The late blind Ghanaian highlife musician, Onipa Nua, will have some of his old records released for the first time in 10 years after his death.
The records will be out this weekend at the 2017 edition of Mother Earth Festival to be held in Accra.
“We are releasing Onipa Nua’s hit album ‘Suffer Head’ produced by Faisal Helwani at this year’s Mother Earth festival,” Yasmeen Helwani, daughter of late music producer, Faisal Helwani, announced on Tuesday.
“The album was produced in the mid-80s. The song ‘Onipa Ny?’ was a national hit by 1989 and for the first time in 10 years, it will be back on sale only at the Mother Earth Festival. This is to keep honoring the great work my father did,” she also told NEWS-ONE.
The upcoming Mother Earth Festival is a two-day event scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27 at Asaasi Yaa at Krokobite, Accra. The festival usually celebrates Mother Earth and raise people’s awareness and conscious of the green lifestyle through music, dance and art.
This year’s event is campaigning against the use of plastic bags in Ghana. To further preach that message, there will be an art exhibition, art creations and fashion works from trash. Various artistes will also be showcasing their craft on stage at the festival. They will include Akrowa, Jahwy, Osagyefo, Redfyah, Lotta Griffith, Abajo Band, Atimbilla of ‘Hitmaker’ fame, OgaChux, Chizzy Wailer, Yasmeen Helwani and a host of others.
Onipa Nua’s old records release will be one of the major side attractions to the ceremony, according to Yasmeen.
Onipa Nua was a Hausa singer who learned to play the ‘kalimba’ or Ghanaian thumb piano as a child, after becoming blind at the age of two. His travels across the African continent brought him his stage name, translated as ‘The People’s Brother’, while in Kumasi.
He eventually settled in Accra in the mid-60s. There he worked as a street musician, occasionally appearing at social functions, where his three-octave vocal range proved adaptable to many tempos and styles.
In 1980, he was discovered by promoter Faisal Helwani, who subsequently placed his career on a professional footing. Onipa Nua’s first European performance in Paris, France, came in 1990, though his only releases so far have been on cassette, and exclusively for the domestic market.