ONE of Nigeria’s prominent Juju Highlife Musician, Evangelist Dele Ojo, passed away on Thursday at his Hometown in Ilara Mokin in Ondo State. He was age 79 years.
He will forever remain remembered for his contribution to Nigerian Music and his timeless Evergreen Classics ” Tere Na”, Bouncing Bona, Iya Ni Wura, etc
His last public musical performance was put together by Evergreen Musical Company Limited in 2016 to recognize him and celebrate him for his musical ingenuity and the formal launch of his entire musical compendium.
Dele Ojo was a member of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria. He was also the first chairman of the Ondo State chapter and also Ekiti, Kwara and Ogun states chapter chairman.
The Man Dele Ojo
Rev James Ogundele Ojo was born on the 10th July, 1938 in Ilaramokin, Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State into a devout Christian Parent.
Young Dele Ojo attended St. Michael Primary School between 1944 and 1955 where he served his tutelage.
He worked as a teacher and school band leader as St. James School, Igbara Odo and also taught at Holy Trinity School Ikere Ekiti and L.A School, Akure as a Music Teacher and Band Leader.
In addition to the practical Knowledge he acquired under Roy Chicago, Dele Ojo’s desire for more rudimentary knowledge took him to Mr. Bamijoko, a musical maestro who later established a music school where Dele developed more skills between 1955-1957.
Dele Ojo’s real professional career began as a trumpeter with Dr. Victor Olaiya in 1969. It is to his credit that he displays unparallel loyalty and commitment to service throughout his stay.
He was the first Chairman of the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) in the South Western States which then included the present Kwara and Kogi State.
Fundamentally in his desire to take Juju/Highlife to greater heights, Dele attended many professional trainings and seminars both in Nigeria and abroad which qualified him as the first Nigeria Juju/Highlife Musician with exploits in America and U.K during his sojourn in overseas for more than eight years.
This Man of God, Rev. James Dele Ojo, has presently established the Joyful Voice Ministry where church choristers are being taught the foundation of church ministration and praise worship.
The illustrious son of Ondo and the Yoruba nation with several Musical Awards both locally and internationally, is presently a visiting instructor at the Elizade University, Ilaramokin Ondo State.
Terena, as he is fondly called was the first Nigerian Musician to introduce Bass Still Guitar into Juju/Highlife music in his record (Bouncing Bona) in the sixties. He also created the use of complete band which includes six microphones on the stage and setting of other instruments at the back stage.