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Prince Nico Mbarga

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Biography

Prince Nico Mbarga (1 January 1950 – 24 June 1997) was a highlife musician, born to a Nigerian mother and a Cameroonian father in Abakaliki, Nigeria. He is renowned for his hit song “Sweet Mother”, recorded with his band Rocafil Jazz.

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He played the xylophone, conga, drums, and electric guitar in school bands and he made his professional debut as a member of a hotel band, the Melody Orchestra, in 1970.

Career - Early years

Although he only recorded one significant hit, “Sweet Mother,” in 1976, which sold more than 13 million copies (and which is recognised as one of Africa’s greatest songs), Mbarga played an important role in the evolution of African popular music. With his soulful vocals set to the light melodies of his acoustic guitar, Mbarga created a unique hybrid of Igbo and Congolese guitar playing and uplifting highlife rhythms. He formed his own group, Rocafil Jazz, to perform regularly at the Naza Hotel in the eastern Nigerian city of Onitsha.

After releasing a disappointing single in 1973, Mbarga and Rocafil Jazz had their first success with their second single, I No Go Marry My Papa, which became a regional hit. The band’s inability to break past their local following resulted in their recording contract being dropped by EMI, a decision that proved ill-fortuned when the band signed with Rogers All Stars, a Nigerian recording company based in Onitsha, and recorded “Sweet Mother”.[1]

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  • PinkisGay

    Thank god for free education in Nigeria

    10 Feb 3:25am Reply
  • musahimaru

    "Sweet Mother" is not dubbed the "African Anthem" for nothing. Rest In peace, Prince.

    12 May 2012 Reply
  • gingerweir

    Are you sure? lol

    24 Sep 2009 Reply
  • Nord-Sud

    Der bedeutendste Künstler der 70er Jahre in Afrika. Super Lyrics, geile Musik! Long live Nigeria, long live Africa!!! Le Prince de Tchékpo-Dédékpoè

    6 Feb 2009 Reply
  • mrkalakuta

    make una open una ears well well and enjoy better music from de centre of de world. who no know no gn know. all u playboys, make una listen and take una time b4 toto finish you. LONG LIVE DE PRINCE O

    18 Nov 2008 Reply
  • Abikyogra

    The Prince! What a dude :0

    5 Oct 2008 Reply
  • Awt

    When i dey sick my mother go cry cry cry

    4 Apr 2008 Reply
  • Hakuin96

    live the highlife!

    20 May 2007 Reply