Nigerian reggae musician, Ras Kimono, is dead. The reggae star, who was known for hit songs like ‘We No Want’ and ‘“Rum-Bar Stylée” had reportedly concluded plans to travel to the United States on Saturday but he was rushed to a hospital in Lagos on Saturday where he passed on in the early hours of Sunday.
Born Ukeleke Onwubuya on May 9 in Delta State, he celebrated his 60th birthday amidst fanfare in Lagos a few weeks ago.
In his lifetime, he exuded energy that could easily rival that of any young musician on stage. His dexterity on the stage was incredible and that endeared him to many fans.
Tributes have continued to pour in for the veteran reggae singer. Among those who mourned his death are controversial senator, Dino Melaye, singer Sound Sultan, Shina Peters, Oritz Wiliki and many of his contemporaries.
A recently elected director at the Copyright Society of Nigeria, Kimono was full of life and present at any stakeholder meeting of the society.
Coson’s Head, Corporate Affairs, Chibueze Okereke, who confirmed the development said the COSON’s chairman, Tony Okoroji, was with the deceased reggae icon, on Saturday night.
“COSON deeply regrets to announce the passing on of a frontline member of our board, great African and great musician, the reggae toaster, the great Ras Kimono Onwubuya. Okoroji left Kimono in high spirits on his hospital bed at the Lagoon Hospital, Ikoyi on Saturday.
“He was excited to see him and other guests. Okoroji received the news shortly before he boarded the plane to the east earlier today, Sunday. He was present at the 60th birthday celebration of Sir Shina Peters earlier in the month and he was full of life.”
The late singer started out his career as a student of Gbenoba Secondary School Agbor, Delta State and later as a member of the Jastix Reggae Ital, alongside, Majek Fashek, Amos McRoy Jegg and Black Rice Osagie.
In his tribute, his long-time friend and colleague, Majek Fashek, revealed that they were together on Friday and planned to record some songs together.
“Ras Kimono why too soon kimono my brethren? RIP I am short of words, our last meeting three days ago was for you to meet with my manager Uzo in America and death took you away. You will forever be in my heart. I am gonna miss you. Jah love you more till we meet again. Just three days ago, Ras Kimono and I spoke to my able manager presently in America to meet in New York before death took you away,” Majek lamented.
Music band, Bantu, said, “Thank you Ras Kimono for the great music and positive vibes. You never had any airs around you, always approachable, always generous to a fault. It was a privilege to have performed and shared the stage with you. Our thoughts and prayers go to your daughter, Oge Kimono and your family. Rest In Power LION!”
Similarly, the President of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, Pretty Okafor, said he was shocked when he received the news.