With his hit song, ‘Send Down The Rain’ from the album ‘Prisoner of Conscience’, in the late 1980s, Majekodunmi Fashakin (Majek Fashek) became a household name in the country. Then suddenly, his music career nosedived. He speaks with MURPHY AJIBADE on why he needs $100 million to become Nigeria’s President.
The general belief in the country is that reggae music is gradually becoming extinct. How true is this?
Reggae music cannot go down because reggae music is like a gospel music, we just need the right people to play it that is it. But if we are going to believe what some people are saying that this kind of music is going down, it is just because we don’t have the right people to play it. In our time, we had competition, Ras Kimono, Oriz Wiliki, myself and a few others. We had what is called destructive competition like what obtained in juju music then.
Yes and it affected many musicians in those days. I was very, very impressed when I returned from America and I met my younger brothers they are into constructive competition which did not happen during our time then, no killing, no babalawo. We came through the time of Fela, Sunny Ade, Obey, Sir Shina Peters, Barrister, Kollington, Orlando Owoh, Charley Boy. At that time it was destructive competition and jealousy. They were very destructive and jealous which almost destroyed my career. So, when I came back from the United States, I was very happy to see that the young guys are doing very well. And that is why Hajia has decided to invest on me and young musicians. That is why I decided to strike a deal with Hajia because she is trying to help musicians. The contract I signed is called underground system.
Since your return from the U.S., what effort have you made to revive reggae music?
I don’t play reggae music, I play African music and I play rock music. I did not return to Nigeria to revive reggae music and to help Hajia (PMAN President) become the first female governor in Nigeria.
Some people are saying Majek is from Ilesha in Osun State while others are saying you are from Benin in Edo State. Which is the truth?
My father is from Ilesha and Abeokuta but my mother is from Benin. No mixture.
Is it true that your friends abandoned you before Hajia came onto the scene to help you?
I came to save Nigeria.
(Cuts in) I mean how do you feel being dumped by friends? I am not asking you why you returned to Nigeria.
Hold on, forget about friends. I returned to Nigeria to reform this country. People are coming to enslave Nigeria again and I am here to save Nigeria and you are here talking about friends. God sent me to come and save Nigeria, they want to come and overthrow Nigeria again through subsidy. If that subsidy had succeeded, Nigeria would have died.
Your music ‘Send down the Rain’ was a hit in the 80s even up till now. What gave you the inspiration for that track?
It is God. God gave me the inspiration. God did everything. See, let me talk about Nigeria. People are suffering, people are dying and yet, government is not doing anything about it. Government should be paying our electricity bill, people pay their bills yet, they are not enjoying it. I want to become the President of Nigeria but I need $100 million to make that dream come to fulfilment.
Is presidency for sale?
No, it is not for sale but I want to be a President who will reform Nigeria.
I am sure if you have $100 million, you would not bother to run for presidency again.
No, I am very serious o. I want to be the President of Nigeria. We are leaving in hell in Nigeria. One doesn’t need to die before going to hell. We are already in hell in Nigeria.
You have many albums to your name. Which one will you say is your best? Some people are saying Prisoner of Conscience is the best.
If people say ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ is the best, then it is the best. Apart from fetching me many awards, that album is from God, because you can never stop rain, neither can you stop God’s creation. The wind must blow, and life must go on.
Who are your 10 greatest musicians, dead or alive?
I don’t know. I don’t know of any.
What is the difference between music then and now?
The music now is rock, as in we are now into the music of computer, which is an exciting thing for youths. Me, I don’t like computer because it is too possessive, computer is for young people. We are now in computer music.
What message do you have for people, especially those who believe you are sick?
Yes, I was sick, anybody can be sick. What I have is spiritual problem which I am dealing with. Even in the Bible, it was stated that we are not fighting against flesh and blood but wickedness in high places. I am a freedom fighter, I can never be shot like Lucky Dube, I am invincible. You can’t shoot me. I am Anikulapo.