By Oyinbi Onduku
Gen. Best Oyakemeagbegha May, popularly known as Jfred is a fast rising warri based ljaw born Nigerian highlife musician, guitarist and keyboardist who has more than 12 albums to his credit as he goes solo barely five years and whose brand of music is blended with modern highlife and ljaw traditional owigiri music. He sang in ljaw, English and Pidgin English language to the amazement of his undying music fans, audience and admirers.
He was born into a family of eight (8) children on the 1st of May, 1984 to the May family of Ayakoromo community, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, South South Nigeria. He is the sixth son among the musically blessed May family of Ayakoromo.
Academically, he attended Egolegbene Primary School 1992-1998, and proceeded to Obotebe Secondary School in 2001-2007. His academic pursuit doesn’t end here as he went further to oversea (Ghana) in 2013 to study Automobile Mechanic Engineering Course at the prestigious Kumasi National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) Ghana, and come out in a flying colour as he bagged a professional Automobile Mechanic Engineer Certificate.
And of course, if you ask me, Best May can be henceforth undisputedly and confidentially addressed as Gen. (Engr.) Best May Jfred because he has undergo the four corners of Higher lnstitution not just in the shores of Nigeria but Abroad.
Emphasizing on the genesis of his music career, the trailblazer and the young gifted shining music jewelry of ljaw nation confirmed that he developed interest in ljaw owigiri highlife music far back 1994 while he was 10 years old through his elder brother, late Senator Fred Ebi May of blessed memory. He said at that tender age, most at times he do music practice at home with his elder brother and do attend live shows with him occasionally.
But he started playing music on stage under the tutelage of Chief. Joseph Ekeremieye in 2004 after the sudden demise of his elder brother Sen. Fred Ebi May in 2001. While with Joseph Ekeremieye, he played as backup artist (singer) for a reasonable period of eleven years before leaving him in the year 2015.
After leaving his mentor, he decided to stay at home to groam himself through consistent practice and rehearsal with all the experiences he had gathered over the years for exactly one year and nine months before taking the bold step to take his destiny in his hand by venturing into the competitive ljaw owigiri highlife music entertainment world in the year 2017.
He goes by the stage name Gen. Best May popularly known as Junior Fred abbreviated as (Jfred) in remembrance to keep alive the good memories of his late elder brother, Senator Fred Ebi May of blessed memory whom he admired as his role model and tapped the music grace to build on. His music organization is known as Gen. Best May and his Giant Star Band of Africa.
The professional Automobile Mechanic Engineer earlier discovered his talent for music at age 10 and chronologically nurtured it to materialize with hardwork, obedience, endurance, focus, dedication and patience. From backup singer, the ever blazing Best May has metamorphosed to a band leader, song writer, singer, producer, lead guitarist, keyboardist as well as master of many other instruments in the music industry.
So far so good, he had sing many songs and the ever first debut album he produced in 2006 was titled: ‘Remembrance of Late Fred Ebi May’. The heart touching Album was released and dedicated to honour and comemorate the 5th years anniversary of his departed elder brother fondly called the music senator due to his vocal and sonorous voice in the ljaw owigiri highlife music industry at then.
Having released that album to the amazement of ljaw nation, lovers and fans of late Fred Ebi May, his immediate family, Ayakoromo community and the entire ljaw nation began to have some relieve over the tragic death of his elder brother and inculcated in him to be strong and keep the good artistic work going in order to bring the family name to a limelight musically to the world.
And today, Best May is making ljaw nation proud with maximum dedication, selfless and energetic electrifying live performance at any given occasion his services is engaged at both day and night burial, marriages, child dedication, house warming, birthday party, political gathering, naming ceremony shows etc.
Fantastically, nature shine on Best May and brought him to a limelight musically in ljaw nation and loved by his admirers as he released his ever green debut album titled: ‘PEPPER DEM’ in the year 2021. In that song, the shining music Gold of Ayakoromo community unveiled the ill doings of society whereby people around you jealous and envy whatever thing you do or achieve in life. In that song, he criticize and condemn the actions of enemies of progress in our society. He noted that instead of people in the society to love one another and celebrate over your neighbour’s success story rather they resent to envy and jealousy. He said as people in the society fail to obey God in loving their neighbours as themselves, God will not permit them to triumph in their evil bids against His children, rather they will perpetually wallow and die in pains with their envy and jealous character while God obedient children will keep progressing in life in their midst.
Best May Jfred lives a simple life style devoid of envy and jealous. He is so passionate about the downtrodden in the society. A great philanthropist by birth and he has a registered foundation (charity) organization called, ‘Best May Foundation’ that he used to extend love and helping hand to the needy in the society annually. He is loved by the young and old because of his humble character coupled with his agility and dexterity on stage display.
He never looks down on his fellow human being neither display lip service no pretend in his chosen music career. Once you engage him, be rest assured that your guests would be awesomely treated and entertained with non stop good music to their ultimate satisfaction. Infact, Best May musically possesses the peculiar characters of King Pereama Freetown JP, who performs wholeheartedly at any given occasion without pretence. His focus at any occasion is to give the best of good music with high quality sound background to satisfy his fans without putting monetary appreciation from his admirers.
Research has revealed that from the year 2020 to date, Best May Jfred remains the best and most booked fast growing musician in ljaw nation due to his selfless philanthropic life style within warri and its environ. He stands tall amongst his contemporary colleagues in the ljaw owigiri highlife music entertainment industry. Due to his fast growing music prowess, he was recently featured in a collabo by Chief Kingsley Takemebo alongside Sir. Coded Buku Tubor and Prince Smally Okpe in the album titled ‘Unity’. In that unity album, the talented Warri based ljaw music stars called on ljaw leaders both political and the music industry on the need to be united as one family in order to fastract infrastructural development to ljaw nation as well as to protect, preserve and promote the ljaw culture and language to the globe through music and otherwise.
However, so far so good, he has released 12 albums in the shortest time in the music industry and many more songs recorded in the studio to be produced in the nearest future. Some of the hit tracks that brought Best May Jfred to limelight include his ever green first album titled; Remembrance of Late Fred Ebi May released in 2006, Life Na Calculation, Obodo Special, Isaba Kingdom, Late Pa. Oyakonghan Special, Freedom, Ezon Ibe Ebimi, Oyimi & Stella, Eniekpemi, Pepper Dem, Testimony etc.
He is happily married to the beauty goddess of Gbekebor and Ayakoromo Community’s, Mrs Progress Best May and their union is fruitfully blessed with children.
Written and published on this day 25th October, 2022, By Comrade Oyinbi Onduku, CEO/Publisher Niger Delta Mirror (Ndm) Newspaper Online.
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