Breaking News: Ras Kimono Is Dead
Here is the news from punching, Premium Times and Channels television about the death of Ras Kimono, the ragae king in Nigeria.
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Nigerian reggae musician, Ras Kimono, is dead. Syas Premium Times
The reggae star, who was known for hit songs like ‘We No Want’ and ‘“Rum-Bar Stylée” had reportedly concluded plans to travel to the United States on Saturday.
Sadly, he was rushed to a hospital in Lagos on Saturday where he passed on in the early hours of Sunday.
Born Ukeleke Onwubuya on May 9 in Delta State, he celebrated his 60th birthday amidst fanfare in Lagos a few weeks ago.
In his lifetime, he exuded energy that could easily rival that of any young musician on stage. His dexterity on the stage was incredible and that endeared him to many fans.
Tributes have continued to pour in for the veteran reggae singer.
Among those who mourned his death are controversial senator, Dino Melaye, singer Sound Sultan, Shina Peters, Oritz Wiliki and many of his contemporaries.
A recently elected director at the Copyright Society of Nigeria, he was full of life and present at any stakeholder meeting of the society.
Coson’s Head, Corporate Affairs, Chibueze Okereke, confirmed the development in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES.
According to him, COSON’s chairman, Tony Okoroji, was with the deceased reggae icon, on Saturday night.
He said, “COSON deeply regrets to announce the passing on of a frontline member of our board, great African and great musician, the reggae toaster, the great Ras Kimono Onwubuya. Mr Okoroji left Kimono in high spirits on his hospital bed at the Lagoon Hospital, Ikoyi on Saturday.
“He was excited to see him and other guests. Okoroji received the news shortly before he boarded the plane to the east earlier today, Sunday. He was present at the 60th birthday celebration of Sir Shina Peters earlier in the month and he was full of life.”
The late singer started out his career as a student of Gbenoba Secondary School Agbor, Delta State and later as a member of the Jastix Reggae Ital, alongside, Majek Fashek, Amos McRoy Jegg and Black Rice Osagie.
In his tribute, his long-time friend and colleague, Majek Fashek, revealed that they were together on Friday and planned to record some songs together.
“Ras Kimono why too soon kimono my brethren? RIP I am short of words, our last meeting three days ago was for you to meet with my manager Uzo in America and death took you away. You will forever be in my heart. I am gonna miss you. Jah love you more till we meet again. Just three days ago, Ras Kimono and I spoke to my able manager presently in America to meet in New York before death took you away,” Majek lamented.
Music band, Bantu, said, “Thank you Ras Kimono for the great music and positive vibes. You never had any airs around you, always approachable, always generous to a fault. It was a privilege to have performed and shared the stage with you. Our thoughts and prayers go to your daughter, Oge Kimono and your family. Rest In Power LION!”
Similarly, the President of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, Pretty Okafor, said he was shocked when he received the news.
Another reggae icon, Blackky Inyang, expressed shock at Ras Kimono’s death when PREMIUM TIMES contacted him on Sunday.
He said, “The news can’t be true. Where did you hear it? Please give me a few days to process this news. I’m sorry I can’t comment at this time.”
Mr Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West, also reacted to the sad news on Instagram.
Sharing a photograph of him and the late musician, the lawmaker said “what a dark day”.
“Death why! Why! My brother and my friend. Legend Ras Kimono rest in peace. What a black day! What an unceremonious exit. I love you and will miss you. Sad sad sad,” he wrote.
An advocate of social change, Kimono was known for his patois styled music.
In 1989, his band group, Massive Dread Reggae Band, released an album titled Under Pressure.
He once revealed that he is a vegetarian and has never indulged in any affair that went against his upbringing, including smoking and drinking.
Ras Kimono rose to stardom after the release of his debut album ‘Under Pressure’ in the late ‘80s.
His style of music was significantly influenced by the hardship he reportedly experienced in his early life.
The late reggae music icon won several awards including the Nigeria Music Awards and Fame Music Awards among others.
In october 2017, he dropped a new single after many years of hiatus from the music scene.
His former record label, Premier Records Limited, released the single titled, “Blessed Africa”, digitally. The song is a reflection of what Nigeria and Africa have been going through despite the rich mineral, human and natural resources in the land.
The multi-award winning reggae icon returned to the country in 2010 in an effort to reconnect with his fans.
He released albums in 2009 and 2011; both albums had an impressive reception.
In a recent interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the star spoke extensively about the reason behind his music hiatus.
