Today in History: Igbo Highlife Legend, Oliver D’coque died

Oliver D'coque

Oliver Sunday Akanite, better known by his stage name “Oliver D’coque”, was a highlife musician. While alive, Oliver was one of Africa’s most prolific recording artists.

He hailed from Ezinifite, Nnewi South LGA of Anambra State and started playing musical instruments at eleven years.

Oliver D’coque also gained international recognition after performing in London in 1973. His guitar work featured in Prince Nico Mbarga’s 1977 album Sweet Mother.
He was a very flamboyant musician and was well known for eulogizing wealthy Igbo men in his songs.

Oliver’s former stage name was Oliver Da Kokwe because of his skills in the Okwe game (In English; draft game) before he renamed himself Oliver D’coque.

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His debut album, Messiah Messiah, released in 1977. Oliver went on to record 93 albums in his lifetime.

A Highlife Maestro, his Singles included “People’s Club of Nigeria”, “Nempi Social Club”, “Biri Ka Mbiri”, “One Enwe”, “Nnukwu Mmanwu”, and “Identity”, the latter of which spent several weeks on Radio Nigeria 2’s Top Ten in 1981.

In addition to his solo work, De Coque frequently played with the Igede International Band, led by his brother Eugene.

Oliver obtained an honorary degree in music from the University of New Orleans.

He was the King of Highlife by the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi. He died on 20th June 2008.

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