Chris Ajilo: Nigeria loses irreplaceable music icon – Okoroji

Chris Ajilo

Pa Chris Ajilo with Okoroji and Sir Victor Uwaifo, when he was honoured with the COSON song Award in 2017


Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, says Nigeria has lost an irreplaceable music icon with the death of highlife great, Chris Ajilo.

Okoroji who paid glowing tribute to Ajilo credited him with laying the foundation upon which COSON stands today.

“I worked with the great Chris Ajilo on so many endeavours. In each case his dedication, humility and contribution were first class. He was a member of my Executive Council in the golden years of PMAN. He was also General Manager of Performing & Mechanical Rights Society (PMRS) while I was chairman. There is no doubt that Chris Ajilo laid the foundation stone on which COSON was built. While he had retired before the transition of PMRS to COSON, he remained an unflinching member of COSON, attending and participating actively in every major event of the society and giving total support towards the progress of COSON,” Okoroji recalled.

He described the late Pa Ajilo as an all-round music icon who will be missed by all, having accomplished so much in the various sectors of the entertainment industry.

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In apparent toast to the life and times of the highlife impresario, Okoroji reeled off in eulogy: “In 2017, when Lagos State celebrated 50 years of the creation of Nigeria’s most vibrant state, whose music was chosen as the iconic song that captured the essence of Lagos, its spirit and the beauty of its people? Lagos went for the song that year after year, decade after decade, has become the anthem of Lagos, Eko Gbagbere, which was composed in the early 60s by the master musician, Chris Ajilo, the man who led the Independence Band at the Federal Palace Hotel in 1960; the people’s saxophonist, a music teacher by calling, Artiste & Repertoire Manager with a difference, producer of numerous hit songs and numerous hit artistes and the quintessential copyright man.

“On November 5, 2017 at the COSON Song Awards at Eko Hotel, the music industry and many lovers of music stood up to celebrate the anthem of Lagos, Eko Gbagbere, the evergreen song that will never die and the creative genius behind the song, the master musician, Chris Ajilo.

“The warm spirit of Chris Ajilo will be missed. His support of budding artistes will be missed. The sweet-sweet sound of his saxophone will be missed. His total commitment to music will be missed. His dedication to the copyright cause will be missed. Yes, all of us in the board, membership, management and staff of COSON will miss the irreplaceable Chris Ajilo.”

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