Report coming in this morning has it that Babatunde Jezreel Okungbawo popularly known as OJB Jezreel in the entertainment world is now dead after a protracted battle with death. He was said to have given up the ghost at a Lagos based hospital after his kidney problem relapsed.
OJB Jezreel was going to clock 50 by next month. According to a family source, his kidney transplant failed completely since last week. Recall that the producer was down with kidney related disease, and consequently was flown to India for a transplant in 2013. On October 21, the singer successfully underwent the surgery at the Indian hospital.
After the successful surgery, the producer came out to thank all his well-wishers, especially his first wife Mabel Okungbowa, popularly called Mama J, who accompanied him on the trip and donated her kidney to him.
However, in 2015, the veteran Nigerian musician and producer was reported to have suffered a setback in terms of recovery from his Kidney transplant; But he came forward to deny such reports.
OJB is however officially dead. OJB Jezreel is survived by 3 wives, June ‘Ama’, Korede and Mabel and many children.
At the moment, tributes have continued to pour in from stakeholders in the industry.
During his lifetime, OJB was a rare breed artiste/producer, he gave a lot, expected very little in return and singlehandedly launched the careers of many of today’s superstars.
During the phase of the birth of a new age music in the late 90s, he helped to redefine the sound to a more globally accepted sound with the likes of TX, KUSH, Etim Eyo (Arista Records) which made the likes of the then Leila Steinberg of Interscope Records see the possibility of our music going International mainstream.
In Nigeria, he served as producer and executive producer for acts who would eventually be called established; names like Tuface Idibia, Ruggedman, Jazzman, D’banj and Nomoreloss. These sounds later paved the way for the sounds of Terry G, Timaya and Duncan Mighty (who was a trainee under him in the mid 90s).
Evidently, his God father status is eminent in the fact that at least 90% of the industry has passed through his hands. After remarkable success with Tuface Idibia’s “African Queen” album which sold 10 million copies in Nigeria and 8m million copies internationally, Jigga as many preferred to call him became the most-sought-after producer in Nigeria and in some parts of Africa. He churned in further success in the industry as an artiste with the release of his hit singles “Pretete” and “Searching” in an album that sold 3 million copies.
His most memorable moment was in 2002 when he made a sum of N12m. reflecting on the event that brought him such a huge money, he said: “ The most memorable moment for me happened when I wasn’t even counting, I wasn’t calculating or anything of the sort and my accountant calls me up and says I have a certain amount of money in my account and when I asked he said Twelve Million Naira (N12,000,000) that was such a breakthrough point for me because I didn’t see it coming…
“It seemed like oil money… I was excited because it was a shock since all I was doing then was producing. I shared the experience with a friend – Tuface – who was just coming out at the time as well and then I also got my first royalty at the time, a sum of N3,000,000 Three Million Naira, and I knew things would change for the better especially because the highest royalty anyone ever collected over a song was Fifty Thousand Naira (N50,000) so it was a huge jump… Tuface even said we should go to the bank and get the statement to verify the message. Now we hear of N240,000,000 and N300,000,000 “although aati gba tiwa oo.”
As the nation continues to miss his demise, benconews.com shall keep you posted about his burial plans and more tributes on him. Adieu OJB!