By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Residents of Benin City, capital of Edo state, on Monday woke up to the rumor of the death of popular activist and highlife musician, Ambassador Osayomore Joseph.
The rumor which spread on several social media platforms like harmattan fire, rocked the entire ancient city to its foundation, even as it shocked thousands of his fans, eliciting comments and torrents of condolences from his admirers.
A post on one of the social media platforms read: “Ambassador Osayomore Joseph just passed on! The voice for the voiceless, the voice of Benin. Rest on brother, the song remains the same.”
However, not long after our correspondent commenced investigation to confirm the authenticity of the rumors, information filtered in that the man is very much alive, hale and hearty.
One Peter Omoruyi Igbinedion (Esama), countered:
“Ambassador Osayomore Joseph is *NOT Dead!*
“Stop spreading unnecessary rumours!
“I just spoke with his son – Eheneden Osayomore (my friend). We live in the same Oko Central axis.
“In fact, he is even laughing that this is the 3rd time, that such wicked rumour is being posted in the social media.”
In another post titled “FAKE NEWS!”, Comrade Eghe Nova, wrote:
“The rumour going round that Ambassador Osayomore Joseph has travelled is fake news. I can tell you authoritatively that he is in Benin, hale, healthy and ready for any performance engagement. Ignore rumours, please.”
Uwa Osayomore, teenage daughter of the legendary musician, further dispelled the rumor of her father’s death in a Facebook video, where-in she went into her father’s room and spoke with him.
In the video, Ambassador Osayomore Joseph, was seeing making a phone call, saying: “They are mad” several times.
Ambassador Osayomore Joseph is a living legend of Edo highlife music, well known and respected in Benin City for his creative music and activism.
He is one of the pioneers of popular African highlife music and he has spent his life singing songs in protest of the rampant corruption in the country.
It is also on record that he was hunted and persecuted for his hard stance against the iron rule of past military governments in the country.