Veteran Highlife singer, Godwin Kabaka, dies at 77

Veteran Highlife singer, Godwin Kabaka, dies at 77

Highlife maestro, Godwin Opara, popularly called Kabaka, has died at the age of 77. 

His management announced his passing in a statement released by its Chief Operating Officer, Ammarachi Anyanwu today March 22.

According to the statement, the music icon who pioneered and revolutionised Highlife music died on Thursday, March 21.

“Derda Promotions is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our esteemed artist, Godwin Kabaka Opara, an icon who pioneered and revolutionized Highlife music, on March 21st, 2024,” the statement reads in part

The statement didn’t reveal the cause of his death.

Late Kabaka co-founded The Oriental Brothers International Band in 1973, a Highlife powerhouse known for its socially conscious lyrics, instrumental mastery, and authentic sound that resonated with millions across Africa and beyond. In 1976, Kabaka embarked on a solo career, forming The Kabaka International Guitar Band.

He continued to produce high-quality Highlife music, releasing fourteen albums and creating hits like “Mangala Special,” which earned him a prestigious award.

He also experimented with Ezebongo rhythms, showcasing his versatility and creativity. Later, he joined forces with The Imo City Band, further solidifying his status as a Highlife legend.

With the support of Derda Promotions, Kabaka made a triumphant return in September 2023 with the album “The Return of Kabaka.” which had over a million streams and trended as one of the top 100 albums worldwide.

May his soul rest in peace, Amen.

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Idowu Babalola

Socially Not Social. IG & Twitter - @Idbragga

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