Sir Victor Olaiya, a legendary highlife musician and iconic trumpeter, took his last breath – after a brief illness – at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) on Wednesday, February 12. He was 89.
Since the news of his death broke, eulogies have not stopped pouring in for Olaiya from the length and breadth of the country.
Through the Stadium Hotel, Sir Victor Olaiya has touched and changed lives in more ways than one. Olaiya’s manager, Gbenga Adewusi tells NET Olaiya never treated his staff any different from his family.
“Dr Olaiya is my dad. I take him as my dad and he took me as his son. It’ll be difficult for me not to see him again. He doesn’t even make me miss my family. All I’ve become today is because of Olaiya,” a sombre and visibly sad Adewusi says, before going on to recall the many selfless acts the late highlife singer made in his illustrious life.
“It was at his place I got married and had my children. I got my life together,” he adds.
Sir Victor Olaiya has left the world, but his Stadium Hotel still stands tall and open to performances by various highlife bands and lovers of the genre.
Adewusi tells NET the band still plays regularly at the serene spot, with one of Olaiya’s sons, Bayode Olaiya, leading the band and carrying on his father’s legacy.
Adewusi says the show must go on, as that is what Olaiya would have wanted. He says come Saturday, the arena will once again be open for a night of gyration by lovers of highlife music across the city – in what will be a celebration of Sir Victor Abimbola Olaiya’s life and legacy.
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