Mr Tamunoemi Gold, a traditional musician and the only surviving member of the popular Jim Rex Lawson Music Band has been gifted a new one-storey five-bedroom duplex in Buguma, Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State by Belemaoil.
The 74-year-old, who is an instrumentalist in the band which held sway in the Niger Delta and beyond in the 1970s and 90s, also owns a Music House, fully furnished with state-of-the-art musical instruments.
The facilities, located in Buguma were built and donated to the legend by the Founder and President of Belemaoil Producing Limited (BPL), Tien JackRich, under the Belemaoil/NNPC Joint Venture (JV), Jack-Rich Tein Aid Foundation and Belema Aid Foundation for the Advancement of Music, Arts and Culture in the Niger Delta.
Belemaoil Managing Director Pedro Diaz described the gesture as an act of magnanimity by Jack-Rich to mark his birthday.
Diaz, who spoke through the General Manager Geosolutions, Mr Sunday Akpaduado, said: “We are here today to celebrate the culture of Kalabari Kingdom, the culture of our people in the riverine area, the culture of Nigeria, because Kalabari is a significant place in this country by way of knowledge, by way of achievement. There are many significant people that have risen from this Kingdom, before Engr. Tein.
“Our projects are all over the place. We want our presence to be in all the rural communities where we dwell, where we make our money, that is the idea and I believe that we are really making impacts in the communities already.”
Belemaoil External Relations Manager Samuel Abel-Jumbo explained that the gesture was in recognition Gold’s impact in music, arts and culture in the Kalabari Kingdom, Niger Delta and the country.
“The Founder/President of Belemaoil, Tein Jack-Rich has started this demonstration from his home, from his kingdom, Kalabari Kingdom, from Rivers State. So we are very proud to associate with this project that was initiated by Engr. Jack-Rich in collaboration with Belema Aid Foundation and the Jack-Rich Tein Aid Foundation.”
Niger Delta Volunteer Force Leader Asari Dokubo commended Belemaoil for giving the beneficiary a new lease of life.
“For me, this is one of the greatest opportunities that have been given. Mr Tamunoemi Gold has been resurrected, he was dead.
“This has not happened before. A lot of persons will say we are flattering people. If your brother is doing the right thing you have to praise him. Shell and Chevron are the main oil companies that were operating in this part of the world in Kalabari land; we have never seen anything like this before now.
“Who would have remembered Tamunoemi Gold if not for one of his sons? So what Tein Jack-Rich is doing, what Belemaoil is doing, has never happened before, we are very grateful and on-behalf of Tamunoemi Gold and others like him, we want to tell Belemaoil a big thank you for what has happened and we encourage that more people should benefit from what is happening today.
“I feel like crying because I know Tamunoemi Gold, he is my cousin and lifting him out, lifting him up is something that should enliven and excite every one of us. Belemaoil should continue to set the pace for our people.”
The Chairman, Interim Committee of Performing Musician Association of Nigeria (PMAN), in the state, Arthur Pepple Jnr., said it was the first of its kind in the history of the state and musicians.
He said “Engr. Tein Jack-Rich is a man who has been supporting the entertainment business in Niger Delta and Nigeria at large. Today happens to be one of the greatest days for entertainers in Rivers State and in Niger Delta because we have not seen such empowerment before.”
Gold said Jack-Rich has extended his life span on earth.
He said: “I am the happiest man today in this world. I am 74 today and for me to have a building of my own especially with a musical instrument means a lot. Now it has prolonged my life.
“I have nothing more to say but I give Tein Jack-Rich to the control and guide of Almighty God and I pray to God to prolong his life more than mine.”
The Amanyanabo of the Kula Kingdom, who is also the Chairman, Kula Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers, King Kroma Eleki (Sara XIV), commended the Belemaoil founder for his philanthropy.
He said: “I am one of the patrons of Akaso Cultural Society (ACS), I love culture. Today, while we are thanking Tein Jack-Rich for this kind gesture we should also appeal to our young ones not to allow ACS to die.”