Legendary highlife musician, Orlando Julius Ekemode, is dead.
Ekemode passed on in the United States at the age of 79.
The highlife music veteran’s demise was announced by the Managing Director of Evergreen Music, Bimbo Esho.
Esho has written that Ekemode’s wife had reached her in the early hours of Friday, April 15 to inform her of his death.
Esho, in her eulogy, while announcing the highlife legend’s death, has written: “Bimbo, Daddy has passed On… This was the message I stumbled on waking up at exactly 3 am to peruse my WhatsApp page… It was a message sent to me by Orlando Julius’ beautiful and supportive wife Lady Latoya.
“Orlando Julius, a native of Ijebu Ijesha succumbed to the cold hands of death and breathed his last few hours ago at the age of 79. We shall miss one of Nigeria’s fathers of Afro/Highlife Music, a gentleman and a fine Saxophonist. May daddy Orlando Julius’ soul journey well. To the entire Ekemode family may God give you the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.”
Ekemode was born in 1943 in Ikole-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria, to a merchant family during the colonial era. His first music teacher was his mother, who would sing and dance while he played the drums.
Ekemode, in 1957, after dropping out of school following his father’s death, left for Ibadan to pursue a career as a musician.