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HE DIED AGAINST HIS WISH: Unfulfilled dreams of world’s oldest musician, Fatai Rolling Dollar

By News Express on 12/06/2013

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World’s oldest musician, Fatai Rolling Dollar (real name Fatai Olayiwola Olagunju) who died this morning in Nigeria’s entertainment capital, Lagos, had hoped to survive the sickness that eventually killed him.

The ageless rocker who was nicknamed Fatai Rolling Babies because he was still marrying and fathering children in old age, died this morning at Marritol Hospital, Surulere, aged 85.

His death came three days after he refuted reports that had slipped into a coma as a result of a protracted illness and had been was receiving treatment at a Lagos hospital for about three weeks, haven been rushed to the hospital after performing at an event for three hours.

The veteran highlifer however the Ibadan-based Sunday Tribune that he was never in coma. “I have just left the hospital where I had gone to receive treatment, but I am back home now,” he had said on phone in a barely audible voice.

Death was the last thing on his mind as he said he was looking forward to returning to the stage soon. According to him: “I’m ready for my shows and I also want to assure my fans that I am doing fine right now, though I was told to always visit the hospital for further check-up.”

News Express reports that had another unfulfilled dream: He was never able to finish a music school he embarked on in the Ikorodu area of Lagos and for which he solicited support from governments, individuals and corporate organisations.

“I want to do something that people will remember me for. And that is the reason I want to build a music school, where young and fresh talents can be found and nurtured to become big and useful in the society later in the future,” the man who was also fondly called Baba once said. 

Born on July 22, 1928 in Lagos, Fatai Rolling Dollar was from a royal family in Ede, a town in Osun State. He schooled in Lagos but moved to Ede at the age of 16 when his father died. Rebellious by nature, Rolling Dollar later took to music and became a big hit. His break came from 1957 when he formed an eight-piece band called Fatai Rolling Dollar and his African Rhythm Band, and they recorded numerous seven-inch singles for Phillips West Africa Records.

He however fell on hard times after many years of stardom (having lost all his property in an inferno) and barely eked out a living, at a time working as a securiy man so as to keep body and sould together. The ageless maestro however bounced back in old age with a number of hits. He played well received gigs and toured parts of the world, escpaing from the jaws of penury as the money rolled in. He was further uplifted by the Lagos State Government, which donated a flat to him, thus ebaling him to relocate from a one-room "face-me-I-face-you" to an abode befitting his new status. Rolling Dollar (seen in photo speaking with journalists) is survived by three wives and children. His death was confirmed by one of his wives, Mrs. Zainab Olagunju.

Source News Express

Posted 12/06/2013 9:25:27 PM


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