Google has honored late Nigerian highlife music icon, Oliver de Coque, with a doodle to celebrate his 74th posthumous birthday.
Google Doodle is a very special, temporary change of the logo on homepages of Google to commemorate important festivals, holidays, events, achievements, and iconic historical figures.
Oliver Sunday Akanite, famously known as King (Dr.) Chief Oliver De Coque was crowned the “Highlife King of Africa.”
He was born on April 14, in 1947 in Ezinifite town in Anambra State Nigeria and he first took up the guitar at a young age. As a teenager, he studied the traditional Igbo music of the region and Congolese soukous.
During a performance by the popular Sunny Agaga and his Lucky Star Band in 1970, Akanite convinced Sunny to let him be his guitarist and he was hired on the spot.
De Coque popularly blended the modern West African highlife genre with a Congolese-influenced guitar style and the energetic dance of Igbo music he grew up with to craft a unique musical style.
He produced hits songs like “People’s Club of Nigeria”, “nempi social club,” “Biri Ka Mbiri,” “Ana Enwe,” “Nnukwu Mmanwu,” and “Identity,” which were on Radio Nigeria 2’s Top Ten throughout 1981.
De Coque was awarded an honorary doctorate in music by the University of New Orleans in 1994 in recognition of his prodigious highlife music achievement.
Oliver de Coque died on June 20, 2008 at the age of 61.