Africa: Like Jimi Hendrix Like Mohbad – Kindred Spirits

I first heard about Jimi Hendrix during my early teens. First attraction was his name which elicited interest. The word Hendrix sounded psychedelic to me. Not much later, I was hit by his much talked about music ‘Hey Joe’ which resonated with me again and again while trying to toy with playing the guitar.

‘Hey Joe’ is a rough sound with esoteric guitar play. A first time listener to ‘Hey Joe’ may have to listen twice before being able to follow the huge talent exuding from it. I was marvelled to see ‘Hey Joe’ scored in a book that teaches ‘guitar in two weeks’.

I also tried to listen to his music and also fell in love with it like I did to other African American rock musicians including Little Richard, Chuck Berry who first did the rock version of iconic Johnny B Goode reggaefied by reggae chieftain Peter Tosh. I also took interest in BB King and other rock and blues artistes. While listening to Jimi, I also gulped the many tales of his life and times.

When news of the death of Nigerian superstar MohBad rent the air at the age of 27, my thoughts flew first to star guitarist and rock music play maker, Jimi Hendrix and to all the members of the Club 27. I mean the gathering of international stars who died at that age. Jimi Hendrix died September 18, 1970 after stunning the world with a peculiar sound and guitar play. Then I followed with Amy Winehouse, Janice Joplin, etc. Incidentally and interestingly too, most of them if not all died from overdose of drug substances.

But as the controversial news of MohBad continued to inundate our air space, I started trying to match the many coincidences and relationships between the duo of Jimi Hendrix and MohBad.

The duo’s September death first hit me as I began to look into similarities and differences. Next was the drug related death.

However, I was able to project and conclude that there are many similarities between Jim Hendrix and MohBad when the Police after their ‘thorough’ investigation opened up on what killed MohBad a few weeks ago.

And like a famous Greek philosopher exclaimed when he found an answer to a nagging problem, I concluded that Jimi Hendrix and MohBad, Nigeria’s afro beats crooner whose music is currently bombarding the air space worldwide are kindred spirits for whom their drug related death came in September.

Just follow me as I start to point out one after the other the many links and coincidences between the two artistes and agree with me that they may together be playing heavenly music at the moment.


Jimi Hendrix and MohBad were first born children to their parents. Jimi was first out of five children of Allen Hendrix just like MohBad who also had two siblings – Blessing and Adura – and three other step siblings was the first born son of the six children of Pastor Joseph Aloba.


In comparison, the childhood of Jimi Hendrix and MohBad were tough. While Al Hendrix spent time always looking for a job, (he even gave out his children for adoption and fostering), he also had serious accommodation issues like Joseph Aloba who had done many things from Carpentry to recording and pastoring a church. While managing his life, Al Hendrix lived and lost accommodation, shared residents and dormitories with others just like Joseph Aloba who had moved his family from Shasha to Oshodi, Lagos and then to Ikorodu. MohBad sang severally about those times.


While Al Hendrix lived a turbulent marriage with his absentee wife Lucille Jeter with whom he had three other children after Jimi and later divorced, MohBad’s dad had a most turbulent marriage with his also absentee wife with whom he bore two other children, Blessing and Adura. She was later separated from Aloba just like Al and Jimi’s mother did before her death for neglecting his children.


Another trait of comparison to note between Jimi Hendrix and MohBad is that both were blessed with extremely incredible talent that many years after their demise, the world continues and may continue to talk about them, listening to their musical offerings. At the time of his death in 1970, Jimi Hendrix was already being revered as a prodigious guitarist credited to have created or contributed to the rise and growth of the psychedelic rock era. His masterfully crafted song ‘Hey Joe’ still thrills years after he died. Young guitar players world over at a time had the chords to battle with as they progressed in their rock music education. Late Nigerian guitarist Fela Dey always reminded of ‘Hey Joe’ because he would masterfully re-enact it at the snap of the fingers. No wonder he was known as the Jimi Hendrix of Nigeria. Before his death in 1970, left handed guitarist Jimi had made three albums and left his performance at the 1969 Woodstock Rock festival as a memento of his talents to the world. He earned the highest performance fee at the first edition of Rock music’s biggest festival featuring almost all stars ever imagined. He is described as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.

