His son said his death came after a week of collaborating with him.
Uwaifo wore many hats beyond his music. He was in a class of his own. He was an athlete with an unbroken record, an inventor, a visual artist and a sculptor. He was an academic, earning a First Class in Fine Arts. He excelled in everything he did.
Popularly known as the ‘Guitar Boy’, the deceased was also the first professional musician to be awarded the National Merit Honours of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON). He was invited to the State House by four Presidents and Heads of State of Nigeria.
Uwaifo was born in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria and obtained his secondary school education at the Western Boys’ High School Benin and St Gregory’s College, Lagos, from 1957 to 1961. He began playing the guitar when he was 12 years old, his earliest popular music influences being Spanish and Latin American music.
While in St Gregory’s College, he played music and was among the leading Lagos high school bandleaders. As a young man, he played in different bands like the late Victor Olaiya, late E.C Arinze, Stephen Osadebe and Fred Coker before forming his band Melody Maestros. The band released the hit single ‘Joromi’ which became a popular hit and the most sampled song from his vast catalogue of music.
“Victor Uwaifo was one of a kind, a true renaissance man who effortlessly wore multiple hats be it as a musician, sculptor, inventor, politician or educator. His outstanding musical catalogue won him a dedicated and loyal fan base that cut across generations. Never one to rest on past laurels, Uwaifo was always pushing his restless creativity while charting new ways to reinvent and express himself. Sir Victor Uwaifo, the ‘Guitar Boy’ was a force of nature, his charm and charisma were infectious and disarming.”
Interestingly, in a career that spanned over 60 years, he amazingly kept a clean slate and was scandal-free. He was known to be athletic even as he advanced in age.
The deceased celebrated his 80th birthday last March.