Protect Highlife As Your Own - Professor Collins Tells Ghanaians - News Hunter Magazine

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Saturday, 6 October 2018

Protect Highlife As Your Own - Professor Collins Tells Ghanaians

A renowned music professor, Professor John Collins, has advised
Ghanaians to protect highlife as their own.

According to him, other countries like Nigeria are working tirelessly
to claim ownership of the genre--so Ghanaians need to wake up and
protect it.

Professor John Collins, who has done an extensive work on the history
of Ghanaian music, particularly highlife, was reacting to Jupitar's
claim that "Highlife is not Ghanaian music…Highlife music is Ashanti
music."

He stated emphatically that Jupitar's comments are not accurate.

"Highlife is not Ashanti. It was originally Fanti and Ga and then, he
[Jupitar] also said it wasn't Ghanaian, at the moment Nigerians are
trying to claim highlife so he should be careful about saying that,"
he told Doreen Andoh on Joy FM's Cosmopolitan Mix.

"The word itself was invented in Ghana in the 1920s but what we call
highlife goes back maybe 20 or 30 years earlier…," the music professor
added.

Giving an extensive history on highlife, Prof John Collins noted that
in 1938, highlife was taken out of Ghana to Nigeria by the Cape Coast
Sugar Babies and then in the 1950s by E.T Mensah.


"When I first used to go to Nigeria in the 1970s, all the older
generation knew that highlife came from Ghana. It's the younger
generation on both sides who seem to have forgotten where it comes
from," he explained.

The music scholar who recently launched a book Highlife Time 3 which
chronicles the history of the genre urged Ghanaians to be proud of
highlife and make money from it.

The military and highlife

According to the music professor, highlife music suffered greatly
during the various coup d'etats in the country.

"A lot of the music I met in the 60s and 70s disappeared in the 80s
and early 90s during the military era. We had 250 guitar bands in the
country [and] 150 dance bands so everything had to be reborn," he
said.

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