Outstanding visionary, passionate patriot, dedicated father, benevolent philanthropist and entrepreneur extraordinaire are just a few of the more popular phrases that were used to describe well known media personality and popular recording artiste, Terry Nelson-Fraser, fondly known as Omar Farouk, ‘Halagala’.
Hailing from Belladum on the West Coast of Berbice, Farouk came from humble beginnings but his unrelenting ambition, unbridled passion to contribute to the development of the local music industry, his love for country, his innate desire to help others and his unstinting determination to do something outstanding with his life made him a well -loved household name, especially on the East Coast Corridor, for the majority of his adult life
Farouk died on Monday February 9th, 2009 at the Balwant Singh Hospital in the city from a massive heart attack at the age of 71. However the essence of his spirit continue to boldly live on in every beat of his music ,his vision is showcased in the daily productions of HGPTV and his fortitude and strength radiates through his six children grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Well known for several popular hits songs such as ‘Independence,’ ‘Love on Saturday night,’ ‘We welcome Independence to Guyana,’ and ‘Dem seh. ’Nelson-Fraser is credited with producing his songs at the critical juncture when Guyana was trying to find a musical medium that was indigenous and reflective of its ’s own cultural development.
The father of six lived many years in London, where he recorded most of his songs, and re-migrated to Guyana in 1970; the television station became a reality in 1993
Known for his humility, Farouk believed in taking a ‘hands-on’ approach in managing his station He hosted several programs on his television station and did most of the voice-overs for advertisements on his station himself. His station Channel /16/67 located in Beterverwagting on the East Coast, has become a daily staple for residents of Regions 4, 5, and 6.
From the first day it opened its doors Halagala managed his television station with “insight and recognition of Guyana’s cultural and political realities.” In so doing, he made the station one of the better known and popular ones in Guyana.
Reminiscing on his father’s death which shook the family and the BV/Triumph communities to its core, his son Nyjal Fraser recalled that he had taken his father to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, East Bank Demerara, to see the doctor. The plan was to have him travel to Cuba to have a prosthetic leg fitted to replace an amputation he had in 2007. The doctor told the 71-year-old that he was well enough to travel to Cuba and gave him some documents to take to the Cuban Embassy to secure a visa.
Even the reason for the loss of Farouk’s leg is testimony to his altruistic nature. He developed an ulcer from travelling extensively in the flood-hit areas to highlight the plight of those suffering following the 2004-2005 Great Flood which hit Guyana.
But even though he lost his leg Nelson-Fraser’s love for singing saw him still recording songs, and in 2008 while he was in the US during the country’s elections, he recorded ‘Nancy on the Hill’ as a tribute to US President Barack Obama. After battling with health complications, Terry Nelson-Fraser succumbed on February 9th, 2009
On the occasion of his 12th death anniversary, his wife Gloria Fraser children Nyjal, Nyjel and Terry Nelson-Fraser(Jr), Carol Felix, Gillian Fraser, and Jacqueline Morris, 16 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, as well as the management and staff of HGP/TV, honor the pristine legacy of this dynamic Guyanese community leader, visionary, father, entrepreneur, recording artist, philanthropist, and founder.