By Uche Amunike
The music industry and indeed, Nigerians woke up to the news of former President Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Bolaji Rosiji’s death, Sunday at 56, after years of battling with prostate cancer.
His death was announced in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer, Guarapad Charities, Olayemi Esan, who confirmed that he died by 5:30pm at the Lagoon Hospital, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Veteran flutist, Tee Mac Omatsola also confirmed Bolaji Rosiji’s death during his chat with pressmen, describing the news as a rude shock.
He stated that Rosiji, who was the former leader of Harishkrishna in Nigeria had battled with prostate cancer for so many years, adding that it was Stella Monye who informed him about their late colleague’s health condition.
His words: ‘He was a peace loving human being. He left the music industry immediately after the expiration of his tenure as PMAN president. Many people would hardly remember him again’.
On her part, incumbent President of PMAN, Pretty Okafor, described the late veteran as one person in the music industry who never had issues with anyone.
The late Bolaji Rosiji, who was the son of late Chief Ayo Rosiji, industrialist and two-time Minister of the Federal Republic, was until his death, the Founder of Guarapad Charities which he founded in 2004 and also a former Secretary General of the Nigerian Network of NGOs and United Nations Ambassador for Peace.
In the statement, Rosiji’s concerted efforts to grow his company by leaps and bounds, including his attitude, guidance and efforts was extolled.
The activist in him planned to empower over a billion people in the future through Guarapad Charities, which he operated with a people-focused business model, but sadly, death prevented him from fulfilling that dream.
Rosiji openly resigned from his PMAN President position in 2006 and denounced his HarishKrishna monkhood at his residence in Apapa-GRA, Lagos. It was a painful decision he said he had to take in order to maintain his integrity and his family name, especially that of his late father, Chief Ayo Rosiji who strongly fought for the emancipation of Nigerians.
Rosiji’s words: ‘When I came into office, I stated publicly that I would probe PMAN accounts and make my findings public. My recent relationship with EFCC to eradicate corruption in Nigeria and PMAN strengthened that drive. I have a zero tolerance for corruption and suspended the 1st Vice President, George Dureke when he was found wanting of financial irregularities. Charles Oputa aka Charly Boy, the immediate past president of PMAN and certain elements have persistently attempted to frustrate our efforts’, he once said.
Sad as Bolaji Rosiji’s death is, his regime will be remembered by the music world for identifying the need to help youngsters become performing musicians, which made him spearhead the establishment of PMAN-owned music studios all over the country.
His public resignation from his post and denouncement of his HarishKrishna monkhood in 2006, made him occupy news headlines at the time.
Even though Bolaji Rosiji’s death occurred years after his battle with cancer, he will be remembered for a long time for his philanthropy and fame, which he got through his single, ‘Heart of Gold’, released in 2010 and inspired by the Michael Jackson’s classic, ‘We are the World’.
He is survived by his wife and children.