ONE of the Pacific’s most prolific musicians, Ronnie Riti (Paeva) has paid tribute to fallen fellow comrade and former professional boxer, Prince Taupongi who died over the weekend.
Posting on the social media website, Facebook, Mr Riti said that the Pacific has lost one of its most gifted and talented musicians in Prince Taupongi.
Mr Riti, a former member of UN Crew, a band the late Prince Taupongi was one of its founding members and lead vocalist, said that he had learnt a lot from the former professional boxer turned musician during their years playing together.
“During the making of UN Crew’s final album at the Unisound studios, I was asked to join the band to record that album,” Mr Riti said.
“There I had the chance of working alongside some of the greatest artists in the country, the likes of Selwyn Do’oro, Cray Ofa, Walaby and the man himself Prince Taupongi.
“Prince was truly a very gifted and talented musician who had a lot of great ideas on music.
“He was very hardworking and very much open up to all of us in the band – the success of the album was partly because of the strong bond that evolved amongst us all the band members which Prince played a major role.
“Prince was a true warrior of love and played a big part in the development of music and musicians in the country.
“I had learnt a lot from him and since then he has been an inspiration, like a father figure to me – someone I can lean on and turn to whenever I needed assistance, musically or on anything to do with life as a whole,” Mr Riti said.
He added that the sudden loss of the late Prince Taupongi is a huge loss for the music industry in the country.
“We have just loss one of our greatest and most influential musicians,” Mr Riti said.
Mr Riti however added that upcoming musicians should look at the life of Prince Taupongi as a pathway to success.
“Success does not come overnight, but by commitment, dedication, hard work as I have learnt from Prince himself.
“He is indeed a true prince of music in the Solomon Islands and will be greatly missed,” Mr Riti said.
The late Prince Taupongi’s funeral will be held today at the Kukum Seventh Day Adventist Church.
By Jeremy Inifiri