Saturday, June 21, 2008

Nigerian Music Icon Oliver De Coque is Dead!


Death seems to be having a feast on Nigerian musicians as highlife maestro Oliver de Coque on Friday joined the growing list of dead musicians in recent times. Oliver de Coque who was crowned king of highlife music by Alaafin of Oyo in 1994 joined Sammy Needle, Steve Rhodes and Sunny Okosun who died recently.

Oliver de Coque died at a private hospital on Friday about 5pm of health issues related to cardiac arrest. He was rushed to the hospital by 2pm after he complained of dizziness and three hours later the Anambra-born highlife musician gave up the ghost.

Oliver de Coque during his lifetime was an accomplished musician who became popular with his brand of highlife. He started playing music in 1974 after he learnt how to play guitar from Piccolo and he has about 86 albums to his credit. He played a major role during civil war playing music for the Biafran soldiers.

What makes his death pathetic is that his mother’s corpse is still in the morgue. She died sometimes ago and has since been deposited in the mortuary because Oliver was planning to finish the house he was building in his village.

He shot to limelight in 1979 when he released People’s Club Ka anyi bili be ndu (People’s Club let us enjoy ourselves). The album was said to have sold over 2 million copies at the time. Among his hits are Funny Funny Identity, Ugbana, Easter Special, Ana enwe obodo enwe, and a couple of others. Messiah his first album was released in 1974.

He will be remembered for his praise singing and unique voice, and his shinning bears. His image loomed large across the nation and even beyond. His popularity was not in doubt such that so many people thought he was a Cameroonia. Oliver who got married at the age of 20 is survived by children and grand-children.

This is not only a national loss but also a personal one because every new year eve for the last two years, i always get to see oliver De coque playing live in my villa. I'm always called on to do the flier for the event, and i never knew last December ('08) will be that last time i get to see this great musical icon. Adieu Akanite.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i could not beleive it when i heard the sudden death of oliver,i realy felt it and i asked what is happening?i think this is a time nigerian musicians need to come together in unity to pray about all this death,is not as if people will not die,but the occurance in the industry needs prayer equaly our nation too.
am realy going to miss him,is not as if am into music as such but those his high life music gives me joy any time i listen to it,like ebili kam bili,father father,and so many, his shainig bears made him uniqe.
may you rest in peace.
adieu Oliver De Coque!
adieu akanite!