Nigerians are still battling to believe we just lost our legendary highlife maestro, Victor Olaiya, who passed on yesterday, 12th February 2020.
Michael Odiong of Premiere Music confirmed the death of the legend, according to Channels Television.
Victor Abimbola Olaiya was born on December 31, 1930 in Calabar, and is the 20th child of a family of 24. He was well known with the musical instrument, the trumpet, which he played the highlife style.
In 1954, Victor Olaiya formed his own band, “the Cool Cats,” and his band was chosen to play at the state ball when Queen Elizabeth II visited Nigeria in 1956, and later to play at the state balls when Nigeria became independent in 1960 and when Nigeria became a republic in 1963.
“During the Nigerian Civil War of 1967–70, Victor Olaiya was given the rank of a lieutenant colonel (honorary) in the Nigerian army and his band played for the troops at various locations”.
He’s the legend behind the famous tracks “Baby Jowo” and “Omo Pupa,” and an uncle to the late actress, Moji Olaiya.
Devastated by the news of the passing of Dr. Victor Olaiya – maestro, mentor, legend. Thanks for the beautiful music. Thanks for the inspiration. Blessed for the honour of sharing a mic and stage with you. Rest in peace baba.”
- Curled from Bella Naija.