Veteran Highlife singer, Victor Olaiya is dead. He died on the 12th of February 2020 at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital at age 29. Alhaji Alade Odunewu of the Daily Times described him as “The Evil Genius of Highlife.”
Bimbo Esho, Managing Director of Evergreen Music Company Ltd, said the untimely incident happened at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) today, Wednesday, February 14.
He wrote, “This untimely incident happened at LUTH Lagos State at exactly 12noon today, Wednesday 12th of February, 2020. We pray that the Doyen of highlife music find repose with the creator while wishing the family and entire music community the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss. And to my name sake Abimbola Olaiya, I will miss your contribution to *HIGHLIFE MUSIC* . Dr Victor Abimbola Olaiya was *89 years of age* on December 31st, 2019.”
Born on 31 December 1930 in Calabar, Cross River State, he was the 20th child of a family of 24. His parents, Alfred Omolona Olaiya and Bathsheba Owolabi Motajo, came from Ijesha-Ishu in Ekiti State.
Olaiya came from a wealth home. His father’s house, Ilọijọs Bar, was located at Bamgbose Street, Lagos Island, until it was demolished on 11 September 2016.
At an early age, he mastered how to play the Bombardon and the French Horn. He moved to Lagos, passed the school certificate examination in 1951 and was accepted by Howard University, America, to study civil engineering. Olaiya instead pursued a career as a musician, which annoyed his parents