Jowo in 1969 on the Decca Records Label and dropped Danger, a sophomore album in 1976. Their final two albums before they went abroad were Sunshine and Horizon Unlimited in 1978 and 79 respectively. While in the US, they released Double Trouble; a compilation of previously recorded materials from their albums Horizon Unlimited and Danger, in1984. After settling in the US, they disappeared from the public eye, making details of their music career sketchy, as they rarely grant interviews. The Lijadu Sisters, will be forever remembered for their hit classic Orere Elejigbo

Victor Uwaifo

That the famous guitar boy is a man of many parts, is like stating the obvious. Apart from being a living music legend, Sir Victor Uwafor is a writer, sculptor, university teacher and inventor of repute. His all time mega hit song, Joromi, is reputed to be the first African song to win a gold disc, and certainly one of the hottest selling classics to have ever come out of Nigeria. Some of other unforgettable songs of Uwaifo include Siwo-Siwo, Sweet Banana, Guitar Boy, Do Amen Do, Akwete, Ebiss Ebiss, Dododo among others that have ruled the airwaves for many years.

Onyeka Onwenu

The Elegant stallion as she is fondly called is a name that has found its way in the history book of Nigerian music industry. Dancing in the sun, Ekwe, Iyogogo and One Love are just few of Onyeka's many classics that launched the sweetvoiced singer cum actress in the league of Nigerian music legends. Briefly, after the controversial One million march for the late General Sanni Abacha, Onyeka's few appearances in home videos sparked up speculations that probably she had dumped singing for acting. Although, she has also joined the political train, Onyeka sealed the lips of those who thought she had kissed music goodbye with a new album, which is currently under media review.

Ras Kimono

It is no longer news that the famous rub-a-dub master is back in Nigeria, Ras Kimono's much talked about new album seems to be long overdue for release. Delay that has sent tongues wagging that probably there is something that Kimono is afraid of. Anyway, while Rhumba style, Whats gwan, Under pressure, Natty get jail, among other old classics of Kimono had accorded him the power and respect which the US returnee still commands in the music industry, many music lovers have not stopped to wonder 'what's gwan' with Ras Kimono.

Bright Chiemezie

The fair-complexioned Akpu and Ogbono soup exponent is one of the leaders of old school (Highlife music) in the Nigerian music industry. After the release of his popular album 'Oyinbo Mortality', which comprised of hit tracks like Achoron Zigima sound, Remember your roots, Oyinbo mentality among others, the Okoro Junior as he is fondly called, has been battling to revive his music career. The leader of the Zigima sound, who relocated to his village in Umuahia, Anambra State few years back, breezed to Lagos late last year to promote his new album

Sir Shina Peters (SSP)

The highly- gifted guitarist experienced a phenomenal rise to stardom with the success of Ace, his debut album as a solo artiste that sold several millions of copies. This was after he parted ways with his age-long rival and former mate, Segun Adewale. They both formed a band known as Sir Shina Adewale in the 80's The success of SSP, as he is fondly called, follow-up albums like Experience, Shinamania among others permanently put Shina Peters on the lips of both the young and old in the Nigerian music industry. Interestingly, while critics believe that Shin Peters has lost the grip on his groove despite his romance with Kennis Music a couple of years ago, which brought about the re-mix of one of his old songs, SSP seems to be getting it back with recent stage performances.

Esse Agesse

This soul queen, whose style of dancing and singing reminds one of the present day Janet Jackson. The beautiful dark lady laid a siege on the Nigerian music industry in the mid 80s and early 90s, with some of her classical songs like Back to the basics, Fine pepper soup and kissing game, a duet with Blacky. Although, she is currently romancing politics, Esse had since announced her return to the music scene with new gospel album, which audio and musical videos hit the airwaves sometimes ago.


The acclaimed dancehall king, Edward Iyang, also known as Blacky got two new albums after many years of hiatus in the music scene. While Blacky is battling hard to regain his balance musically with his new efforts, he is still much relevant with few recent performances at high profile events. Blacky's old tunes like 'Rosie', 'Bang belly', 'Blacky's kank', among others are the reason why the name Blacky, is in the consciousness of old generation music lovers.

Daniel Wilson

This is a reggae artiste with a style, his numerous songs had fetched him one alias or the other, like 'Mr. Ragamuffin', 'Original Bad boy' and 'Don Dada'. He made a breakthrough in the Nigerian Music Industry in the late 80s, when he hit the scene with his popular songs, "Mr. Ragamuffin" and Original Bad Boy". Since then, he has been making waves among the raves of Nigerian entertainment industry but along the line he took a leave to re – lunch his career with an album in the new millennium. Almost through with a new album to relaunch him back to the game, O.B.B, who dropped the microphone for confectionery business sometimes ago lamented that he regrets quitting the music scene.

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