Nigerian born reggae star Majekodunmi Fasheke attracted international fame in 1987 when his self-penned song hit the spotlight. After the hit track, ‘Send Down the Rain’ he was labelled a “prophet”, and fittingly became a super star and one of Africa’s greatest reggae-influenced performers. Adedayo Adejobi spoke to Majek Fashek in the company of Omenka Uzoma Day, his manager, who is helping him heal and live a new life. The rainmaker spoke of his rebirth, collaborations with Tuface Idibia, why his pictures are all over the U.S., and plans for the future
What is this controversy of another company using Majek Fashek’s name to host a concert in Nigeria?
Yes, it was Victor Mandators who used my name and picture for his Africa meets Reggae show for November 26, 2016, without consulting Omenka Uzoma Day, my music business consultant manager. Knowing that I was not in town, why are people so wicked and desperate? He went as far as doing press conference to deceive my fans that I was coming.
Majek has been out of Nigeria for a while now, in the UK. What’s been happening there?
My manager and I have been out since May 2016. We were working on my album in England, also meeting and having appointments with other international superstars. I am also working on my fitness on stage, gym, and planning 2017 World Tour with our booking agents. My music takes long because I am currently working on 10 tracks which is on analogue/digital record, mixing and mastering for international quality.
How is the recording going?
For now, the recording is going very, very fine. We are done with a song titled Akugbe, a single dedicated to the new Oba of Benin. Also we are through with mastering Holy Spirit featuring 2Face Idibia, which videos will soon be out.
You recently released a song dedicated to the Oba of Benin. What inspired it?
The Oba of Benin’s song, Akugbe, means unity. Benin people and our nation Nigeria need peace, and I know that he will take Benin to another level and the song is also a unity message.
When is Majek Fashek’s new album due to be on the streets?
The album will be released before April 2017 because music production is like building a house and it’s not a day job. My manager, Omenka Uzoma Day, is really putting it together because of the demands on me. He knows when to release and launch my album.
Are you collaborating with other Nigerian or foreign musicians on the album project?
Collabo with 2Face is done. Now, very interestingly, one of my songs has featured the support of almost two hundred thousand supper legends all over the world. My song titled We are not Afraid is being used to raise funds all over the United States to support charity homes, refugees and human rights groups. My pictures are now all over the states of America just like Micheal Jackson’s song, We are the World.
May his soul rest in peace, he was my good friend because we have done tours together.
Check We are not afraid on YouTube; you will see all the artistes involved. God bless Omenka Uzoma Day and Steve Weitzman. I just returned from London where I went to work on my album. Sammie Okposo was with us recently, he made some positive comments about my work and my personality. The stories flying about me are false, I love my fans, I love Africa and anybody is free to say anything they like about me. God will help Nigeria and I will come back to support everyone. Azuka was my friend, he is always in Nigeria most times but in America, he is a cab driver and I used to give him money all the time. Why is he betraying his brethren? That is not good.
How long did you stay in the UK?
I have been in the United Kingdom for six months now. I arrived Nigeria last weekend to attend some gigs for my fans. I appreciate them for their patience and I will still do a complete album project before the tour slated for next year.
You were recently issued a work permit, what do you need it for?
A work permit is the permission to take a job within a foreign country. There are seven standard ways to apply for a work permit in the United Kingdom: the Business and Commercial Arrangements, the Training and Work Experience Arrangements, the Sports People and Entertainers Arrangements, Student Internships, GATS, Ancestry Visa and the Sectors Based Scheme.
Each of these involves its own application process, and generally requires a job offer from a UK employer. The UK has stopped accepting work permits in many other categories. The UK work permit system is currently being replaced by a new points-based immigration system. My manager worked on getting work permit for us as international stars, with a view to enabling us do our production here legally in United Kingdom. But , thanks to Adedeji Adejobi of Ennon and Co Solicitors, one London’s biggest Nigerian great lawyers. I and my manager now have resident permits here, meaning we can come and go anytime for our work.
Many are of the opinion that with your stay in the UK will give room to you getting back to drugs, thus relapsing. What’s your own take?
That’s not true. I am doing very great and looking healthy. I go to the gym daily and eat well. Nigerians will experience me in full strength during the December 2 and New Year, as I have gigs line up.
How have you kept your head above waters since?
Majek has done a lot here in England and he is balling, just check on social media or Internet.
You being a man of many parts and women, did you cultivate any relationships in the UK?
I am not getting married until my manager gets married first, because I have promised I will be his best man when he finds a wife.
If you are not at the moment, are you considering re-marrying? Have you finally re-united with your family?
I speak to my family everyday and they are doing great. My First son, Randy is married with a daughter; second son married with a daughter and last boy is still in college and everything is fine with them. My children are coming to Nigeria soon.
What is your grouse with Charles Novia and Azuka Jabose?
I want Nigerians to please help me stop Charles Novia and Azuka Jabose from defrauding me. A lot has been happening, which I am giving a little tip. I have never had contract with Charles Novia. He put me in trouble with my American boss, even the Little Patience Album; I did not receive a penny from it. The song was recorded by Coral Music, Los Angeles.
And I am still having problems with them because I try to help him use the song to boost him for the Nigerian audience to help his November Records. Because of his scam that November Records is down, I have never had managing or recording contract with him. He should present our contract to Nigerians, he owes Coral Music.
That’s why I had big problem with Coral Music. Azuka is full of scandal. I have never had contract with them and they have no right to negotiate my business; they have been using me for too long. I also need Timi Dakolo to present the management he paid to and how much by going to use my song and earning money from iTunes and making money from Send down the rain. Azuka, a cab driver in America, whom I gave support -they are friends. I am not joking because my solicitor will contact him soon and we will make it public.