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Music

Victor Olaiya: Celebrating the Legacy of Nigeria’s Highlife Maestro

todayMay 16, 2024 1

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Victor Abimbola Olaiya OON, also known as Dr. Victor Olaiya, was a legendary Nigerian trumpeter, born on December 31, 1930.

Victor Abimbola Olaiya OON, also known as Dr. Victor Olaiya, was a legendary Nigerian trumpeter, born on December 31, 1930.

Victor Olaiya’s Early Life:

Olaiya was born in Calabar, Cross River State, into a large family of 24 siblings.

Career Beginnings:

After learning to play several instruments, Olaiya moved to Lagos to pursue his musical career. He formed his band, the Cool Cats, in 1954, playing popular highlife music.

International Recognition:

His band performed at significant state events, including Nigeria’s independence in 1960. They even played at the 1963 International Jazz Festival in Czechoslovakia.

Musical Influence:

Victor Olaiya’s music was influenced by James Brown, combining elements of Ghanaian highlife and Afrobeat. His unique style inspired many, including the legendary Fela Kuti.

Personal Life and Legacy:

Victor Olaiya was a family man, survived by his children and grandchildren, including Nollywood actress Moji Olaiya. He passed away on February 12, 2020, leaving behind a musical legacy that continues to inspire.

Remembering a Legend:

Let’s take a moment to celebrate the life and music of the great Victor Olaiya, a true icon of Nigerian highlife.

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Written by: Boluwatife

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