Dan Maraya Jos dies at 69
One of the frontline Hausa musical icons, Dan Maraya Jos is dead. He died yesterday in Jos at the age of 69.
His close friend and associate, Mallam Ladan Salihu, a zonal director at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria,announced his death in Jos yesterday.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has expressed shock over the sudden demise of the late musician
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs Turaki Hassan, Dogara said the North and indeed Nigeria has lost one of its most talented sons.
“Danmaraya`s sudden death came to me as a shock and I want to use this medium to condole with the Danmaraya family, the government and people of Plateau State and all Nigerians over this irreparable loss”, the statement added.
According to the speaker, late Danmaraya has written his name in gold in the annals of Nigeria’s history as a talented musician, peot and a philosopher.
Dan Maraya Jos, whose name means “The Little Orphan of Jos”, died at Bukuru, after a protracted illness.
“When I visited him two weeks ago, he spoke passionately about the unity of the North and a united Nigeria. I remember when he insisted that my late father should give out his (Danmaraya’s) Dogara
adopted daughter’s hand in marriage some 15 years ago. We shared many moments. He was to me a brother and a friend. I am devastated. But I am proud he lived a very useful life, transforming society through music silently and through Islamic endeavours”, Salihu said
Born as Adamu Wayya in 1946, he lost his father shortly after his birth and his mother as an infant.
He had taken after his father, a court musician for the Emir of Bukur, who later took care of him after he lost his parents. As a Nigerian Hausa Griot, he was popular for playing the Kontigi, a small, single-stringed lute, whose body is usually a large, oval-shaped sardine can covered with goatskin.
Although like other kontigi players, he was a praise singer, but he was unique for also introducing praise singing for the commoners, unlike his colleagues, who focused on the rich and famous. He also incorporated social commentary in his songs, talking about the importance of marriage and why couple should not divorce among other social issues.