ForeverMissed

This memorial website was created in memory of Prince Olusoji Larry Benson, 66 years old , born on June 7, 1952, and passed on to glory on February 12, 2019. 

Soji, the FAZE 2 boss, has run his own 'life's' race and gone back to his maker.  We will remember him forever because he impacted lives in various ways - even until his death.

"Memory drifts to scenes long past,
Time rolls on, but memories last;
Sunshine passes, shadows fall,
Love's remembrance outlasts all."

- Sun re O Soji 

Friends of Soji

Posted by Ossy Egbaran on June 7, 2020
The quintessential entertainer. I have been to many places, seen so many faces but my memories of Faze 2 are the best by a country mile! Forever missed! Rest in eternal peace!
Posted by Ossy Egbaran on February 13, 2020
Irreplaceable doyen of the entertainment industry in Nigeria. The quintessential SOJ. You had entertainment down pat. One year on. Never forgotten. Please inspire us once more. Rest In eternal peace!
Posted by Chiamaka Obi on April 23, 2019
Soji,you left without saying good bye... I feel soo guilty for not seeing you when you told me too.so,I didn't see you this year...ha! My heart bleeds till now.the last time we spoke you told me you where running away from kidnappers n killers,we spoke for 4hrs till you got to your friends house..... May your soul not rest until you avenge your dealth.
Posted by Tosin Mustapha on March 7, 2019
Thanks for the good music.... Rest in perfect peace.
Posted by Lola OduLana on February 27, 2019
Adios Soji.
Gone but will never be forgotten.
How can I ever forget the times when you and Tokunbo Benson (RIP), drove after me from Jibowu to Ikoyi to make sure I get home safely in the mornings after rocking the night dancing, despite been tired.
You were a rare gem, you came, you saw and you conquered.
Sleep on in perfect peace of the Lord SOJ.
May the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God continue to rest in peace.
Amen.
Posted by Esther Oluwakemi Badmos on February 22, 2019
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!

Soji was a soft kind hearted man.
A true champion and a pioneer.His creation and idea of FAZE2 put Lagos (Jibowu) on the map of night life scene.

FAZE2 was a 80s sensation ... sophisticated,a trend, a social scene that brought people who hungered for soul music together.... A real cool atmosphere!

Soji as a pioneer ( in the social Scene), I register you as a person who entered the wilderness and prepared the way for others to follow.

Rest in peace dear friend!
Posted by Frau Arike on February 22, 2019
Aaaah.... SOJI OMO TOS BENSON..... It was a rude shock to many like me to know you ve left us.... Like a Candle in the Wind... You came do what you love to do and fade out.... You were a brother of consolation to many in the 70s and 80s.... Faze2 was an abode for happy people just because of you.... I will miss you... Many that came in contact with you will miss you... May your path be blissfully illuminated as you sojourn.....
Posted by Kemi Olowoyo on February 21, 2019
Soji was a pacesetter ahead of his time. He brought joy and happiness to many. If you did nof step into Faze 2 in that era, you simply were not really living. The i love Faze2 T-shirt and car sticker was and is still a pride to many. RIP Prince.
Posted by Gboyega Adelaja on February 21, 2019
Soji was my class mate at CMS Grammar School before he proceeded to Methodist Boys High School. Cool, Calm and Collected, a forthright person to the core. He came he saw he conquered. An innovative personality, an entrepreneur and a lover of people, may his soul rest in perfect peace. Amen
Posted by Raymond Browne on February 21, 2019
How can I describe a man who was one of the people who set the pace of night clubbing in Lagos. Faze2 was the club if you were not there in the 80s you were not a "happening" person. When he signed on Mandy Brown with the hit remix song of Taxi driver we knew back then that Nigerian music will get into the main stream... Today we celebrate Nigerian pop stars but did it start in the 90s? No way
Soji rest in perfect peace....
Posted by Ron Ekundayo on February 20, 2019
Rest in Perfect Peace | Prince Soji Larry Benson
The Spiderman movie’s most famous line on leadership which says “with great power, comes great responsibility” is so accurate. It is one of my most favourite lines when I am in a capacity to lead others or submit to a higher authority within various roles, particularly where the ability to be motivated or step completely out of my comfort zones by pushing myself to the limit, outperforming; all in the good name of creating memorable experiences or becoming a success as a pacesetter, these words always act as my propelling tool to make me a better person, student or a better leader. So, when I meet great people who have been gifted to change the status quo and I find them as equally accommodating as I am, I am attracted to them like a magnet. Probably because I see something in them that sets them apart; not because their personality would whip me into a frenzy but more because they are purely very special individuals.

