Majek Fashek: Oh what a life!

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Majekodumni Fasheke, popularly known as Majek Fashek, is a Nigerian reggae singer and guitarist. Fashek was born in Benin City, Nigeria to an Edo mother and a Yoruba father. Fashek first gained national fame on a television show in the early 1980s as a member of Benin-based reggae group Jastix. In 1988, shortly after Jastix disbanded, he began a solo career and quickly became the best-known reggae artist in Nigeria. His song “Send Down The Rain” was a hit, and he won six US-based PMAN Music Awards.

Raised by his late mother, Madam Igodan of Benin City, whom he loved so much, Majek grew up in Benin City and was initiated into Olokun Worship in his early years. According to Majek, his mother was a devout adherent of the Olokun Shrine and later converted to the Aladura Church, with Majek in tow. There Majek discovered the love of God. He became a deep Bible student and this is evident in his songs, where he affirms his faith in God. Somewhere along the line, at the height of his fame in 1991, Majek was convinced that there was a better way to search for God through the Seven Book of Moses. Thus began his involvement with some ‘spiritual shit’ as he calls it; which messed up his mind.

The reggae world worshipped him in the 90’s. Rita Marley was so smitten by his uncanny sound-alike to her late husband, Bob Marley, that she signed him on to Tuff Gong Records in 1997 where he released ‘THE RAINMAKER’ album which was released as ‘PROMISED LAND‘ in Nigeria. Majek had the world at his feet then.

However, as the years went by, his mother’s death in 1998 and other pitiful factors, among which he lost his major record deals with Interscope Records and Tuff Gong, made Majek to slide into clinical depression in 1998. He found solace in alcohol as a means of deadening his pain and became a deep-rooted alcoholic. He has been battling this addiction for over a decade. Many of his friends abandoned him over the years with only a handful still loyal to him.

Over the years, Fashek has been an object of discussion among Nigerians both home and abroad. Recently, it was rumoured that a group of fans were mobilizing to raise funds to facilitate the reggae artiste’s rehabilitation. Under the platform of Majek Fashek Help Drive, the group which is allegedly being coordinated by a staff of AIT wants to check the musician into a rehabilitation centre in the country all in the bid to set his career back on track.

The Rainmaker as he is fondly called has been a shadow of his old self after an alleged long battle with alcohol and drug addictions. Regardless, Nigerians must not allow Majek Fashek to die.

The Herald NG is a leading newspaper in Nigeria at the forefront of the digital revolution.

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