New Patriotic Party presidential candidate Nana Akufo Addo might have his eyes set on the presidential seat but that did not stop him from dancing his heart out when the opportunity presented itself.
He was one of many guests invited to the album launch and the 60th birthday celebration of burger highlife legend, George Darko, at the Golden Tulip Hotel. Sitting with members of his entourage including his Communications Director, Nana Akomea, Nana Akufo Addo, who had been dancing in his chair, could not resist the music coming from the collaboration between US based Felix Owusu and former Western Diamonds singer Pauline Oduro.
He took to the floor, and wasted no time in letting the audience into the other side of his life. His lively and bubbling self came to the fore, charming everyone with his graceful dance steps. Still surrounded by his entourage who were applauding him and the watchful eyes of the other guests, Nana Addo carefully measured his movements on the dance floor to fall in line with the rhythm. He was a delight to watch, swinging in the same direction as Pauline Oduro. For most of the guests who did not know that particular side of him, they were left in awe. Others also applauded him for his rhythmic dancing steps.
Obviously elated to be getting the needed support from Pauline Oduro, Nana Addo stepped up his game as he appeared to be retreating at a point before getting behind Ms. Oduro to change the dance formation. Felix Owusu, who was still on the microphone, released another song ‘E-Show Me’ from his past collections which Nana Addo again welcomed with a different set of dance movement. He was a delight to watch.
And his presence added further shine to an event which was literally glowing. Before George Darko took to the stage, his friends including highlife artistes Bessa Simone had warmed the stage with good music to the excitement of the guests. Bessa Simone, who is lately seen in town more frequent and spotting an all white attire with a black hut, played two of his popular tunes ‘Belembe’ and ‘ Cee Nana.’ Though ‘Cee Nana’ has been around for many years, not many people, especially those not so much in tune with highlife classics, associated that with Bessa. But he got almost everyone going; ‘ooh, so he sang that song.’
For most of the old folks among the guests, it was a nostalgic feeling against the unadulterated breeze circulating around. He was assisted by another gentleman on stage to perform ‘Belembe.” George Darko, who turned 60 years of age, was surrounded by his wife, friends, family members and other chiefs from the Akropong Traditional Area to cut the birthday cake. The guitar shaped cake was well decorated and left most of us salivating as we waited for it to be passed around the tables.
George Darko, who also released the ‘Lucky Star’ album on the night, soon took to the stage. He did not waste any time at all, as he went straight into action. The early 1980s popular song ‘Akoo Ti Brofo,’ reputed to be the song that gave birth to burger highlife, was unleashed on the audience. The song was as fresh as it was first released by George himself.
Talking about his ability to strum the guitar, he makes the playing of the guitar look so easy. Another one song soon followed ‘Akoo Ti Brofo’ before he took a breather and allowed other artistes who had come to support him also perform. When he came back from the break, he performed one song from the ‘Lucky Star’ album, which has eight tracks on it. He also performed a jazz piece before following the request of Kofi Okyere Darko, the master of ceremony, he performed another classic tune, “Ma’sem Ni.”
The song formed part of the popular ‘Akoo Ti Brofo’ that took Ghanaian music by storm in the early 1980s, following George Darko’s migration from Ghana to the Germany.
Born in 1951 at Akropong in the Eastern Region, George Darko is credited with the introduction in the 1980s of Burger-highlife, a variation of West Africa's popular genre, with his first hit ‘Akote brofo’.
He was educated at the Presbyterian School at Akropong. After playing for an army band in the Middle East, Darko returned to Ghana and formed the Golden Stool Band. In the late 1970s the band moved to Germany, where he went solo and formed the Bus Stop band in 1982.
He returned to Akropong in 1988, where he was made Tufuhene of Akropong-Akuapim in 1991 with the stool name, Nana Yaw Ampem Darko and has since been combining his musical career with chieftaincy roles. Other artistes who performed for the night included Kwabena Kwabena.
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