This brings me to my maiden write up on this page, “Forever Missed”, a remarkably crafted page by my sister, Laila St. Matthew-Daniel to honour friends we have lost along the way, what sets them apart from the maddening crowd and why they have left ineradicable marks on our lives.

Therefore, what better time to honour a friend, the Late Prince Soji Benson who warmed his way into my heart decades ago with his cool and calm demeanour by giving me the opportunity to work with him in a pace-setting nightclub called Faze2, Lagos Nigeria (late 70s and early 80s). Little did I know that this association would light a fire and create a stampede in Lagos nightlife. How so? This is because Faze2 was a quintessence of class with great food, amazing drinks, attracting the best people, the best fashion, the best cars and where the music was played fabulously differently from all other nightclubs in Nigeria at that time. Soji, with his astute leadership style and his team (including yours truly as one of the resident Disc Jockeys, Oseola Awosika and Chucks) made it happen.

As a great leader he understood the art of creating excellence out of something very little. Faze2, for those who remember it did not boast of a huge dancefloor, because by my estimation, the dancefloor could only hold between 150 to 200 people at a full stretch, but the music was out of this world!

I celebrate Soji for giving me the ability to be at the top of my game as one of the night club resident disc jockeys. Faze2's music allowed us to bring a lot of minds, professionals and great people (some of whom are still my friends to this day) together. Faze2 was a place where hundreds of friendships and marriages were formed.

Soji, thank you for creating a beauty that became a positive force in the circle of party people and musical enthusiasts around the world. As a living witness, when we had expatriates as guests from America, Holland, UK and Switzerland etc, they were always delighted to have been at the club to experience the music first hand. You were One in a Million. You will forever be missed my dear friend and brother. May your beautiful soul rest in perfect peace.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Ossy Egbaran on June 7, 2020
The quintessential entertainer. I have been to many places, seen so many faces but my memories of Faze 2 are the best by a country mile! Forever missed! Rest in eternal peace!
Posted by Ossy Egbaran on February 13, 2020
Irreplaceable doyen of the entertainment industry in Nigeria. The quintessential SOJ. You had entertainment down pat. One year on. Never forgotten. Please inspire us once more. Rest In eternal peace!
Posted by Chiamaka Obi on April 23, 2019
Soji,you left without saying good bye... I feel soo guilty for not seeing you when you told me too.so,I didn't see you this year...ha! My heart bleeds till now.the last time we spoke you told me you where running away from kidnappers n killers,we spoke for 4hrs till you got to your friends house..... May your soul not rest until you avenge your dealth.
his Life

The Life of Soji in brief.....

Soji was born into the illustrious royal Shobowale-Benson Family of Ikorodu, Lagos - the first son of late Prince TOS Benson, a former Minister in the first Republic of Nigeria, and late Charlotte Clothworthy.

Soji attended  CMS Grammer School, Lagos, and Methodist Boys High School, lagos, and then proceeded to the Western Michigan University, in the United States, where he studied Electronics Engineering. 

Soji came back and after his NYSC, established FAZE 2 which was the forerunner of the night life of the ERA - anyone who was a young 'happening' person during that era landed in FAZE 2, on Ikorodu Road, Lagos.

Soji, had a midas touch when it came to business, all the traits of a born leader, and whatever he ventured into prospered.  He was a 'visionary' of his time.

He was also a people's person and touched the lives of many, not only in the entertainment and music field, but would fight for the rights of anyone he felt was under-trodden. In his latter years, in Ikorodu, he was more concerned about the needy around him, than himself.  He even got fluent in the yoruba language so as to be able to communicate with them on their level. 

There are people you meet in the journey through life whom you cannot forget - even if you haven't been in touch for a long time.  The good times, the impact on one's life, and the memories reside inward and flow outward even when they leave this earth. Prince Olusoji Larry Shobowale-Benson was one of such people.  An enigma not to be forgotten.

