Manalore, March 9: Konkani Kogull, the Nightingale of Konkani, Wilfy Rebimbus(67) breathed his last at Fr Muller Hospital on March 9, at 11.15am.
He was ailing from lung cancer since past one year. However, he was suffering from poor health condition, since last week and admitted to the Fr Muller Hospital here.
Wilfy Rebimbus was a name synonymous with Konkani music. It goes to the credit of this superb singer of taking Konkani music to greater heights around the globe. He was a musician, lyricist and singer who has cast a magical spell on the listeners through his unique compositions and distinct style that has won him millions of admirers. Recently, this star singer brought back nostalgic memories when he presented the Wilfy Rebimbus Golden Sentimental Nite to a packed audience in the city.
Popularly known as Konkani Kogull, the Nightingale of Konkani, a title which he won from the then Bishop of Mangalore Rt Rev BS D’Souza in the year 1971, Wilfy’s musical career spans over more than five decades.
Born on April 2, 1942, in Mangalore to Landeline Rebimbus and Magdeline Mendonca, both hailing from Kanhangad in Kerala, Wilfy had his primary and high school education at Milagres High School. Later, he did a mechanical course before joining St Joseph’s Workshop as an apprentice. He was a talented singer right since his student days as was evident from the numerous prizes he had won in various singing events. He had started composing Konkani songs at the age of 14 and authored his first drama “Poishanso Sounsar” when he was 15 and staged it through the St Joseph’s Natak Sangh. He founded the musical group called United Youngsters Music Party in 1959 when he was just 17. It is now known as United Youngsters Cultural Association. Apart from singing, Wilfy was also a good athlete and also a Kabaddi player during his school days.
In fact the encouragement extended to Wilfy by the Jesuit priests also went a long way in his musical career. It was with their encouragement that he learnt Hindustani and Carnatic classical music. They also taught him SOLFA (Notations) and the art of composing music.
The first Wilfy Nite was arranged in 1970 with due cooperation and encouragement of the late Konkani writer Gabbu through his organization Roop Raag.It was in the same year that Wilfy tied the knot to Meena who had joined as a singer in his troupe. The couple has two children Veena and Vishwas.
Since his first musical presentation, there was no looking back for Wilfy. So far nearly 215 Wilfy Nites have been staged, apart from 500 musical shows of one hour duration. He has composed over 2500 songs and has performed in various places in India and also in the Gulf. He has released nearly 50 albums, apart from composing songs to Konkani films. Wilfy is also the author of several plays like Modern Nouro; Beshto dubav; Dhot maka naka; Mai maka Adainaka; Bebdyachi duv. Tisri chit and Kedi Bona B.A.
His achievements have been widely recognized and are duly symbolized by the several awards and honours won by him. A few of them are “Rajyotsava Award” 1991, Award Of Recognition 1991 - by The International Orientation Center, USA, Sabgeeth Chakravarthi- By Konkani Talents Group, Abu Dhabi, Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy Award, “Tulunada Kogile” By ‘Tuluver’ - Dubai, UAE, ‘Life Membership’ of Lions Club Illinois - year 1996 and Millennium Konkani Artist Award by ‘Indian Catholic Association of America.
Other than singing, Wilfy also enjoys writing stories, reading and watching movies. He is also actively involved in many organizations. Apart from his own United Youngsters Konkani Cultural Association, he is also an active member of: Konkani Sahitya Parishad, Golvic Parishad of Mangalore Diocese, Jeppu Parish Council, Konkani Natak Sabha, Mangalore, St. Joseph’s Natak Sangh Jeppu, and Catholic Sabha, Jeppu Ghatak.
The fourth Wilfy Rebimbus Golden Sentimental Nite held at TMA Pai Convention Centre in the city recently was a stupendous success following a scintillating performance. It was more of a comeback show for Wilfy who was ailing since some time.Wilfy Rebimbus’ 40 music albums in a single pouch was symbolically launched on the occasion.
The Funeral ceremony of Wilfy Rebimbus will take place on Thursday 11, March 2010, Evening at St Joseph Church, Jeppu.