The co-ordinator of Ariya Eko Music Festival, Bimbo Esho writes on why juju music maestro, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi, was inducted into the Evergreen music hall of fame and here are the excerpts.
"Growing up in Lagos and coincidentally sharing the same birth place with Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey MFR means a lot to me.
It is amazing that I was born in the same popular Massey hospital in Lagos precisely 37 years after the birth of a world renowned legend , a juju music icon of high repute a name blessed by God; a name that has become a global reference; a name that has become a mascot and an icon of legendary proportion.
Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey MFR has become a world phenomenon and today he stands strong like an Oak tree with so much resilience, strength, morale, honour, nobility and wisdom.
The Commander as he is fondly called attained the peak of his musical career in Lagos State with determined toil and creativity and has immensely contributed to the social, cultural, economic, political and cultural growth of Lagos state and Nigeria as a whole.
Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey is no doubt a teacher, a prophet, a moralist, a philanthropist, one of Nigeria’s oldest living and active Juju musician in the world whose music cut across different ethnic groups. The biggest accomplishment Ebenezer Obey has achieved is to have churned out the largest musical repertoire of 660 songs in the history of Nigeria a feat that may be difficult to achieve by anyone in years to come.
In candid, Ebenezer Obey’s songs reflect different happening in our society i.e "What God Has Joined Together" is a subtle song that advices newlywed on expectations of good marital bliss, "Omo TunTun", eulogies new born child, "Kete kete" dwells on human inconsistence, "Don’t Compromise" is a religious song that talks about the story of Lot in the Bible, "Ore Mi se Pele" preaches simplicity, with the song "Garri Ti Won" he takes his listeners back to the grave consequences of austerity in the late 60’s, etc.
The astute businessman, father and a role model has worked out a great legacy for different generations to tap into. For the academia to use his songs for music teaching and research in school, for the upcoming artistes to churn out timeless classics taking a cue from his evergreen compositions, for all lovers of juju music home and abroad, to continue to enjoy the best of lovely and enjoyable songs for birthdays, wedding, housewarming, coronation, naming ceremony, for the religious bodies, to use his songs as teachings to get their followers to Christ and for students of history to use his music as a social calendar of happenings in Nigeria as well" she concluded. The event was held in Lagos on Sunday, December 15th, at Lagos City Hall.
– Dare Gbadebo, Editor-in-chief
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