By The Nation
Legendary ‘Guitar Boy’ Victor Uwaifo dies at 80
Many Nigerians have been mourning and paying tributes to music star and varsity don, Sir Victor Uwaifo.
Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa; Senate Chief Whip Orji Uzor Kalu; Bonsue Fuji musician Adewale Ayuba; Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe and popular flutist, Omatshola Iseli (aka Tee Mac) have paid tributes to the late musician.
Sir Uwaifo died on Saturday afternoon at the Edo State government-owned Stella Obasanjo Specialist Hospital on Sapele Road in Benin, the state capital.
He was 80.
Others who have paid tributes to the music legend musician include Chairman of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji, and the Edo State chapter of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN).
The late Uwaifo was a lecturer at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) where he obtained First Class in Fine and Applied Arts, a Master’s degree in Sculpting and a Ph.D in Architectural Sculpture.
Two of his songs, titled: Joromi and Mammy Water, are popular in many parts of the world.
The late musician’s eldest daughter, Deaconess Oghonwon Reden, his son-in-law, Tosan Reden, and his nephew, Peter de Rock debunked online reports that he died of COVID-19 complications.
The family members, who spoke separately with The Nation, urged the public to disregard such reports.
Deaconess Reden said her father never joked with his health. She said he was not sick but he suddenly developed pneumonia and chest pain, ran a COVID-19 test, which came out negative.
Tosan Reden said the musician died at 3 p.m on Saturday.
“Doctors at Stella Obasanjo Specialist Hospital certified Sir Uwaifo COVID-19 negative. At the Edo State government-owned hospital, I carried Sir Uwaifo from a wheel chair to the hospital’s bed.
“He initially had cough, which was treated, but he later had pain in his chest and he was moved to a privately-owned Echo Hospital on Technical School Road, Ugbowo, on Lagos Road, Benin City, while his wife, Mrs. Osaretin, was with her husband in the hospital.
“Doctors at Echo Hospital later referred Sir Uwaifo to Stella Obasanjo Specialist Hospital on Friday morning, where he was given oxygen and tested for COVID-19, with the result being negative. He was diagnosed for pneumonia and had chest pain and infection, but his system started shutting down.
“I felt so bad when Sir Uwaifo, born on March1, 1941, died on Saturday, as I never saw him as my father-in-law but as my father. He called me last week and we spoke extensively.”