Back to Africa Check

No, Nigerian musician Ebenezer Obey not dead

Rumours that Nigerian musician Ebenezer Obey had died in London started circulating on social media on 4 July 2020.

“RIP Ebenezer Obey dies just now in London. We Lost a Legend,” reads one widely shared and commented-on Facebook post.

“Credible sources are telling me that veteran singer Ebenezer Obey may have died in London today. I am trying to confirm that this is NOT an internet rumour,” a Twitter user said.

But has the chief commander of Nigeria’s juju music really died?

The juju legend

The singer, bandleader, composer and guitarist Ebenezer Remilekun Obey-Fabiyi was born on 3 April 1942.

Since the 1960s, Obey has released more than 50 albums and performed across the world. He is seen as one of the pioneers of juju music, a genre particularly popular among Yoruba people in Nigeria and across West Africa. 

‘Hale and hearty’

Soon after the rumour went viral, several credible news organisations refuted reports that the musician had died – as did Obey himself.

“I give thanks to God almighty! I am hale and hearty … I am fine,” he said in a video posted on YouTube on 4 July.  

The next day, Obey’s eldest son also confirmed that his father was alive and well.

He joins a list of Nigerian celebrities who have had to debunk false reports of their death. Luckily, this one is also untrue. – David Ajikobi

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.