Orlando Owoh dies at 74
The legend of Kennery highlife music, Dr. Orlando Owoh on Tuesday passed on at 74, report. Victor Akande and Dare Akindehin
Legend of Kennery highlife music Dr. Orlando Owoh is dead.
The musician died on Tuesday at the General Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos where he had since been on admission, following a long illness associated with stroke. He was 74.
Born as Stephen Oladipupo Olaore Owomoyela, the Kennery Music king, was until his illness and eventual death, the toast of highlife lovers, owing to his romantic voice, philosophical lyrics and energetic stage performances.
Members of the arts community have expressed sadness over the loss of the man they describe as a rare gem.
A cultural activist and Editor of The Guardian on Sunday, Jahman Anikulapo said the sad news got to him while celebrating the landslide victory of Barack Obama, the US president-elect.
Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), yesterday expressed shock at the sudden death of Orlando.
Fashola, in a condolence letter to the widow, Shade, described him as an exceptional human being whose musical talents remained unrivalled till the very end.
He said: "The passage of Dr. Orlando Owoh, as he was popularly known, at this time has left a big vacuum which would be very difficult to fill".
Fashola said with a brand of music which was inimitable, Dr Owoh departed with fond memories of his very rich contributions to national development through his strong messages against socio-cultural and political ills.
Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel described Owoh’s death as "unfortunate".
He spoke yesterday through the Chairman, Ijebu East Local Government Area, Hon. Tunde Oladunjoye, who visited the late musician’s family to deliver Daniel’s condolence message. Oladunjoye said:"The death of the highlife musician is a colossal loss to the arts and culture community because he was an embodiment of talent; a composer, guitarist, producer and multi-talented instrumentalist."
Oladunjoye, who was Management Adviser to the late musician’s recording label, Owoh Records, said he would be remembered for his unique sonorous voice that earned him the title Kennery."
He prayed God to grant his family, friends, fans and admirers the fortitude to bear the loss.
Born 74 years ago at Osogbo in Osun State to Jeremiah and Morenike Owomoyela, originally from Ifon town in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State, Orlando became a musician at 12, despite opposition from his parents. He had left Osogbo for Ilesha, in pursuit of better life prospects immediately he completed his eight-year apprenticeship under his father.
Armed with a Standard Six certificate, he returned to Osogbo where his budding musical talent caught the attention of renowned artiste, Kola Ogunmola who eventually invited him to Ibadan in preparation for the First All African Games in Dakar.
He established his called Orlando Owoh and his Omimah Band in 1958.
His journey to stardom began with his debut album in 1960 under Decca Records. The first album, Oluwa Lo Ran Mi was followed by another successful one; Alantere Ijo Oyege. This album put him on a better footing.
His music, a fusion of highlife and juju, has recorded over 45 albums, including titles like: Ganja I and II, Dele Giwa and Money for Hand Back for Ground, Jobs Experience, Logba-Logba, Kangaroo, Iyawo Olele, Money palaver, Tribute to Fela, among others.
Orlando Owoh & his Young Kenneries - "Easter Special/Baba Wa Silekin/Obinrin Asiko Lagbo"