Ace Nigerian music producer, OJB Jezreel (Babatunde Okungbowa) would have celebrated his 50th birthday in 20 days time (July 4, 2016) if death had not snatched him ruthlessly from his loved ones.
The celebrated producer helped launched the careers of many top artistes in Nigeria including African hip hop king, 2face Idiba. His production of 2face’s evergreen song, ‘African Queen’ leaves an enduring legacy of their working relationship.
OJB died of complications from his previously operated upon kidney ailment after suffering from a relapse.
Just two days ago (June 12, 2016) OJB Jezreel was asked how he was going to celebrate his 50th birthday and he was full of deep reflections.
Read what he said:
I think the first thing I really want to do is to have a quiet moment with my family, because as you are aware from 2013 till now it’s been a rolling stone of challenges health-wise and for some reasons I’m still alive, so that day, I really don’t want too much noise and celebration. I just want it to be a day for myself, family and God.
But after that day, we can turn up and paint the town all the colours you want (laughs).”
His last interview before he died was with NET. He said many things, but the ones that struck me the most was what you see below:
When your health challenge rose in 2013, did you ever think you’ll live up to 50?
Well, when the health challenge came, I won’t lie to you, I was a bit worried, but after the transplant, I started seeing things differently and I started seeing possibilities of living up to 50 and even beyond.
Now that you are 50, what will change about you?
I hear most people turn 50 and say things like ‘I’ll get closer to God’, so I always wonder. Really, you don’t have to hit the age of 50 before you should get close to God, what if you don’t live up to 50?
For me, there’s really nothing that’ll change. Like I said earlier, the only thing is the fact that you can’t be found competing with anyone. You should be more of the advisory person. You should let people know that there’s a ladder to climb, that there’s more to what they see. One minute you are at the top, the next minute it’s somebody else, and a lot of people have not been able to manage such situations.
I just believe that 50 gives you an opportunity to be more constructive with your life. Some say life begins at 40, for some of us I think life actually begins at 50.
Sadly, he never lived to see the day as death had different plans.