“Legends Of Nigerian Music” Still Sitting In Limbo


Fired by the zeal to immortalize Nigerian music artistes both living and dead, Femi Lasode, a former national president of the Performing Musicians Employers of Nigeria (PMAN) initiated Nigerian Musicians Hall of Fame in 2002. As part of the elaborate package of the project, a book designed to document the biographies of some of the most popular artistes that Nigeria had ever produced was published that year.

To facilitate the packaging of the book entitled Legends of Nigerian Music, a select number of music journalists including yours sincerely, was constituted to pen the book which turned out to be a compendium of the life and times of Nigeria’s foremost musicians.

Among those who contributed to Legends of Nigerian Music were Tope Olukole (Tribune), Richard Eghaghe (First Degree Communications), Steve Ayorinde (Comet, presently Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos State), Charles Okogene (Global Excellence) and late Ogbonnaya Amadi (Vanguard).

Others are Sony Neme (ThisDay), Uzo Chikere (Champion), Justine Akpovi-Esade (The Guardian), Austine-Fair Nwulu (Hallmark), and Ben Ufeli (Rhythm 93.7 FM). There were also very rewarding contributions from such veterans as Benson Idonije (The Guardian), Oji Onoko (ThisDay), Sunny Aribioye (Daily Times) and Funsho Aina (The Punch).

PMAN under Lasode had intended that Legends of Nigerian Music would be a catalogue of the best of the Nigerian musicians across times and could not be contained in just one book of 132 pages. With generous mention and description of the works and times of such artistes as Chris Ajilo, Celestine Ukwu, Bobby Benson, Julius Araba, Rex JIM Lawson, E.C. Arinze, Dele Ojo, Ali Chukwuma and a host of others, Lasode wished that the biographies and works of all worthy Nigerian artistes would be eventually documented for posterity in Volume ii of the book. After the launch in Abuja as part of the Nigerian Musicians Hall of Fame, everything fizzled out.

Lasode’s tenure ended without him seeking a second term as PMAN’s president. His successor, Charly Boy, was rather interested in celebrating PMAN’s 21st Anniversary as he never revisited Nigerian Musicians Hall of Fame nor Volume ii of Legends of Nigerian Music.

With fragmented and pitiable situation of PMAN presently and always, who will put together Volume ii of Legends of Nigerian Music published by First Degree Communications? Should it continue sitting in Limbo?

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