A great world citizen, Professor Victor Uwaifo. The last time I met with him, he made an open appeal to the federal and state government of Edo state and even corporate organisations to take over his private music museum and keep it running.
The Legendary highlife musician made the appeal during my familiarization tour of “Revelation Tourist Palazzo”. He pointed out that he has invested time and capital in preserving the culture and history of the Edo people and Nigerians at large by establishing the timeless museum.
After a tour of the museum, it was obvious that so much has gone into and it houses the intellectual property, ancestral shrines, slave market peculiar with Edo state and Nigeria in general.
Professor Victor Efosa Uwaifo Ph.D ,MON, JP. His professional qualities and accomplishments, as well as rich combinations of talents and skills, stood him out as a man of unique multidimensionality. He was an illustrious son and brand that had brought pride and respectability to Nigeria. Employing the universal language of music, he had promoted national unity and social harmony across religious and ethnic barriers. He possessed a depth of knowledge about social issues, which he shared without condescending to ignoble tendencies. Since he came to limelight and public consciousness, he remained constant in the firmament among the constellation of stars. He was a quintessential, information and communications technology personage of our generation a century ahead of time. His music never fades and never lacks harmony. His artworks demonstrate great splendor, extreme grandeur, unparalleled and exemplary grandiloquence. He was a gift to mankind.
He was a music maestro, sculptor, philosopher, poet and musical instrument inventor. His “Joromi” hit song released in 1965, won for Nigeria the first Gold Disc Record ever to come out of the continent of Africa in a competitive world. Sir Uwaifo was the first Benin man to receive the Nigerian National Honours; Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) in 1983, for his contributions to creativity and industry. He was appointed and sworn-in as Justice of the Peace (JP) 1990. He was also the first and foremost Honourable Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism in Nigeria (Edo State), former lecturer in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Benin. He was honoured with an award in 2018 by the Association of Nigerian Musicologists for his outstanding music performance and leadership. He was the Silverbird Man of the Year 2015 and honourary Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, the highest literary academic body in Nigeria. Education: National Diploma (Graphics},Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, 1963, BA Hon (First Class), 1995, Masters degree (MFA) sculpture, 1997, Ph.D (Visual Arts), University of Benin, Nigeria. Project Title: Production of Architectural Sculpture in Nigeria: A Re-Invention of Ancient Benin Royal Altar Pieces into Contemporary Art Using Synthetic Polymer Materials
Professor Victor Uwaifo stood out, he was intellectually sound both in mind and body as the most educated performing music icon in the world and the most read contemporary superstar still relevant over 50 years on stage till death. He had over 600 songs and 100 records to his credit with 8 gold and 2 silver awards. Each record is music of serious research and philosophical work equivalent to academic journal. He was a member of the Performing Rights Society of London (PRS), a trustee of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) and Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON). In 2016, Victor Uwaifo was inducted into the Grammy Award Museum in Los Angelis, USA. He inspired generations of musicians in Nigeria and beyond and still counting.
He was documented in the Dictionary of Music and Musicians, volume 8, documented in “Men and Women of Distinction in the Commonwealth and also “Who is “Who in Nigeria”. The Nigerian Television Authority celebrated him to mark his 50 years on stage, broadcast live to the world over a decade ago (2006) in Abuja. Western Nigeria Television, Ibadan, (WNTV) first in Africa has also awarded him a Gold Trophy in appreciation of his immense services in 1971. Professor Victor Uwaifo is the President and Founder of Revelation Palazzo Museum and Victor Uwaifo Academy of Music, Benin City, Nigeria.
@ Dr Raphel James