Majek Fashek, a Nigerian reggae musician, has died, his manager said on Tuesday.
Majek, who toured the world with the sound of African reggae with hits such as the ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ and ‘Send Down the Rain’, died in New York, Omenka Uzoma, who has served as his manager and publicist for about seven years, said Tuesday morning. His age was not immediately clear.
“The legend has gone to meet with the Lord,” Mr Uzoma said in a video uploaded by HipTV. “We should all celebrate him — his achievement.”
Mr Uzoma did not immediately disclose the cause of death, which could be deliberate considering his past refusal to disclose the nature of the artist’s illness.
Majek’s 1988 album ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ and the single ‘Send Down the Rain’ became a major hit worldwide and garnered multiple awards, including Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria’s album of the year in 1989.
It was followed by ‘So Long for Too Long’ in 1991, which incorporated haunting vocals with the artist’s captivating rhythm.
In the early 2000s, Majek, whose stage name was a condensed form of his full name Majekodunmi Fasheke, featured in some local film productions in Nigeria, including ‘Mark of the Beast’.
The last few years of his life were replete with multiple allegations of excessive drug use and illness, most of which the artist declined to publicly confirm. In 2019, there were rumours of his death, but he debunked them by confirming that he was receiving treatment at a rehabilitation centre on the outskirts of the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
In September, his publicist sought financial help from the public to help care for the Nigerian legend, a call that was heeded by many, including businessman Femi Otedola. He was treated at a hospital in London for several months before he moved to the United States in January 2020 to be with his family.
He was survived by four children and his ex-wife, Rita.