One of his daughters, Ogechukwu Onwubuya a.k.a. Oge Kimono, has already taken to music putting out a few reggae singles.
She performed with her late father at the June 2015 edition of Afropolitan Vibes.
His death would be most felt by his immediate family, especially his children and wife, Sybil.
The late singer was married to Sybil, who relocated to the United States of America with him but did not return to Nigeria with him.
Sybil, herself an accomplished dancer, currently resides in America.
They met at the University of Lagos where he used to go for rehearsals. They got married in 1990 and Sybil served as his manager for many years, even when the couple relocated to the U.S. in the early 2000s
He also welcomed a daughter, Dimma, with his manager Efe Okedi, in 2013 – news he confirmed in several interviews, during his lifetime
The death of legendary reggae music icon Ras Kimono has been greeted by numerous tributes and condolences from his fans.
Nigerians took to Twitter on Sunday to mourn the Ras Kimono who died on Sunday in a hospital in Lagos.
Key players in the music industry, including a factional Chairman of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Tony Okoroji, have also sympathised with the family of the deceased.
Ras Kimono got broke through into stardom following after his debut album ‘Under Pressure’ in the late ‘80s.
He won several awards including the Nigeria Music Awards and Fame Music Awards among others.
Condolence messages and tributes have continued to pour in for the late reggae artiste.
t is often said that when one leaves this part of existence to the great beyond, all that is left of one is the legacy and work one has done. If there is anyone who has etched his name in the minds of reggae music lovers, Ekeleke Elumelu better known as Ras Kimono would comfortably wear that crown.
Born on May 9, 1958, in Delta State, Ras Kimono made it known to anyone who cared to listen that he made music not just because he wanted to, but because it was his way of bringing people’s attention to the sufferings of the common man and the ills of the society.
“I live where the people live so I can see the tribulations they are going through, the suffering and the humiliation, so we can put it into our music and expose it,” he once said in one of his interviews.
Unfortunately, the global music scene was thrown into mourning on Sunday when news broke that the musical voice of the people had kicked the bucket. He had died after a brief illness.
The late Ras Kimono started making music from his early days as a child. In this remembrance of the music maestro, Sahara Reporters compiled a list five songs that brought him global recognition and made he become the ‘prophet of the masses’.
1. Natty Get Jail
When the late King of Afrobeat Fela Anikulapo Kuti got jailed, Ras Kimono got an inspiration to write a song for him. However, Fela secured bail before Kimono could release the song. For this reason, he changed the title of the song from ‘Fela Getta jail’ to ‘Natty Get Jail’. Up on its release, the song became an instant hit. He would later say in an interview with Premium Times: “When Fela was locked up, right, I wrote that song strictly for Fela (And he starts singing ‘Fela Getta Jail, ey!, They must a give him bail ey!’) but before I could release the tune and ask the company, he was bailed, so I reversed it to ‘Natty Get Jail’. So, originally it was a song written for Fela to be bailed, you know.”
2. Rhumba Stylee
In 1989, Ras Kimono, together with his Massive Dread Reggae Band, dropped his debut album, ‘Under Pressure’. ‘Rhumba stylee’ was a track off the album and it went on to become a hit. To follow up with the success of the song, a video was released. The song was accompanied with a dance style, which, according to Kimono, was a “dance step you know, back in the day there was something called the twist dance, you know, I tried to bring twist dance back and so that’s why I did that.”
3. What Gwan?
In this song, Ras Kimono directed his anger at the government, asking them why the country was going in the direction it was. A part of the song’s lyrics went “No Place to sleep, No place to eat. Whata gwan inna this a country. Whata gwan inna this nation”. Ras Kimono once wondered in an interview that if he did not speak the truth, “who will do it for the people?”
4. Under Pressure
This song is another one of the numerous conscious tracks of Ras Kimono. In this song, he was assisted by female back-up singers. The lyrics went thus: “Some are dying, some are weeping, some are wailing…..Under pressure we are under pressure.” In the song, he also talks about the ills going on around the world, especially Nigeria. Ras Kimono, whose love for the masses can never be questioned, sang about the sufferings of his people.
5. ‘We No Wan’
On this slow reggae track, Ras Kimono talks about the things he does not want. In this song, he describes the system as “Shit stem”. For the Rastafarian, the system has done no good and has only promoted massive looting, segregation and hardship.
Kimono’s message of truth brought peace to the troubled mind of the masses. Now that he has gone to be with Jehovah, one can only ask, like he once asked in one of his interviews: “Who will do it for the people?”