‘JOROMI is the Song of gods’-Sir Victor UWAIFO, Nigeria’s Guitar BOY, Highlife Music LEGEND

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BREAKING NEWS: ‘JOROMI is the Song of the gods’-Sir Victor UWAIFO, Nigeria’s Guitar BOY, Highlife Music LEGEND *Reveals Joromi’s Encounter with the Devil in HELL *Receives Honor in United Nations, Commonwealth & Advisory Member-American Heritage University in California * Honorary Member of the Biographical Advisory Council, Cambridge, England * Only Nigerian that plays guitar with his FEET and TONGUE *Why he WON 12 Golden Records till date *Evergreen moment as lecturer in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Benin * PLUS How FOUR NIGERIAN Presidents Applaud his creativity BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND FOLA OGUNDANA/ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR IN NIGERIA

BREAKING NEWS:
‘JOROMI is the Song of the gods’-Sir Victor UWAIFO, Nigeria’s Guitar BOY, Highlife Music LEGEND
*Reveals Joromi’s Encounter with the Devil in HELL
*Receives Honor in United Nations, Commonwealth & Advisory Member-American Heritage University in California
* Honorary Member of the Biographical Advisory Council, Cambridge, England
* Only Nigerian that plays guitar with his FEET and TONGUE
*Why he WON 12 Golden Records till date
*Evergreen moment as lecturer in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Benin
* PLUS How FOUR NIGERIAN Presidents Applaud his creativity

 

BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND FOLA OGUNDANA/ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR IN NIGERIA

SIR VICTOR UWAIFO is 76 years old, one of Nigeria’s evergreen Iconic highlife musicians, having played in over 50 countries around the world to have become the first Nigerian musician ever to have won the first Golden record in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa (presented by Philips, West Africa) for his song “Joromi” in 1996. Uwaifo, who has a total of 12 golden records to date, has traveled to many countries, including the United States, Russia, Japan, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, France, Hungary, Rome, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Benin Republic, Spain, Canada and others playing music.
In a recent interview, Uwaifo, a former Commissioner for Arts & Culture in Edo State reveals the spirituality behind ‘Joromi.’ He said , the song: “Joromi has legendary status among his fans and his performances are characterized by his ability to play the guitar with both his feet and also his tongue.

His words: “Joromi in Benin Methodology was a wrestler, the world champion, and he thought he should go to HELL where the Devil have seven heads. He thought they (Joromi and others) were better off having just one head. He tapped a mysterious palm tree, which he was earlier warned by his father not to climb. After he climbed the palm tree, Joromi saw the seven headed Devils.
“As a result, Joromi’s sister turned into a fly and followed him into the wrestling ring. In the wrestling arena, he threw the seven headed devils into the ring after he had plucked off one of the heads of the devil. At that time, the sister began to sing a chorus: ‘Kri kese, kese, Joromi o…Jomijo, Krii kisi kisi.’ He then blurs off the heads of the Devils, leaving them with one head each. And that is the story of Joromi.”
Uwaifo remains a Cosmopolitan classic musician who played danceable Nigerian highlife that plays guitar with his FEET and TONGUE, playing perfectly to the right note without looking back. This ingenious writer, sculptor without a single scandal to its trail is a music genius, famous for Joromi music being a musical instrument inventor.
Uwaifo made history in Nigeria when he won the first Golden record in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa (presented by Philips, West Africa) for this song Joromi, in 1996. Uwaifo has a total of 12 golden records to date. As explained earlier, he served as commissioner for arts and culture in Edo State under the government of Lucky Igbinedion. Uwaifo is famous for his Joromi music. He records under the name Sir Victor Uwaifo.
Truth is, Uwaifos’ best-known songs are: “Guitar Boy” and “Mami Water”,were a huge hit in 1966. “Mami Water” was inspired by an encounter (which he has long maintained actually occurred) with a “mami water” (mermaid) while lounging on Bar Beach, Lagos. Uwaifo is the first professional music maestro bestowed with the Nigerian National Honors (MON) in 1983 by President Shehu Shagari. He remains the first Professional Maestro turned Academic full time lecturer in the University of Benin, 2006 – 2014; Fine and Applied Arts Graduate with BA First Class Honors and Valedictorian 1994, Masters degree in Sculpture, 1996, a Ph.D. scholar and a visiting Professor Emeritus to the American Heritage University, USA.
He made history for Nigeria over 50years ago when he won the First Gold Disc Record (Joromi) in Africa “Wikipedia Encyclopedia”. He is seeing as a multifarious genius, a sculptor whose works are found in public places in Nigeria being the President, Founder of the Revelation and Tourist Museum with a Boeing 747 Aircraft building , the largest privately owned Tourist destination in Africa located in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, having established the first Audio recording / TV studio (JTV) in Benin City, Nigeria, in 1978.

