Victor Olaiya, the late Nigerian highlife musician, has been buried in Lagos, nearly three months after the veteran singer passed away.
The 89-year-old trumpeter had breathed his last on February 12, while on admission at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).
His remains were laid to rest on Thursday at the Vaults & Garden Cemetery in Ikoyi, amid a private ceremony attended by few friends and family members due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The low key ceremony was also streamed live on Facebook with guests armed with their face masks while observing social distancing.
While the cause of his death wasn’t disclosed, Bimbo Esho, MD of Evergreen Music Company, who first broke the sad news to TheCable Lifestyle, had described him as one of the last of his kind.
“The entire music world wishes to announce the death of a Legend of Highlife music one of the last man standing, the last of the original Dr. Victor Abimbola Olaiya OON,” Esho had said.
“This untimely incident happened at Luth hospital, Lagos State, at exactly 12noon.
“We pray that the Doyen of highlife music finds repose with the creator while wishing the family and entire music community the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.”
Born in December 1930 to Alfred and Bathsheba Olaiya, the late singer had come through as the 20th child of a family of 24, gaining recognition beyond Nigeria back in the 1950s and 60s.
During the Biafran War, Olaiya had been ranked a lieutenant colonel (honorary) in the Nigerian army and his band played for the troops at various locations.
“His place in history is guaranteed. He sang, not just for entertainment, but also taught critical lessons on life, good neighbourliness, and national cohesion,” President Muhammadu Buhari said.
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