By Benjamin Njoku
Emotions ran high yesterday, as the remains of late reggae legend, Ras Kimono, who died on Sunday, June 10, were brought for lying-in-state at the headquarters of Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, in Ikeja, Lagos.
The motorcade conveying Ras Kimono’s body arrived the COSON House, at about 9.30a.m.,where a short prayer for the repose of the soul of the departed was offered, before setting out for his home town, Onicha Olona, Asaba, the Delta State capital, for the activities leading to the burial tomorrow.
Ras Kimon’s remains were accompanied by a strong delegation of the COSON leadership, family members, friends, fans and other personalities in the Nigerian entertainment industry.
While the lying-in-state lasted, the deceased’s wife, colleagues and close friends could not hold back tears knowing that it was the last time they were going to behold the reggae icon’s face on earth
From Orits Williki to Alariwo of Africa and Shina Peters, it was a free flow of tears as they filed out to pay their last respects to their departed colleague.
Kimon’s wife, Efe was overcome by grief and could not contain herself on sighting the glass casket bearing the remains of her late husband. Standing beside the casket, she kept confessing her undying love to the man she fell in love with as his manager and recently had a baby girl for.
Leading the procession, the Rastafarian Movement in Nigeria, led by its grand patron, Ras Edu Dickson, said Ras Kimono lives on. He said he was confident that the ‘Rub-a-Dub’ master had gone to be with his maker. “Ras Kimono never dies, but lives on,“ he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman of COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji, said his happiness is that Ras Kimono did not die unsung.
His words: “Ras Kimono was a giver. He always gave his heart, his smile, his immense talent and his love to one and all. He had no angst against anyone.
“Kimono was totally dedicated to the COSON cause. He was not just a COSON member, but 100 percent committed COSON activist. As a hyper-creative person, he fought anything that he thought would bring COSON down or tear the music industry apart. He saw in COSON a watershed institution for the development of the Nigerian creative industry which must be nurtured for the next generation.”
Kimon’s daughter, Oge who has taken after her father as a reggae star, said she would miss everything about him, including his love and care, while his widow, Efe, described him as ‘a loving husband’ adding that he was a different specie.
“We were always together, he was always the best. Of course, I have had other relationships, but Ras Kimono was different. I would miss him forever,” she mourned.
Meanwhile, Kimono’s lying-in-state was preceded by a red-carpet tribute night which climaxed the week-long funeral programme of the music legend, who would be laid to rest in his hometown, Onicha Olona, Delta State on Saturday August 25, 2018.
Ras Kimono celebrated his 60th birthday amid fanfare in Lagos in May. In October 2017, he dropped a new single after many years of hiatus from the music scene.
It set the tone as he released more songs and toured Africa, Europe and the U.S.A.
He also won several awards, including the Nigerian Music Awards, and Fame Music Awards.