My goodbye message to, RAS Kimono.
Yesterday 3 pm I was driven to the Nigerian Child Summit and Awards held at the Lagos Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island when I got that phone call, which stopped my heart beat for a moment! RAS Kimono died! Just like that. Stella Money in boxed me that she is expecting him in the USA and now this tragic news. I would like you dear reader to know that we Musicians from the 70,s 80s and 90s are a very close group of friends. We speak to each other regularly, we either participate in each other’s show or show up to support. We know each other’s wife, children and when in town go to each other’s children’s weddings, parties or birthdays. So when one of us joins his/her ancestors it is always a big loss and a painful time.
As PMAN President I had to oversee the funeral of Chief Osadebe, Sonny Okosun, Elder Steve Rhodes, Oliver De Cock, Christy Essien (I was part of the Committee) and a few more I cannot just remember their names while writing this. Every funeral was difficult; seeing an old friend being lowered 6 feet into his last resting place. Back to RAS Kimono, I met him in 1976 after returning to Nigeria for Festag 77 and opening the Air-conditioned SURULERE Night Club. Ras was 18 years old, a tall handsome, light skinned guy who loved music and told me he wants to become a professional musician.
In the 1983 I invited him to the PMAN meetings in Ikeja, even before we registered PMAN, he was 25 years old. From then on I have seen him growing in the Entertainment Industry and enjoyed his music. Ras Kimono stood for quality and good compositions. He did not compromise. We all missed him during his years in the USA, but every professional has to go out to the world to perform, to see on how he or she can fit into the scene of a foreign country.
The last time I shared a show with him was at an open air club on Awolo Road about 2 years ago. It was a Reggae night organised by the Mandator Victor. Ras performed with his band and I truly enjoyed the professionalism of him and his musicians. We shall miss Ras Kimono, a true Reggae legend, but his music lives on, we can continue to enjoy his creative mind in putting on one of his CD’s.
I send my love and condolences to his wife, Children and extended family, to his musician’s crews and all his fans who lost a true and serious Artist.