Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The family and associates of the late Oseloke Augustine Onwubuya (popularly known as Ras Kimono) have announced the launch of a development foundation in honour of the late Nigerian reggae legend.
Kimono died on June 10, 2018, in Lagos after over 35 years on stage. He hailed from Onicha-Olona in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State
Ras Kimono Development Foundation will be formally launched on June 15, 2019, at Giddy’s Place, Asaba, the state capital with a farewell concert to also mark the closure of the famous relaxation spot at the Ekwumekwu flyover in the heart of the capital city.
Proprietor of Giddy’s Place, Gideon Nwaomu, a close associate of Kimono, said the concert would feature Ras Kimono in orchestra/karaoke by renowned musicians and upcoming artistees with lots of entertainment.
Nwaomu said that the decision to close down Giddy’s Place was reached after much consultation and consideration of environmental factors characterised by depressed economy.
“We have, however, put in place measures that will ensure our staff get alternative means of livelihood, and a smooth transition for our customers, suppliers and service providers,” Nwaomu added.
Kimono’s cousin, Augustine Ugah, said the foundation is a talent-development and community-service initiative, adding that the launch is in fulfillment of a vision nursed by the late reggae maestro “to create a platform for young and talented Nigerians and African descent to nurture and advance their creative skills, particularly the less privileged in the society.
“Growing up, Kimono knew what it meant to live in absolute poverty, and therefore craved for others not to witness such. It was not a surprise that his music was often said to be greatly influenced by the poverty, inequality, and hardship he witnessed in his early life.
“Beyond the memorialisation, the foundation’s main objective is to provide a forum for the re-orientation process of youths in our communities so as to bring about positive mind-sets for self-discovery and showcase their budding talents among other social/economic intervention projects.
“The foundation seeks to provide a brighter future for every child in Nigeria and Africa by nurturing their artistic gifts for personal development and national cohesion through music; foster self-esteem, dignity, community and civic responsibility among others. The long- term objective will be an establishment of resource centre with facilities for exhibition, museum, recording studio, hall/amphitheatre among others.”
Recall that Kimono made his debut in the Nigerian music stage in the late 80s with a renowned album which featured hits including ‘Under Pressure’, ‘Natty Get Jail’ and ‘Rum-Bar- Stylee’.
His last music record “Stop the Senseless Killing,” was a passionate appeal to Nigerians to stop the killings of fellow Nigerians and other citizens of the world, before.
His close associates described him as an extraordinary reggae artist with a blistering music career that was scandal-free, adding that he never indulged in smoking or drinking while alive.