Sam Anokam and Gbenga Bada
CONTRARY to the belief of late reggae icon, Majek Fashek was ruined by drug abuse, fresh allegations have emerged on how he got fame through spiritual mysticism.
Journalist and social activist, Azuka Jebose Molokwu, made this known in an unedited excerpt from his autobiography: My Scattered Life.
Jebose wrote, “Majek was also experimenting with marijuana and alcohol. Majek’s family also allegedly introduced him to occultism within these periods. After the release of Prisoner Of Conscience, he allegedly began experimenting with Sat Guru Maharaji spiritual sect, Hari Krishna religion, and was exposed to the seven books of Moses.
“Family sources alleged that during his early years, his late mother would take him to the cemetery to worship the dead at midnight hours and offered sacrifices. He was allegedly mixing voodoos with occultism, wrapped in spiritual mysticism.”
Molokwu wrote further that Majek’s cousin and colleague, Amos McCroy, neither confirmed nor denied the allegations but gave additional insights into the genesis of Majek’s troubled soul.
Jebose wrote, “Though Amos McCroy would neither confirm nor deny these alleged observations by family sources he, however, provided additional insights into the beginnings of a troubled soul: “This happened immediately after the release of my first album: we were returning from rehearsals, riding in his car; one of the female companions asked me what was happening to my record sales: She said my album was not making waves as Majek’s, Mandators, Kimono, etc: Majek quickly interrupted her and said:“ don’t mind Amos; he doesn’t want to ask me the road that leads to stardom. He thinks it’s a good record that makes one a star. I then slapped his head and asked him which road he passd.e He told me in our Bini dialect that “this is not the Majek you knew and grew up with o!. I did not take him seriously until December 1998 when we went to a concert in Côte D’Ivoire. I was determined to check his excesses. I hung around him to watch his excessive use of alcohol throughout our concert period. Between 2 and 2.30 a.m while we were watching movies together, he looked at me and said, rather solemnly: “Amos I envy you”. I was shocked by the statement. After a lot of probing he began to tell me how his mother and elder brother took him to Cemetery in Benin City past midnight and they buried my record, that was the reason my record did not sell. When he said he envied me I asked him why?. He said I had peace and comfort and that I may never understand…. Probing further, he (Majek) then began what to me was a confession. I refuse to tell everything to this day because that’s my cousin, my family and despite these I love him.”
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Jebose also revealed how Black O Rize, a member of Majek’s early band, Jah Stix, had said Majek’s family was going to ruin him and that America was going to be a make or break thing for him.
“Majek’s alleged carelessness and lack of respect, recognition, and appreciation for Jah Stix deepened; the remaining personalities began to seek different directions with their lives and their music. Jah Stix slowly fragmented into nonentity, barely surviving. A once-promising and hot Reggae Ital shredded by the success of its frontman. Black O Rize adds: “The mission of Jah Stix Reggae Ital was more than one person in the band. If my guys had followed the vision projected in the earlier formative years, everyone would have had a lasting bond. Majek cannot feel free because of ego and lack of sharing a conscience. Majek couldn’t look George in the eyes of abandoning him because of fame and America. I still feel sorry for Majek.
“In 1989, I predicted his family was going to ruin him and that America was going to be a make or break thing for him. When he wanted to travel on his first U.S tour, he dropped two original members of the band: Amos and George. He said I could go with him if I wanted to. But I don’t sell out. I was already an EU citizen, so I didn’t need Majek to succeed in life; we sacrificed the group’s album for Prisoner Of Conscience. Why would he break us apart from this way? These guys were a bunch of talents that needed harnessing, In 1989, George and I went to Europe and the others went to the US. The rest is history.
“Jah Stix Reggae Ital Band was the fertilizer and the manure that would have sustained Majek’s growth and fame, but he rejected the stones needed for the building and allowed sentiments and envy to creep into his heart, seeking the counsels of Lucifer… Amos became a rival instead of a partner, George was deemed not smart enough. My ( Black O Rize) problem with him was his problem with Ja’Stix; George and Amos. I left him that day in ’89 and we would not see again until 20 years later. I was very angry so I asked Amos and George to come with me to Europe just to show that ‘when the rain falls, it doesn’t fall on one man’s housetop’. I am happy we are all doing well individually, years later… I keep hoping and praying Majek’s circumstances would change for best”
Majek died at the age of 58-years-old in New York, a city he once loved and sang about in his heydays.