Let’s have Hall of Fame for Olaiya- Sensational drummer urges

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As the entertainment world continues to mourn the death of musical legend, Sir Victor Olaiya, an appeal has gone to the State and Federal government to immortalise his name by creating a Hall of Fame or museum in his honour.

Aralola Olumuyiwa,”Ara”,a popular female drummer who thrills her audience with gangan,made when she paid tribute to the late doyen of highlife music in Lagos recently.

She said that such a Hall would ensure that musical compilations, biography, musical instruments, pictures of the musical icon would be kept alive for posterity.

The ganggan exponent added that such effort would give fledgling musicians the opportunity to learn from artistic dexterity of the musical legend to enrich their experience in music.

“Ara” expressed optimism that the hall would boost the revenue profile of the nation acruable from local and International tourists would be visiting the hall.

On the man, Sir Victor Olaiya, Ara said that he would be greatly missed, adding that Olaiya would not be forgotten in a haste while praying God to rest the reposed soul of the deceased in peace.

The sensational drummer described the late Olaiya as an asset to the entertainment industry, noting the deceased was able to raise the bars in the African entertainment scene.

Duaglobalnews reports that Victor Abimbola Olaiya (89),also known as Dr Victor Olaiya, was a Nigerian trumpeter who made remarkable impact in the highlife style and extremely famous in Nigeria during the 1950s and early 1960s.

According to Wikipedia, Olaiya was born on December 31, 1930, in Calabar, Cross River State, the 20th child of a family of 24.

His parents, Alfred Omolona Olaiya and Bathsheba Owolabi Motajo, came from Ijesha-Ishu in Ekiti State and he was a product of a very rich family.

His father’s house was called Ilọijọs Bar stood on 2 Bamgbose Street, Lagos Island, until it was demolished on September 11, 2016.

At an early age, he learnt to play the Bombardon and the French Horn.

After leaving school, he moved to Lagos where he passed the school certificate examination in 1951 and was accepted by Howard University, US, to study civil engineering.

Olaiya, instead pursued a career as a musician, to the disapproval of his parents.

He started his music career by playing with the Sammy Akpabot Band, was leader and trumpeter for the Old Lagos City Orchestra and joined the Bobby Benson Jam Session Orchestra.

In 1954, Olaiya formed his own band, the Cool Cats, playing popular highlife music.

His band was chosen to play at the state ball when Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom visited Nigeria in 1956.

He was later to play at the state balls when Nigeria became independent in 1960 and when Nigeria became a republic in 1963.

On the latter occasion, Olaiya shared the stage with the American jazz musician Louis Armstrong.

During the Nigerian Civil War of 1967–70, Olaiya was given the rank of a lieutenant colonel (honorary) in the Nigerian army and his band played for the troops at various locations.

The Cool Cats later travelled to the Congo to perform for United Nations troops.

Olaiya renamed his band to the All Stars Band when they played the 1963 International Jazz Festival in Czechoslovakia.

Olaiya also ran a business that imported and distributed musical instruments and accessories throughout West Africa, and established the Stadium Hotel in Surulere.

In 1990, Olaiya received a fellowship of the Institute of Administrative Management of Nigeria and was also president of the Nigerian Union of Musicians.

Many children and relations survive him.

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