Veteran Highlife Singer Godwin Kabaka is Dead

Godwin ‘Kabaka’ Opara, an excellent Nigerian highlife singer, has died.

Derda Promotions, Kabaka’s record company, confirmed his death in a statement to TheCable Lifestyle on Friday.

Ammarachi Anyanwu, Derda Promotions’ chief operating officer, confirmed that the musician died on Thursday.

However, the cause of his death has not been revealed.

“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,” according to a part of the statement.

Kabaka was a skilled and well-known songwriter and guitarist whose contagious highlife music delighted many admirers.

His musical career encompassed multiple decades, genres, and bands. In 1973, he co-founded The Oriental Brothers International Band, a Highlife force recognized for its socially conscious lyrics, musical prowess, and authentic sound that captivated millions of people in Africa and beyond.

Kabaka began his solo career in 1976, when he formed The Kabaka International Guitar Band. He continued to make high-quality Highlife music, releasing fourteen albums and producing successes such as ‘Mangala Special’.

He also experimented with Ezebongo rhythms to demonstrate his versatility and ingenuity. Later, he collaborated with The Imo City Band, cementing his legacy as a Highlife legend.

Kabaka’s album ‘The Return of Kabaka’, supported by Derda Promotions, received over a million plays and ranked in the top 100 albums globally in September 2023.

Kabaka’s love of music was contagious, and his dedication to his profession was an inspiration to everyone who knew him.



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