Saturday, October 21, 2006
MAJEK FASHEK SPEAKS ON EXILE, DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
For the first time in seven years Majek Fashek, in an exclusive interview with Thisday newspaper, addresses concerns of his health and erratic behavior. During a telephone interview, Majek and his US based management agency spoke to Thisday on these issues.
This Day: You’ve been on self-imposed 7 year exile from Nigeria. Why are you returning now with this 46th Independence Day Thisday Music Festival?
Majek: It is time. I’ve been gone for seven years from Nigeria. For so long and too long. I never stopped playing my music during my “exile.” I went into exile to renew my commitment to myself and to this beautiful art called music; to rediscover a new music. During this process, I also embarked on world tour. I’ve been fortunate to perform on the stage with world music stars, stars such as Jimmy Cliff, Alpha Blondie, and Tracy Chapman. I am returning home this time because I believe my people are ready for me. I love my people (Nigeria) and I can’t go to my people in just any old way. Hence my return. With the tremendous help of my record company, November Records’ Charles Novia and my USA/Africa management outfit, Instant Media Communications, headed by Azuka Jebose Molokwu and Joseph Anumbor; this brilliant team worked hard to put me on this bill and I look forward to celebrating life with my people. I am coming to give Nigeria blessings from God. God has helped me. Josiah is the King of Kings. The excitement is overwhelming.
This Day: There are speculations about your health, mental health and physical health. We’ve heard stories about your dependence on illicit drugs and alcohol. Are you well?
Majek: I am not crazy. And I don’t have a drug problem. I do have an alcohol problem. It is not because I like to drink.... When my Mother died, I felt a part of me left with her. To lose someone so dear and so close to you can be extremely painful. In an attempt to come to terms with this loss, alcohol became a chosen part to communicate my pains to her and also to journey into a mystical world. My mother was my strength. She is still. Every day I make peace and come to understanding that she is in a place where she would be blessed and appreciated. If you have a mother today, love her, spend time with her and cherish every moment that you see her…
(At this moment, Instant Media Communications Head Hunter, Azuka Jebose Molokwu provides Majek’s steps towards his problems): Alcoholism is a disease. No one wakes up and decides he wants to be an alcoholic. We are all human. He has taken the greatest step to recovery by recognizing his dependence upon alcohol. We must support him in this journey because in each Nigerian there is a Majek Fashek. Show me a family without life’s crises and I’ll show you a virgin in a maternity ward. We can’t afford to ignore, refuse and reject him. If we turn our backs on him, then we’ve turned our backs on all those struggling with the disease of alcoholism. Every day is a struggle. Majek needs our support in his great stride to wellness. He is one of the most gifted Nigerian musicians. Nigeria should feel privileged to have Majek: a loving father, husband and law abiding citizen of the world. He is our man in the mirror.