NIGERIANS, especially the stakeholders in the entertainment industry again seemly have a tragedy steering them in the face. Sad! Drugs, Women, liquor have finally finished the famous musician, Pangolo Super Star, Majek Fashek, the Rain Maker.
National Daily intelligence can reveal that the artiste’s health is fast deteriorating and indeed the confessed Rastafarian has now become a “Prisoner of his own Conscience.”
Impeccable sources revealed to National Daily that the light complexioned, smooth-skinned musician who rose from rags to riches, born Majekodunmi Fasheke to an Edo mother and a Yoruba father is currently an object of self-pity in God’s Own Country, the United States where he freely begs and of course receives alms from Africans, in the Spirit of Love.
Not only has he emaciated, his fragile looks in most pubs where he passes the nights, is a contradiction of the bubbly Fashek, most Nigerians adore. After his return to the United States, (U.S.) two years ago for rehabilitation by a group of Nigerian community, their Little Patience dwindled when they realized how addicted the Bob Marley sing-alike has become to drugs, in spite of moves made to get him back on his feet. He talks incoherently, wears dirty jackets and stinks wherever he goes, one of the Nigerians in Diaspora dead worried about his idol’s walking corpse looks lamented lately.
Jetho, Reggae artiste, Head of Nigerian Community in Los Angeles expresses fear
Jerry Jheto, a Nigerian/American root reggae artist who had spent 26 years in Los Angeles and close pal of Fashek was in Nigeria some weeks ago for the burial of his father.
In an exclusive interview with National Daily, he said: “I met Fashek when he came to the U.S. in company of King Sunny Ade in 1992. I saw Fashek in New York by October 2010, he was a complete junkie. His dreadlocks were rough with lies, his looks was frightening because he has become toothless, probably due to his addiction to drugs. He’s lean and looked so dirty like a 96-year-old man. His problem is compounding daily. If nothing is done to quickly salvage him now, I am scared that Fashek will be found dead on the streets of New York soon.”
Jheto explained that the Rain Maker regularly picks paper and trashes on the streets of New York, because his eyes are permanently fixed on the ground whenever he walks around. His words: “I don’t know why he is always in search of looking at the ground in New York and picking papers and dirt. He is such a pathetic sight now. Liquor, women and drugs are his problems. He has no home, but sleeps in various pubs. Each time I remember him, I cry, because I know that is the end of an era”.
How his Rehabilitation in U.S. collapsed
This artiste told National Daily that there were plans by a few Nigerians to really help Fashek back to his feet, but the super star prefers to go begging for dollar and cents from any African he sees on the street of New York to satisfy his lust for addiction. “This is the major reason I blame the Nigerian music industry for its docile performance because it cannot come to the aide of Nigerians. The music industry in this country is poorly managed, being that Fashek is one of most respected Nigerian musicians abroad in the 80s and 90s. I am aware the Nigerian community in New York tried on several occasions to get Fashek go through rehabilitation therapy, but he refused, claiming he is a super star from Nigeria. I will give it to him that he has been our best because the height he attained abroad, even Fela Anikulapo Kuti, though great had not surpassed Fashek’s success in music. People criticize me because of my stance,” Jheto stressed.
Fashek on America’s most famous TV station
National Daily learnt that the most popular entertainment Talk-Show in the United States is a programme anchored by David Letterman, a foremost television producer/presenter. Jheto corroborated this when he said: “Fela’s music has never been aired on U.S. radio station because the duration of his music was always nine minutes, whereas Fashek’s music lasts for three minutes. Fashek was the only African musician to have been hosted on Letterman’s programme, while the American audience stood up to applaud his creativity and endowment. Letterman’s show is the mainstream of entertainment in the U.S. because every American musician aspires to be on the show. I witnessed the heroic welcome accorded to Fashek. I was there when Letterman hugged Fashek after the programme. It was like the old Art Alade show in Nigeria.”
On King Sunny Ade appearance in David Nirak Show
Jheto said he was around when King Sunny Ade, KSA, came as a guest artiste on David Nirak show. After KSA had performed in the studio, he walked away. His words: “I am aware he was not hugged by Nirak after his performance.”
How he took Fashek in for days
A tearful Jheto said: “I took Fashek in for four days in my house in Los Angeles, where I counselled and talked to him to leave his bad habits and live a decent life. He met my wife and kids. I did that to help him as a friend because you smell his stench three feet away and everyone avoided him like a plague. I knew it was time for me to help him. Nigerians must be aware that Fashek needs urgent spiritual solution, because his ways have defied any human logic. I feel that his problem may be more on the spiritual side because he loves tequila, a high brand liquor.”
A Nigerian cried when he saw Fashek, his idol
Further, he told National Daily that his cousin wept and almost beat Fashek on seeing this man he regards as his idol in a state of pity. He said: “There was a day Fashek asked some of my friends to give him one dollar each to buy tequila and when I told Kelechi, my cousin to see the Rain Maker his idol, he wept and got angry with him. He began to shake Majek and asked why he had to put him to shame as an idol. We had to separate him from Fashek, to calm the already tensed scenario.”
Nigerian musicians react
Oritz Wiliki, a leading Reggae artist told National Daily of frantic efforts made to save Fashek the last time he visited home. “I was part of those that were involved in his rehabilitation process the last time he came home. We even met with Edo State Government for financial assistance to enable him get proper medical treatment in the Rehab. He is my brother, just like you. I would not want to discuss a matter of this nature on the pages of newspaper,” he said.
Charles Emeka Oputa, Charly Boy felt pained by the present travail of Fashek when he asked “What are those musicians that brought him to Nigeria the last time doing?
That is the reason the un-ending crisis at the Performing Musicians Employers’ Association of Nigeria, PMAN, is painful to me. At this point, we need a formidable union, where all of us can come together and fight a common cause affecting any of our musicians.
I fear for Fashek’s life because this is the time to quickly raise funds to bring him back home into Rehab centre. If you give him any money now, he will still end up on the streets, since he is already addicted to such lifestyle. I am sad because Fashek is a bundle of talent just wasting away in a foreign country.”
Ras Kimono Claims to be in contact with Fashek
For rub-a-dub master, Ras Kimono, he believes the tale of the mental state of Fashek is traceable to rumour mongers. In his reply to National Daily e-mail, he said: “Nothing like that my brother because I spoke to Majek last night…Just pure rumour mongers carrying bad news.”
But when National Daily requested for the number to access Fashek, he kept mum until press time.
Ziggy Marley proffers solution
In an electronic mail sent to Ziggy Marley, son to the legendary reggae king, Bob Marley at his base in 269 South Beverley Drive, Beverley Hills in California, United States, he said in a terse statement: “Majek is a star that represents Africa on the global music stage. Something’s got to be done to rescue him quickly.”
Source: National Dailies