He is survived by the children: Chima, Kemi, Oye, Lanre and two little ones (one boy and one girl); His Brothers, and Sisters - both in Nigeria, the UK, the US, and Ghana - and loved ones.

Recent stories

Soji Cool Cat!

Shared by Ossy Egbaran on February 21, 2019

The entertainment scene in Lagos perhaps in Nigeria can not be written without a mention of you. Faze 2 was the coolest joint of the mid 80s in Lagos bar none! The club perfectly captured your energy, style, swag and joie de vive. The memories linger and will remain with me for as long as I live. It was a regular haunting base for me and my buddy, Don Cookey Anah (The Don) who has also transitioned to eternal rest with the Lord. I think you guys will continue the party in heaven. 

Thank you Soji for the memories and your friendship. Your legacy will be remembered for a long, long time my friend.

Rest in eternal peace bro!

Shared by Laila St. Matthew-Daniel on February 21, 2019

So much to say about Soji - Soji was my first boyfriend, my first love as i was his - I was 15 and he was 16 - when girls and boys had innocent relationships just because they were attracted to one another.  When Metro cinema, on Ikorodu Road, Lagos  was the meeting place and the Restaurant at the top of  Leventis Marina - who remembers? A group of us would meet at Sunmi Smart Coles Barbers shop from QC and change  and merrily go off on our exiet - just having innocent fun.

I lived in Ibadan and this enigama - Soji though young would come by road all the way to Ibadan,  just for a few hours, chatting in our garden and walking around Agodi. He would call on that funny telephone of that time and my dad and his would be shouting about costs. :-)  Did it stop him...No.  He was so determined and his feelings intense.

He gave me my first 45mm record present - "MY GIRL" by Temptations when I turned 16 years as my birthday present.  On the 5th of January when I was in an Uber going to Abuja for a speaking engagement, what played over the radio?  MY GIRL...and i told the cab driver that my first boyfriend gave me the record...he laughed and said.."memories never die of first relationships"...he was a well read Uber cab owner.  In my heart I said - "I wonder how Soji is in Ikorodu"

We went our separate ways, after school...he went to the US and I went to the UK... and then  he came back to look for me when he heard I had come back from the UK... to pick up from where we left off...and we did....I went to visit him in the US....but family interference came in - and we broke up again.....  Then back again...then off again...  destinies interfered with by family issues.  He had other lovely children and i did also.  

Ocassionally when we met he would say I left him and I will retort, you did also. LOL... So comical....We had a closeness that transcended any other person... when I had to see him, he would make that time no matter who he was with. ... and vice versa . - our story would make a best seller!  People thought they knew our story, but they didn't know 'the story' of Soji and Laila.   If only we could have seen the future, we probably would have defied all ...but then that is why we are humans and God is the all seer.  Culture has a way of being brought in for selfish reasons. First loves rarely forget one another - no matter the path they take.

That is why I tell people ...be careful how you interfere in your children's relationships, because you never can tell the outcome of such.  Destinies interfered with may be the beginning of truncated life path way for them.  Let them be and let God take over.  Sometimes, a child's pathway can be seen very early on in life and once messed with...that's it.  

Life is short and we should live it to the fullest everyday and try to do so without rancour, bitterness or unforgiveness towards anyone because we never can tell when we also will leave this earth.  We should always try to find it in our hearts to do good even when it is undeserving and ask ourselves questions when we feel negative.."Is it worth reacting this way?"  "What will happen if I choose to ignore?"  Choose peace at all times and walk away from anything or anyone who may cause you to sin... at the end of the day YOU will leave this world alone!

Soji, my childhood love,  has gone to rest finally from all earth's frustrations and challenges - we are left to meander through, and I pray God gives us the grace to still walk on until our own call to glory.  It is so incongrous that he died on the 12th of February and my birthday was the 14th of February.  I can NEVER forget that date.

"May the Lord make his face shine upon us and be gracious to us..the Lord turn his face towards us and grant us peace"....Numbers 6: 25-26

LAILA

Adeiu Soji

Shared by Gloria Rhodes-Nash on February 20, 2019

A smile that said 'I am a friend'

A soft voice that said 'I am here for you'

A laugh that said 'I live life to the full'

Always a kind word or thought for those he cared for.

He lived, made his mark and exited.

Rest Soji.