Victor Eshiet (Mandators)
Reggae Musician and Hitmaker
Victor Essiet, and his band, The Mandators, gained fame in the 1980s and 1990s, holding sway in the Nigerian reggae music scene. At the peak of his career, he toured the world preaching the gospel of reggae music alongside Peggy his late wife, performing in stadia with crowds of more than 80,000 at a time.
Although Victor was born to philanthropic and music-loving parents who sponsored the education of lots of people, his early years in his career were difficult. Having lost his parents to the Nigerian Civil war, he had to take up odd jobs in order to attend school. While at school, Victor was able to develop his natural music talents and follow his desire to become a professional musician. His early influences included Ken Lazarus, Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley. According to Victor, “When Bob’s music came out, the music that came into Africa was the African kind of rhythm, the reggae music that has a lot of African roots.”
Victor’s dedication and perseverance paid off in 1979, when someone he knew financially backed him to record The Mandators’ first album, “Sunrise.” Three years later, The Mandators released “Imagination,” an album for which he toured, with a then-unknown guitarist named Majek Fashek.
With legendary platinum hits such as Rat Race, System and Crisis which swept the country like wildfire, Victor and Peggy influenced the likes of Lucky Dube, Majek Fashek and Ras Kimono to put Nigeria and Africa on the world reggae map.
Akwa Ibom Celebrates this great crooner from Nsit Ubium.