Saturday, May 7, 2016
"Ayiri Emami wanted to put me on the same level as Nigerian Artistes so I left" - Majek Fashek
Warri-based billionaire and socialite, Chief Ayiri Emami, has washed his hands off the affairs of popular reggae musician, Majek Fashek, about seven months after the latter emerged from a rehabilitation centre in Abuja.
The businessman, who took responsibility for the payment of the musician’s bills at the rehab home, said in a telephone interview with our correspondent that Majek ceased to be under his care since the day the (musician) returned to Lagos against his wish.
Explaining the circumstances in which Majek left, Emami said, “Majek Fashek is not under my care. When he left the rehabilitation home in Abuja, the doctors said that he needed to relax. They said he should stay off the music scene for some time. I wanted him to stay in Warri and relax. I provided everything that he needed to be comfortable. But he insisted on going back to music almost immediately. He kept insisting and, after a while, I had to let him go. That was it.”
Back in Lagos, fans of the reggae star were overjoyed when they learnt that he had been checked into a rehab home. The general assumption at the time was that Emami planned to sign him on to his music label. But they were wrong. The billionaire said that although Majek expressed the desire to be signed on, he had opposed it.
Emami said, “He wanted to join my music label, but I said no. I didn’t want other people to think that I did him a favour because I wanted him to sign on to the label. Instead, I told him that I could get him a good manager that would take care of him and his career, get him a car and every other thing.
“I travelled and by the time I returned one evening, Majek was already in Lagos.”
Although Majek had performed in some musical shows in Lagos, Emami said he was only aware of his performance during the 2015 Felabration event at the Afrika Shrine. “He went there with my band. I didn’t even want him to go to Lagos until he had rested properly, as the doctors advised,” he said.
When contacted, Majek initially denied that his relationship with Chief Emami was strained. “We are working together,” he had said. Then, realising that the billionaire had already spoken with our correspondent about it, he added, “We are still doing business together, but it is not like it used to be.”
Confronted with the allegation that he left Emami because the latter did not honour his request for money, Majek said, “It is not like that. I am an American-trained musician. When I was in America, I studied music and music business. So I am not in the same level as the average Nigerian musician. I am an international musician. Emami wanted to place me on the same level as Nigerian musicians and to control my music business. So I decided to move.”