It was all tears on Sunday, June 10, when friends and professional colleagues of the late Nigerian Reggae Legend – Ras Kimono, trooped to the Lagoon Hospital Ikoyi to pay their respect.
The reggae maestro who passed on after a very brief illness, has been described as one of the biggest things to have happened to the Nigerian music industry.
According to reports, Ras Kimono who was last seen at the 60th birthday celebration of Sir Shina Peters on June 1st 2018, at Federal Palace Hotel Victoria Island took ill towards the end of last week.
It is said that the Rasta man’s condition continued to deteriorate leading to his being rushed to Lagoon Hospital in Ikoyi on Friday, June 8.
He died while at the hospital, and his corpse has since been deposited in a morgue.
In reaction to the very tragic event, Sir Shina Peters said he is still in shock over the death of his long term bosom friend, the Juju legend told newsmen that Ras Kimono’s loss was a huge blow to the Nigerian music industry.
Mr Tony Okoroji, Chairman of the Copyright Society of Nigeria, also reacted to the loss on Sunday.
Okoroji who confirmed the report in a phone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), described the death of the Delta State-born singer as “shocking and a big loss to the entertainment industry.”
“Right now I am talking to you from the Lagoon Hospital, and I can inform you that Ras Kimono is no more.
“His death came as a shock because I spoke with him yesterday.
“He will be terribly missed, as he was not just a board member of COSON, but a personal friend who gave me 100% support.
“He was supposed to travel to the United States today before he complained of a minor illness last night,” he said.
Okoroji, however, stressed that solace should be drawn from the fact that the late reggae legend left indelible footprints as a passionate artiste who contributed his quota to the growth of Nigerian music.
He, therefore, prayed God to grant his family the strength to bear the irreparable loss, adding that COSON and the entire music industry would celebrate the life and times of the late singer.
Born Ekeleke Elumelu on May 9, 1958, Ras Kimono started his music career as a member of the legendary Jastix Reggae Ital, alongside Majek Fashek, Amos McRoy Jegg and Black Rice Osagie.
His music was greatly influenced by the poverty, inequality and hardship he witnessed in his early life.
He released his solo debut album “Under pressure” on the Premier Music label in 1989, which propelled him to instant continental stardom.
The album had hits like “Under pressure”, “Natty get jail” and the massive hit “Rhumba Style.”
He later released a string of hit albums, touring all over Africa, Europe and the United States, promoting his brand of reggae music.
Ras Kimono won several awards including the Nigeria Music Awards, Fame Music Award, and before his death, he was still performing to fan-base of all ages, and his brand of music still remained timeless.