Victor Uwaifo, Sony Irabor,
By Sony Irabor
Professor (Sir) Victor Uwaifo was my backbone when we both served in Chief Lucky Igbinedion’s Cabinet.
He was Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism while I was in charge of Information and Orientation.
He was as lively and jovial as he was serious about issues.
No holds barred.
He applied the same level of seriousness to his work as Commissioner as he did his music!
He didn’t allow anything to come between his work as a musician, a Sculptor or as a public servant (Commissioner).
It is that restless vigour that pushed Victor Uwaifo to go back to school at an adult age, got more degrees and became a Professor in the prestigious University of Benin.
When he turned 80 on March 1 this year, we were all so excited in the Studios of Inspiration 92.3fm when he granted me a phone interview on SoniiraborLive.
Uwaifo was still performing his music until some weeks ago!
Nobody saw this sudden exit coming.
The Benin man with a sonorous voice.
The restless Edo man who is proudly Nigerian,
The music maestro who invented the double neck Guitar!
The Guitar Boy who saw Mammy Water.
The Legend that won accolades for his country and his state.
The Joromi Crooner whose 1965 song JOROMI is still a hit today!
In that song, Prof (You always reminded me never to forget that you were now a Professor), you admonished Joromi not to wrestle with the spirit saying
“…you had wrestled in the world… you maybe on your way to the great beyond…. Kese Kese Joromi ooo omi jo!” You would sing sonorously in Benin language.
Sir Victor were you referring to yourself 56 years ago today?
Bros. You have run a great race. You left an indelible legacy that will be very hard to fill.
The consolation is that there will be a lot to learn from the works you left behind in Art, Music, Sculpture and many more disciplines.
Nigeria is proud to have you as an exceptional citizen.
Edo State is proud to have you as a unique indigene.
Benin Kingdom is extremely proud to refer to you as a Son who made the Kingdom proud by composing almost all your songs in Bini/Edo language.
The Entertainment and Creative industry will miss you dearly. They still your compositions to cherish.
Your songs were as powerful in the Nigeria as they were all over the world!
Adieu Victor Efosa Uwaifo!
You will never be forgotten because your works will keep your memory alive.
Say a big Hello to the Most High God because you deserve a place in His Heavenly abode.
Good night Sir.