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Google celebrates Oliver De Coque, Nigeria’s highlife musician

Google, the world’s largest online company is celebrating Nigeria’s Oliver De Coque on his posthumous 74th birthday on April 14, 2021.

The company is celebrating him with a Doodle. The illustration for the doodle was made by Lagos-based Ohab TBJ.

The artiste who shared the image of his work via his Instagram handle stated that working on the project was a dream come true.

According to him, “Ayyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Darling, I illustrated a @google Doodle. It’s a doodle to commemorate the late Oliver De Coque, a Nigerian guitarist and one of Africa’s prolific recording artist, on his birthday today.

“OMG! This is one of my dream project come true and I still can’t believe it!!! Today I’m literally googling everything before the day ends. AD shout out to @helenecleroux. Go Google everything today too darling! (It’s only live in Nigeria tho) Make sure to click on the Doodle to learn more about Chief Oliver De Coque.”(sic)

De Coque was born Oliver Sunday Akanite on April 14, 1947. He was one of Africa’s most prolific recording artistes and he began to play music at 11. He was taught to play the guitar by Piccolo, a Congolese guitarist living in Nigeria.

The late maestro attracted international attention with a London performance in 1973, he played on Prince Nico Mbarga’s album Sweet Mother four years later.

Since releasing his debut album, Messiah Messiah in 1977, Coque recorded about 93 albums. His dance-inspiring “Ogene” style of Nigerian high life, which blends modern high life and traditional Igbo music, has produced such hits as “People’s Club of Nigeria”, “Nempi social club”, “Biri Ka Mbiri,” “Ana Enwe,” “Nnukwu Mmanwu,” and “Identity,” which remained on Radio Nigeria 2’s Top Ten throughout most of 1981.

Coque was often backed by his brother Eugene’s Igede International Band. Oliver’s sons Edu de Coque, Safin de Coque and Solar de Coque are also musicians. Oliver De Coque died on June 20, 2008. He was 61.

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