Before We Rehab Majek Fashek #SavingMajek

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By Jibril Musa

 

Turning his life around should be a concern of all. People have tried in their own ways. Notably, filmmaker Charles Novia tried to resuscitate his art. Broaster and leading presenter Lara Owoeye-Wise two years ago tried her best to give him a new lease of life. Now his former backup singer, Massachusetts US-based Monica Omorodion Swaida is burning the candle at both ends to raise fund for him. Musician Wadada once took him to CMC where the Prisoner of Conscience singer answered the altar call and gave his life to Christ. And we thought: this is it! The kiss of life for Majek. Sadly, with each effort, Majek sinks deeper into whatever perdition that is trying to consume him.

In the last few weeks, a Save-Majek movement has been gathering steam and sinew. As positive forces are rallying again for another effort at saving this icon from apparent doom, it is necessary to have this oversight. As the Yoruba say, “Ise ki dede se”, to wit, tragedy don’t just happen. In science-speak, action begets reaction. For those in the know, Majek’s predicament is not drug-related, neither is it alcoholism-fuelled; there is a deeper, dark cause. Understanding that will help Project Rehab Majek go a long way. Whatever Pandora Box Majek opened, let him break his Omerta and tell us- the red line he crossed; the rules he broke; forbidden territories he trod upon – lest we toil in vain again.

Given the past precedents of failed rehab, it is obvious to the Good Samaritans taking charge of the rescue effort that Majek needs spiritual rehabilitation as much as he needs physical therapy. He needs a fresh anointing. Suffice to say that this time, we either get it right, or let Majek be – consigned to the trashcan of history. This should not sound harsh or fatalistic; rather, it is a charge for sturdy resolution by every heart involved in the project to see it through to logical conclusion this time around. Please give it all you have. Goodwill, prayer, cash and connection. Let us see Majek rise again. To every one helping out, Jah bless.

Metamorphosis of Majek Fashek

In the theatre of travails and triumphs, the Majek Plot is about life in reverse – the happy ending first; the conflicts; the calamities. If his life were to be an original play, it will aptly be synopsized as “A Life in Three Acts.”

In the beginning, he was with Ja’ Stix, Benin-based reggae group comprising of him, his cousin, Amos McCroy and Black O’Rice as the nucleus. After toying with names such as RAM, (derived from the acronym of their names) and Jah Revelation, they settled for Jah Stix. They never recorded an album. But as a band, they made waves on TV and at shows. And Majek’s reputation spread like a ripple.

At his prime Majek became reggae’s superstar. The biggest ever from Nigeria, if not Africa as a whole. It started with him going solo and recording the super hit “Send Down the Rain” off the Prisoner of Conscience album in 1988. New York Times in 1990 wrote of him: “In Nigeria, his concerts always fill stadiums.” Even Rolling Stone also concurred: “Fashek is a star in his native Nigeria for reasons that are entirely apparent on this record (Prisoner of Conscience). His good luck continued. Signed by Interscope Records, he released Spirit of Love in 1991. In 1997, he dropped The Rainmaker. In 1998, he migrated to America with his family.

Middle age was Majek’s bad season of his life. After his rise to stardom, his life hit a rough patch. His career skidded. He lost control of the steering wheel of his career and his life went into a downward spiral. He plunged into a pit of trials, where chronic alcoholism became his cross and career deterioration his lot. Since then, he has been living a nightmare, a man lost in the wilderness of life. In 2005, Charles Novia brought him in from the cold with the Little Patience album which was modestly successful. But the renaissance was short-lived.

Now, at 55, he has completed a dark cycle, from a prince to a pauper.

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