The Popular Raggae King, Majek Fashek died on June 1, 2020 of an illness in the United States; the cause of death is yet to be revealed. He was one of the original Nigerian artists considered to be drawn to Caribbean music, particularly reggae.
Majekodunmi Fasheke known by his stage name, Majek Fashek was born on March 7, 1963 in Benin City to an Edo mother and a Yoruba father but identifies with his Benin root probably due to the fact that he was raised by his mum from the age of 11 after the death of his father.
Fasheke’s mum was a big inspiration to him as she was involved in traditional religious ceremonies of Benin, where the Olokun rhythms were used as accompaniment in the worship of the river goddess; he used to play the maracas during the ceremonies. He learned to play the guitar in secondary school where he joined a band known as Jah Stix, with the stage name, Rajesh Kanal. Members of Jah Stix were Amos McRoy Gregg, Black Rice Osagie and eventually, Ras Kimono too. The group became popular at the time on NTA Benin Show Music Panorama. They toured with another Raggae group, The Mandators. Evi-Edna-Ogholi was an upcoming Raggae singer known back then as Edi Rasta. Fasheke began his career as solo artist after the group disbanded in the 1980s.
The famous artist also admired and mirrored the well known Jamaican legend, Bob Marley who was his major influence.
He was married to Rita Fashek who inspired the song Without You; the couple had four children but said to have been divorced since 2015.
He rose to international fame in the year 1987 when his song titled “Send down the rain” was claimed to have started a rain storm that ended the worst droughts in the history of Nigeria. He was then often referred to as ‘Rainmaker’ and ‘Prophet’.
Some of his works include His debut solo album, Prisoner of Conscience which featured multiple award-winning tracks like Send Down The Rain, Little Patience, I & I Experience, So long too long, Spirit of Love, Rainmaker, Weep Not Children and Rasta Ganstar.
Majekodunmi Fasheke (Ifa-Kii-she-eke) has various translations such as: “high priest who does not lie”, “powers of miracles” and “(system or medium of) divination does not lie”. Well, this might just be the reason why he was said to have ended the drought recorded in the ’80s through his music.
Outside his musical career, he also played a supporting role in Nollywood’s “Mark of the Beast” (2000) and starred in a commercial for nonalcoholic beverage called Diamalt.
Fashek’s drug addiction came to light in 2015 when it was revealed that the he was bankrupt and apparently the same year of his said divorce.
He later got checked into a drug rehabilitation centre in Abuja, and made a comeback afterwards.
In December 2016 Fashek contributed the song “We Are Not Afraid” to a video featuring 200 celebrities to raise funds for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Human Rights Watch (HRW).
His death was rumoured in September 2019 but his manager, Mr Omenka Uzoma debunked it however, mentioned that Fashek was critically ill.
He also admitted that the ailing star was in need of financial support, to which Billionaire businessman and philanthropist Femi Otedola pledged to cover all the medical expenses.
He was close with Nigerian drummer and Bandleader, Fela Anikulapo Kuti (another legendary artist); and worked with the likes of Jimmy Cliff, Tracy Chapman and Snoop Dogg as well.
Recall that we reported about his death, which was announced on his Instagram Page by his manager on Monday morning.
Fashek died at the age of 57 (1963-2020)
(By Miss Bimbo)