Education:
Uwaifo was born in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, and obtained his secondary school education at the Western Boys’ High School Benin and St Gregory’s College, Lagos, in the years 1957–61. He began playing guitar when he was 12 years old, his earliest popular music influences deriving from listening to records of Spanish and Latin American music. He studied graphics at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos and graduated in 1961–63. He received a bachelor’s degree with first-class honours and a master’s degree from the University of Benin in 1994, where he studied fine and applied arts and majored in sculpture.
Music Career:
After leaving Benin, Uwaifo continued playing music at St Gregory’s, Lagos, a contemporary of Segun Bucknor, both individuals were among the leading Lagos high school bandleaders. During school holidays and weekends, he jammed with Olaiya’s All Stars band. After completing secondary school studies, he played with E.C. Arinze’s highlife during late hours.
Uwaifo also briefly worked with Stephen Osadebe and Fred Coker before he formed Melody Maestros in 1965. The band released Joromi which became a huge hit in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa. Between 1965 and 1968, he developed the Akwete rhythm sound. In 1969, he launched a new beat called Shadow accompanied by a new dance also called shadow, a mixture of Akwete and twist. The sound was released when soul music was popular in Lagos and lasted a few years. After the launch of Shadow, the Melody Maestros went on tour of various Nigerian cities. Uwaifo later experimented with a new rhythm that was similar to soul but soon left it for Ekassa, an interpretation of a traditional Benin sound.
Uwaifo made history in Nigeria when he won the first Golden record in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa (presented by Philips, West Africa) for his song “Joromi” in 1996. Uwaifo, who has a total of 12 golden records to date, has travelled to many countries, including the United States, Russia, Japan, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, France, Hungary, Rome, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Benin Republic, Spain, Canada and others. He is a Rotary international Award winner and Philanthropist who meets people at the points of their needs.

National Recognition:
The Federal Government of Nigeria, in appreciation of his talents and contributions to Nigeria, honoured him with a National Honors Merit in 1983, which reads in part: ” … whereas you have been nominated and appointed as Member of the Order of the Niger to have and hold and enjoy the privileges of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of the said Order, MON.”
Uwaifo was the first professional musician in Nigeria to receive such an award. He is a Justice of the Peace and has served in many capacities. Uwaifo was also appointed as the Honorable Commissioner of Arts, Culture and Tourism and Member of the State Executive Council, the highest policy-making decision body in Edo State, 2001–03.
Appointed as Justice of Peace (JP) Public Notary and Lay Magistrate, Sir Victor Uwaifo was honored by four Nigerian Presidents.

International Honor:
He was awarded the National Honors of Nigeria (MON). He was invited to the State House by four Presidents and Head of States of Nigeria. In 1995, Uwaifo was invited by the United Nations Staff Day International Committee to perform during the UN Golden Jubilee celebration. He is cited in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1983 edition, documented in the “Who’s Who in Nigeria”, “Who’s Who in Africa”, “Who’s Who in the Commonwealth”, and “Men and Women of Distinction in the Commonwealth” sections. He is an Honorary Member of the Biographical Advisory Council, Cambridge, England, a member of both the Performing Right Society, and of the Advisory Board of American Heritage University, California, US.
For the records, Uwaifo is the Chairman of Joromi Organization, a multi-track recording and television studio in Benin City where he runs and manages an art gallery and the Victor Uwaifo Hall of Fame.
Uwaifo’s hobbies include swimming, bodybuilding, gaming, reading and writing. He is a Christian, and married with children. He also is a lecturer at the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Benin, Benin City.
We wish this great Nigerian musician more better health, accomplishments and long life.

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