The music industry in Nigeria shook when the announcement of the death of Highlife music Legend Dr Victor Olaiya took over the airwaves across the country. The music icon passed away at a ripe age of 89 at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital on Wednesday.
Before his death, Victor Olaiya was among the few Nigerian musicians who can play multiple musical instruments especially the trumpet. He was one of the raving voices in Africa music especially in Nigeria between the 1950s and 1960s.
While announcing his death on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, the record label of the music icon, Evergreen Music Company, described him as one of the last men standing.
A statement issued by the Music company wished the family of the deceased and the music community across the world the fortitude to bear the loss.
The statement read: “The entire music world wish to announce the death of a Legend of Highlife music, One of the last man standing, the last of the original Dr Victor Abimbola Olaiya OON.
“We pray that the soul of the Doyen of highlife music finds repose with his creator while wishing the family and entire music community the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.”
Dr Victor Olaiya was born on 31 December 1930, in Calabar, Cross River State. He was the 20th child of a family of 24. He started playing a musical instrument known as Bombardon at a very early age.
Contrary to the wishes of his parents, Victor Olaiya abandoned his Civil Engineering certificate he earned from Howard University in the United States, to pursue a career in music.
The late music icon established his own music band known as Cool Cats in 1954 after spending some time with Sammy Akpabot Band and Bobby Benson’s orchestra.
Dr Victor Olaiya is best known for his evergreen hit “Baby mi da” (Baby Jowo) which he remixed in July 2013 with a music video featuring 2face idibia (2baba).
He is survived by many wives, children, and grandchildren.