By Babajide Awoyinfa
Lagos – One of Nigeria’s foremost poets, Odia Ofeimun, on Tuesday mourned the demise of a veteran highlife musician, Tony Grey, whom he said would be greatly missed by all music lovers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the veteran musician based in Warri, Delta, suffered from prostate cancer and diabetes which eventually led to his death.
According to reports, his family could not raise the N10 million that was needed to treat the ailment.
Tony Grey was widely known in the 1970s and 1980s in the old Bendel state, now Edo and Delta.
Ofeimun told NAN that the musician’s death was a big loss, as far as Highlife Music was concerned.
“In his own way, he made his contribution with several master piece songs that came out especially in the 1970s and 1980s.
“It is important that when people like him die, they are given all their due respect.
“Although, he may have not been a frontline musician like the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, but the role he played behind the scene to help in the production of great music needs to be properly recognised.
“For a very long time, he had been very much off the scene, and we didn’t know he had cancer, which is a terrible thing.
“Now that people are suffering from cancer, more and more investments should be made in the attempt to solve it for everybody.
“Every effort needs to be made to support his family, for him to be given a proper burial,’’ he said.