By Modupe Gbadeyanka
President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State have mourned a popular music act, Lanre Fasasi, otherwise known as Sound Sultan, on Sunday.
The celebrated rapper, singer, songwriter and actor died at the age of 44 of throat cancer. His death came as a shock to many, though reports about his battle with cancer emerged in May 2021. He was buried in the United States yesterday in line with Islamic rites.
In a statement issued on Monday, President Buhari, through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, stated that the demise of the artiste was not only a loss to the Nigerian music industry, but to the country as a whole.
Mr Buhari, while extending his heartfelt condolences to the Fasasi family, prayed for the eternal repose of the soul of the singer and divine peace and comfort for the family, friends and associates.
According to him, Sound Sultan “lived an exemplary life, achieved several milestones in his career and contributed greatly to the development of the Nigerian music and entertainment industry through his artistic genius, creativity and talent, which has inspired many young Nigerians in the industry.”
The President said the deceased, while he was alive, “was kind, generous, and deeply passionate about issues in the country, which reflected in his music and art,” noting that as an avid basketball fan, he made telling contributions to the development of local basketball in the country.
On his part, Governor Makinde, via a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Print Media, Mr Moses Alao, described the death of the entertainer as a huge loss to the state and the entertainment world.
He commiserated with the immediate family of the artiste, the Iseyin community and the entertainment industry on what he described as the demise of a truly great ambassador of Oyo State.
Mr Makinde noted that Sound Sultan made his mark and left strong messages for the Nigerian society through various songs with thematic preoccupations that centre on politics, commitment and service to fatherland, among others.
He charged youths in the state to borrow a leaf from the pages of Sound Sultan’s books, as according to him, the late singer showed a great example of how to manage fame as a young person.
“The news of the death of popular singer and producer, Lanre Fasasi popularly known as Sound Sultan, unsettled me greatly.
“From afar, Sound Sultan cuts the figure of a well-bred young man, who achieved stardom by dint of hard work and managed to remain relevant without falling to the entrapments of fame and youthful exuberance.
“In him, Oyo State lost a truly great but humble artiste and ambassador. We lost an individual who tried his best to positively impact his society through entertainment.
“I commiserate with the family of Sound Sultan, the good people of Iseyinland, all residents of Oyo State and players in the entertainment industry.
“I pray to God to grant everyone related to him the fortitude to bear the loss,” he said.
In the same vein, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued on Monday by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Segun Adeyemi, said he was shocked and saddened by the untimely demise of Sound Sultan.
He described his death as a great loss not just to his family and the creative industry, but to Nigeria as a whole, expressing his condolences to the family, friends and fans of the departed artiste.
“’Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife, children and indeed his entire family at this time. May God comfort and strengthen them. May He also grant repose to the soul of the departed,” Mr Mohammed said.