Two years ago, one of Nigeria’s most brilliant creative souls passed away. Babatunde Okungbowa, known as was a visionary musical architect whose life touched several others through his genius. OJB Jezreel
He died on June 14 2016, only a few weeks to his 50th birthday after a protracted battle with kidney failure.
We remember his life and work in these images.
OJB left behind a large family
OJB Jezreel had three wives – June ‘Ama’, Korede, and Mabel aka Mama J – and eight children.
Mabel and her three kids she shared with OJB. After a successful surgery in 2013, OJB Jezreel showered praises on her for being there for him and donating one of her kidneys to save his life.
OJB Jezreel and Korede with their daughter, Ifebiyi and son, Damilare
OJB Jezreel and Ama with three children Emmanuel, Denzel and Zion.
When Nollywood actress, Mercy Johnson and DJ Stramborella visited him in June 2013.
In 2013, OJB’s illness caused a media frenzy as friends, family and fans were engaged in several efforts to raise N16m for his kidney transplant.
Vector praying with OJB in June 2013 when some entertainers visited him at his home in Surulere, Lagos. Photo: Tokunbo Ibikunle
The producer, his wife, Mabel ‘Mama J’ Okungbowa and a hospital staff at the Colombia Asian Hospital in India where he had gone for a transplant.
One of the producer’s wives, Korede with him in India where he was being treated in 2013.
While the father of eight was away in India, his house was undergoing a total renovation. ‘A fan paid for the renovation of this house’, OJB told NET. ‘He also bought me the new car’, referring to this white Land Rover SUV
A look at his house in Surulere, which had undergone a total renovation at the expense of a fan. Then, he told Thenetng; ‘I’m grateful that I have a home because if all of this had come crashing about two-three years ago, it would have been very unfortunate. It took me about seven years to finish paying the mortgage on this house. The final payment was made early in 2015 before my ailment became very critical.’
OJB during a thanksgiving service held at St. Leo’s Church, Ikeja, Lagos when he returned from a kidney operation in India. Photo: NET/Raphael Ijishakin
The music producer with his three wives Mabel, June and Korede Okungbowa along with their children attending a thanksgiving service held at St. Leo’s Church, Ikeja, Lagos on January 19, 2014. Photo – NET/Raphael Ijishakin
He participated in the 2014 Bring Back Our Girls campaign, following the kidnap of over 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram.
OJB Jezreel celebrated his 48th birthday in July 2014 with family and friends at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
Kenny Ogungbe, and Joe El at OJB’s 48th birthday gig.
OJB Jezreel teamed up with The Bowtie Club in late 2014 to launch a kidney trust fund. NET gathered then that the initiative was aiming to raise over N200m solely for the purpose of providing medical succour to Nigerians who are suffering from kidney ailments.
OJB Jezreel with popular Yoruba movie actor, Muyiwa Ademola. The producer made his Nollywood debut in 2015, starring alongside Bukky Wright, Muyiwa Ademola, Kelvin Ikeduba and Toyin Afolayan in ‘Anjole’, a movie directed by Bimbo Ogunsanya.
Joe EL, OJB, Oritsefemi in the 2014 video for ‘Oya Now’
April 7 2016, OJB attended the wake-keeping of his friend Nomoreloss who passed away 2 months before him.Nomoreloss played a vital role during 2013’s #SaveOJB and #PrayForOJB campaigns.
Rest in Peace Jigga!
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