Ghanaian highlife musician, Jewel Ackah, will be buried at Axim in the Western Region today, Saturday, 4 August 2018, after funeral rites at the Tema Community 11 Complex Park.
Family and sympathisers including former President Jerry John Rawlings, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Asiedu Nketia and some NDC party stalwarts are gathered at the function to pay their last respect to the man who composed the anthem for the NDC.
Jewel Ackah, known for songs such as ‘Joyce San Bra’, ‘Kyere Mase’, ‘Manye Yie,’ ‘Bodambo Bodambo’ and ‘Asomdwe Hene’, died on 27 April 2018.
Popularly known as the Prince of Highlife, Jewel Ackah, started his career as a professional footballer but went on to use his powerful, soul-tinged vocals with the cover-version band the Pick-Ups in 1965.
He had stints with C.K. Mann’s Carousel Seven, the Eldoradoes and the Medican Lantics. He was also a vocalist with the Sweet Talks at various times between 1975 and 1979, and during one of his periods away from the band in the late 70s, he rejoined Mann for an American tour.
In 1979, he fronted a new Sweet Talks line-up, and recorded Hallelujah! Amen! with a backing group, he called S.T. Express.
In 1980, he recorded the solo collection Asomdwee Henee and then joined the Great Pilsner’s Band, a brewery-sponsored outfit that enjoyed a brief run of popularity.
In 1980, Jewel Ackah joined up with guitarist Kwame Nkrumah to make Yeridi A Wu, a loving and masterful re-recording of highlife hits from the 50s. In the mid-80s, he recorded the soca-influenced Super Pawa, and then the funk-highlife fusion London Connection. More enduring was his 1986 album, Electric Highlife, which found a more mature, thoughtful Ackah performing alongside Pat Thomas and A.B. Crentsil.
He continued his music career as a solo artist and band vocalist in Accra and London until settling in Toronto, Canada, in the late 80s. He later renamed his band the Butterfly Six.