Veteran Nigerian highlife singer, Victor Uwaifo, has called on government and corporate bodies to take over his private music museum to save it from total rot.
The musician made the call on Friday when the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) visited ‘Revelation Tourist Palazzo’, his museum situated in Benin City, as part of the ongoing National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST).
Uwaifo, while addressing officials of the NCAC, said that he had invested hugely in preserving the culture and history of the Edo people and Nigerians at large by establishing the timeless museum.
He also said that the museum, which housed all his intellectual property, ancestral shrines, slave market peculiar to Edo state, rituals and more, was his contribution to humanity.
According to him, government or private investors could take up the management of the history-oriented museum to ensure the proper preservation of its content.
“I have put in so much into the museum. My flesh, blood, and money have been invested in it. I want the government to take it over for proper management. I invested so much money into the museum which I could have put on a fixed deposit,” said Uwaifo.
“I am a fulfilled musician and artist, for me, there is nothing better than music and art because it gives me satisfaction. It makes me look forward to the future with pride.”
The highlife legend, while describing the museum as a beehive of activities since inception, stated that it has recorded huge patronage from students who got entertained, educated, and inspired through the works of art that it houses.
Olusegun Runsewe, NCAC director-general, while speaking after a tour of the galleries in the museum, promised to assist the singer with maintenance and equip the facility with computers for proper data capturing.
“If this museum were to be in other countries of the world, tourists would be paying hugely to visit it, we must ensure this place is well preserved for the sake of posterity. The education I got here is out of this world and am happy that history is kept and our children can learn,” he said.
Aside from singing, Uwaifo, 78, also doubles as a sculptor and once served as commissioner for arts and culture in Edo state under the government of Lucky Igbinedion.
The music legend, who is famous for joromi, his genre of music, is best known for his songs ‘Guitar Boy’ and ‘Mami’.