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Ras Kimono goes home today!

…As daughter opens up on dreaming about his death

By Benjamin Njoku

The ancient town of Onicha Olona, Asaba, the Delta State capital, will come alive this morning with songs and dances as the remains of the legendary singer, Ras Kimono would be laid to rest.

Ras Kimono died on Sunday, June 10, after a brief illness. His remains were conveyed to his home town on Thursday morning after lying-in-state, at the headquarters of Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, in Ikeja, Lagos.

Kimono’s lying-in-state was preceded by a red-carpet tribute night oragnized by COSON, and  climaxed the week-long funeral programme of the music legend. Sidebeat cornered  the late music icon’s daughter, Oge Kimono who spoke on what she would miss about her father and the bond shared with him.

Missing the late music legend

My father was my everything; he was my best friend, my partner in crime. He was my gossip partner and also, my adviser. People have always asked me what I would miss most about my dad, and I told them I would miss everything about him.

There is no particular thing. Everything about him is what I would miss.  He was true to himself. I’m yet  to see anyone that has negative thing to say about him. All I have been hearing is that he was a good man, he was selfless, humble and dedicated. And that’s exactly what my dad was. He was an open book to everyone. The bond we shared was such that people started suspecting whether I was his daughter or his girlfriend. At a point, we were that close because everywhere  he was going I would accompany him.

Growing up with my grandmother

Not growing up with my dad did not mean that he was not in my life. Every opportunity, he had  to show me love he used it. He was always visiting me. And I think it was  the best thing any musician would do for his kids; to keep them away from the limelight. To separate business from his family and my dad was one that made sure that every opportunity he had, while performing in the eastern part of the country, he would stop over to see me.

That was where the bond I shared with him started deepening. Growing up with  my grand mum, I had the best of everythings. It was sweet memories. At this point, it hasn’t dawned on me that my dad is no more. May be, when everything is over and the sympathisers returned to their homes, the realization would definitely set in.

Dreaming about his death

Since I returned to the country in 2010, I have been having dreams in this direction. I lost my grand mother first, then my mum and now my dad. The thought of loosing my dad has always crossed my mind. But God has been always faithful. Like I said, I have been having dreams and may be , it was a way of preparing me to be able to be strong, to carry on with my life. I remember vividly the last dream I had of him.

In that dream, he was the one that  called me and said that my dad was dead. The next morning I called him and relayed my dream to him. This was about three years ago. I cried profusely in that dream and I woke with my tear stained face the following morning. It felt so real that I had to put a call across to find out if he was okay.

Inspiring me to go into reggae music

My dad never cajoled me to go into music. My going into music, my father did not see it coming. As a kid, I was a member of the church choir. My grand mum was not a fan of reggae music . She loved blues and country music . I never really had one on one connection with reggae music. I remember whenever my dad visited me, kids would be asking me to play reggae msuic for them. Even during my birthdays, I always requested that they play Dolly Parton  for me. I never really fall in love with reggae. But my dad ensured that each he was visiting me, he would bring along with him all his albums and a walkman.

I started listening to his songs, his lyrics more than I was listening to other songs  as a child. At the age of 15 years, I started listening to the Olivera  music, I started listening to lyrics, the wordings  and the meanings. And that was when I had one on one connection with reggae music. And  my dad was so proud that I toed that path. Reggae found me , I didn’t choose the genre.


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