Arrangements were in top gear this afternoon for the burial of the late Highlife music sage, Fatai Olagunju popularly known as Fatai Rolling Dollar at his uncompleted building site in Ikorodu, Lagos state, southwest Nigeria.
The Fidau (Muslims prayer for the dead) was conducted earlier today at his Millennium Estate, Oko-Oba residence.
Top musicians at the Fidau include former PMAN President, Admiral Dele Abiodun, Segun Adewale, Dayo Kujore, Champion Kunle Opio, Islamic scholars, music industry titans, fans and family members.
Veteran musicians, Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade, Prince Adekunle and others were in his Oko-Oba Millennium Estate residence yesterday to receive the corpse from the hospital alongside family members.
P.M.NEWS gathered that the late Juju/highlife music maestro left behind sixteen children and wives. Some of the children are Jamiu, Funmi, Mojeed Nimota and Adewumi.
Rolling Dollar was one of the highlife musicians who made the genre popular in the 60s and 70s. He was famous for his evergreen classic, ‘Won Kere Si Number Wa’.
Rolling Dollar, 85, died at the Marritol Hospital, Surulere, Lagos on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, before his death, Rolling Dollar told his family members not to weep for him.
One of the daughters of the deceased, Nimota Olagunju, who spoke with P.M.NEWS in the musician’s residence at Millennium Housing Estate, Oko-Oba, stated that the late veteran juju act was always telling her not to shed tears over his death.
“Whenever we spoke, he told me not despair or shed tears if he eventually died. He always said his corpse and burial are for government to deal with. However, he was always telling us he was getting better to reassure us,” she narrated.
Contrary to earlier report, Rolling Dollars actually died in a hospital in Surulere.
“He did not die at Ahmadiyya Hospital. He was transfered from the hospital to another one in Surulere. Officials of De Deon Blood Tonic, whose product he advertised before his death, came to the hospital and said they were not satisfied with the state of his health hence he was transfered to another hospital in Surulere,” his promoter, Samson Raji said.
King Sunny Ade, Pastor Ebenezer Obey, President Association of Juju Musicians (AJUM), Queen Ayo Balogun and Sir Shina Peters were some of the earliest callers at the residence of the late musician on Wednesday.
According to family members, Sir Shina Peters was the first caller while KSA, Pastor Obey and Ayo Balogun came later.
King Sunny Ade eulogised him saying, “we will miss him because he is a legend of this game”.
Meanwhile, the promoter who took Rolling Dollar to a musical tour of the United States of America (USA), Sampson Raji, has disclosed that the late musician actually died of cancer of the lungs.
According to the Maryland, USA-based music promoter, the veteran musician fell sick during the tour and he was taken to a hospital and it was at the hospital that he was diagnosed to have lung cancer.
Raji said Rolling Dollar went through series of tests for four days while he was admitted in the hospital for 12 days.
“After 12 days, he was discharged because his health had improved considerably due to the treatment and the drugs administered on him,” the promoter narrated.
He stated further that the late musician insisted on coming back home, saying he would prefer traditional treatment for his health.
“I had to change the ticket when he insisted on coming back home but I want to tell you that as at the time he was coming back home, his health had improved. He was even distributing his CDs to fans at the airport,” Raji said.
—Jamiu Yisa & Kayode Aponmade