Traditional music lovers in Sierra Leone have lost one of the country’s greatest cultural singers, Abou Whyte. News of his death came as a shock to many, especially those that knew the worth of such a talented person.
Abou Whyte hailed from the Fourah Bay and Foulah Town communities and up to his death was resident in New Jersey, the United State of America.
Abou Whyte was not only a musician but a painter, sculptor and footballer; the latter he first came to the limelight in the early 60s when he joined the Bolton Wanderers FC of Freetown as a goalkeeper.
His love for music cut short his football carrier as he joined the musical band ‘Merry-Go Jazz’ as a song writer, composer, and percussionist, He also joined ‘Okes-Muyei’ and then ‘Muyei Power,’
One of his popular songs was ‘Good Morning Sierra Leone Good Afternoon Freetown’ which is still a melodious and refreshing song to reckon with.
Abou Whyte was also the founder and chief designer of the then Vimto Lantern at Frederick Street in the Central part of Freetown.His creative input led to the VimtoLantern winning many awards at the annual end-of-Ramadan lantern Parades in the Country.
Only few young musicians and Disc Jockeys today can tell the lost that the country had gone through by the passing of this great talented musical icon, Abou Whyte.
He will be widely remembered for his contribution in showcasing Sierra Leone’s musical culture throughout the world.
In the early 90s he released one popular song ‘Tabule” a song one would say is explicit but with a great meaning when translated in-depth. The song was released and thousands of copies sold in and out of the country.He also went on and released a typical traditional song called”De Mehrehsin”,a song to date is a banger in all carnival and festivals.
Abou Whyte was a craftsman, courageous and brilliant individual Sierra Leoneans will ever live to remember.He bid farewell to this world on the 12th of April at his residence in New Jersey, USA at the age of 76.He has now joined the list of past talented musical stars like Ebenezer Calender, S E Rogie,Big Fayai,Freddie Green,Dr.Oloh,Dr.Locco to name but a few.
He is survived by his wife, SalamatuBoye Whyte, six children and several Grand Children.
May his soul rest in perfect peace.
By: Mohamed King Millan Bangura