Helping Majek Fashek
FOR years, it was more of a rumour. But now, it is no longer a secret. No one can keep that kind of secret for long in these days of highly inquisitive and vibrant social media. It is official: iconic reggae star, Majekodunmi Fasheke, better known as “Majek Fashek the Rainmaker”, is a drug wreck.
If you compare his situation now with his photographs of 1988, the year he released his epochal Send Down The Rain, you are bound to be struck by deep sadness at the self-wastage of an artiste who was once rated as the much-sought “replacement” of reggae legend, Bob Marley.
After storming the dance scene with his hugely successful first album, Majek Fashek who toed the lifestyle of Jamaican Rastafarian spiritualists, sojourned to New York City in 1991, where he released So Long, an album in which he asserted his personal signature to escape the tag of being what his critics called a Bob Marley “copycat”.
Before long, the pressures hit, and Fashek, who had balanced on the fringes of marijuana abuse while in Nigeria, became a hard drug addict. It not only destroyed his career, it also emasculated his person. Today, reports say he is homeless and destitute..
However, help appears on the way for Majek Fashek. Some notable Nigerians, have thrown their weight in the ring in an effort to raise funds to help bring back Majek Fashek from the brinks.
We commend this initiative and throw our moral weight behind it. Though his problem is self-inflicted, we should rush to his help. Let us remember those who, in their youth, made us happy and relieved our stress with their God-given talent, especially when they are on the verge of death. It is still a big dent on our collective consciences that when the late Sonny Okosuns was suffering from a terminal disease, most of us looked the other way, and an artiste who bristled with patriotism with his work and distinguished himself as a general in the anti-Apartheid war, was abandoned in his time of need.
Let the life of Majek Fashek be a lesson to all, especially the youth. It is yet another proof that drug indulgence and addiction, membership of cult groups and fraternities eventually bring one to a sticky end.
With appropriate lessons learned, let us be generous and come to the aid of Majek Fashek. He can no longer help himself right now even if he tries. The burden is now a collective one for all of us, even those who did not share the passion for his music and his message.