For Mohbad, many sang his songs without knowing the singer until his death. Songs like Peace, Sorry, etc come to mind. He was noted for his unique style of meaningful compositions retracing his chequered life with a certain cool mien and mellow voice. He also sang about his death on many occasions like …its one life to live and I live it well cause man don’t want to live in regrets…Walking dead,


At 14/15 years Jimi Hendrix and MohBad had started showing huge interest in the music art they found fame in. At that age, Hendrix had become proficient with the guitar and joined a band. Not long after his draft into the Army, he was already a highly sought after guitarist playing in Isley Brothers backing band etc.

For MohBad, he started singing choruses with his father at the church and later joined him to recording studios. He also had perfected playing the talking drum at same age before being engaged by Marlain Records.


The role played by the father’s of Jimi Hendrix and MohBad in the lives and music career of their children is another area of comparison. We note that Al Hendrix bought his son his first guitar. When that was stolen, he also paid for another one despite that another close relative wanted to pay for it. Before then his father had brought home an ukulele which he picked up from a heap. According to a book by Al Hendrix, Jimi also joined him in ‘his landscaping work’.

Joseph Aloba gave his son a direction. He taught his son his craft of carpentry. He took him to the studio and opted to write his son’s lyrics. MohBad also took his lyrics to his dad for cross vetting. Pastor Aloba has been reported to have also advised his son to sing meaningful lyrics always.


Hendrix and Mohbad died in September in fact barely a week before or after each other in the month. While Hendrix died September 18, 1970, Mohbad died on September 12, 2023.


The last days of the duo were very turbulent. Hendrix was holidaying in the UK and had quarrelled with his girl friend on the night he died. His last spoken word was “I need help, bad”. Hendrix had written a love poem now seen as ‘the story of life’ which he asked his girlfriend to keep very well as if having a premonition of his demise. When he suffered insomnia on the fateful night he demanded and received nine tablets of Vesparax sleeping tablets said to be about 18 times the normal dose, with the hope that he would sleep.

For Mohbad, he had severally released voice notes about his death saying who should be held responsible if he died. Like Jimi who quarrelled with his girl friend earlier before his death, Mohbad had a big fight with his best and closest friend which gave him injuries which later caused the invitation of the so called quack nurse.


There is confirmed evidence that a few weeks before his demise, Hendrix was amply worried and anxious. He cancelled shows and complained about being tired and worried. Chief ‘culprits’ were a paternity law suit and a record business contractual suit. He also wanted his manager changed causing him to cancel shows.

According to Wikipidia, “in the days before his death, Hendrix had been in poor health, in part from fatigue caused by overwork, a chronic lack of sleep, and an assumed influenza-related illness. Insecurities about his personal relationships, as well as disillusionment with the music industry, had also contributed to his frustration”.

For MohBad, he was seriously under intense pressure and frustration, having left Marlian Records and started his own Imolenisation. He was amply worried about success of the new label coupled with the alleged bullying which won’t stop. He lived in fear and with anxiety and faced several physical attacks as confirmed by all the video posts in circulation.


Another interesting coincidence between Jimi Hendrix and MohBad is that both died of overdose of drugs. While Hendrix had a generous overdose of barbiturates including a mixture of much Vesparax which caused him to asphyxiate on his vomit on the night he died, Mohbad was shot with an overdose of a cocktail of both anti tetanus oxide, paracetamol and more by the so called quack nurse which caused him to lose consciousness and later collapse.


Hendrix had penned a love poem on the night before he died. He had had a quarrel with his girl friend and when they had settled the rift, he penned a love poem which he insisted that she kept safely. Hendrix wrote; …the story of jesus, so easy to explain, the story of love… is hello and goodbye… until me meet again…

Again Hendrix’s final known words were recorded on an answering machine he left for his manager and friend Chas Chandler the night before he was found dead. He said, “I need help bad, man.”.

For MohBad, almost all his songs were eschatological and talking about the afterlife….I know there’s a day, all my pains will go away…’


However, the only major differences between the two is that MohBad had a well known son named Liam while Hendrix had no issue recorded to him despite that a man and a woman claim he is their father. Jimi was American, Mohbad Nigerian

Again, Jimi Hendrix’s estate was inherited by his father Al who set up a business group; Hendrix Experience to manage his assets and liabilities. Before Al’s death he had written a will to benefit his children.

Will Joseph Aloba inherit his son’s musical estate?


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