…Calls for government, private investors intervention on Museum
A year after he threatened legal action against Nigerian singer, Simisola Bolatito Ogunleye, aka Simi, for failing to credit him over Joromi, which she remixed, Legendary singer and guitarist, Sir Victor Uwaifo has revealed that he has finally instituted a N50 million damages at a federal high court against the songstress.
This is even as he revealed that he called on government and corporate bodies to take over his private music museum to save it from total rot.
Uwaifo made these revelations on the sideline of the just-concluded National Festival of Arts and Culture in Edo State.
According to Uwaifo, “We’re in court already, I sued her at the federal high court for N50 million. They will be coming to court” he said.
Recall that Uwaifo had revealed over a year ago that Simi was in trouble for failing to give him credit for the song, Joromi, which she remixed and that he was planning to institute legal action against her.
“One after the other. I cannot just take everybody to court at the same time. I don’t know whether he or she; I know she is but I know somebody is behind it. An LP was sent as a compliment; I’m still looking at it but they were planning to come to Benin to see me. Up till now, they haven’t come. So I’m just putting that one on hold. ‘Joromi’ is a franchise. The name never existed before. Benin doesn’t have ‘J’ in their language. If any started with ‘J’ in Benin then it is fake. All consonant words start with vowel sounds. For example, if I use the trademark of one of these soft drinks, it is wrong. So Simi is in trouble” he revealed.
In another development, the highlife singer has called on government and corporate bodies to take over his private music museum to save it from total rot.
He made the call last week when the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) visited ‘Revelation Tourist Palazzo’, his museum situated in Benin City, as part of the ongoing National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST).
Uwaifo, while addressing officials of the NCAC, said that he had invested hugely in preserving the culture and history of the Edo people and Nigerians at large by establishing the timeless museum.
He also said that the museum, which housed all his intellectual property, ancestral shrines, slave market peculiar to Edo state, rituals and more, was his contribution to humanity.
According to him, government or private investors could take up the management of the history-oriented museum to ensure the proper preservation of its content.
“I have put in so much into the museum. My flesh, blood, and money have been invested in it. I want the government to take it over for proper management. I invested so much money into the museum which I could have put on a fixed deposit,” said Uwaifo.
“I am a fulfilled musician and artist, for me, there is nothing better than music and art because it gives me satisfaction. It makes me look forward to the future with pride.”
The highlife legend, while describing the museum as a beehive of activities since inception, stated that it has recorded huge patronage from students who got entertained, educated, and inspired through the works of art that it houses.
Reacting, Olusegun Runsewe, NCAC director-general, while speaking after a tour of the galleries in the museum, promised to assist the singer with maintenance and equip the facility with computers for proper data capturing.
“If this museum were to be in other countries of the world, tourists would be paying hugely to visit it, we must ensure this place is well preserved for the sake of posterity. The education I got here is out of this world and am happy that history is kept and our children can learn,” he said.