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Akablay is an energetic advocate for Highlife
Akablay is an energetic advocate for Highlife

Akablay pushes on with World Highlife Day celebration

It has long been guitarist Akablay’s ambition to help amplify global appreciation of Highlife and he pushed his aspiration some notches higher this year with concerts to mark World Highlife Day in Kumasi and Accra.


The commemoration of World Highlife Day started in 2020. In collaboration with the Goethe Institut, the Accra leg of the celebration came off on March 15 at the German cultural outfit’s premises at Cantonments.

Acts that featured alongside Akablay and his seven-piece Abiza Band were Queen Asabia and Kenteman; Della Hayes and her Women of Colour Band; guitarist Nicolai Tobiesen from Denmark and Abiana.

Akablay and his band opened and closed the concert. The man has, over the years, couched his approach to highlife that embraces elements of Ghanaian traditional music and traits of popular contemporary stuff. So he drives on a musical road that makes him visible to all, no matter what style they admire.

At the core of whatever he presents is an urge to demonstrate his command of the rudiments of highlife and how that can whip up  multiple routes for the benefit of the listener. He amply demonstrated that at the Goethe Institut concert and many at the show showed appreciation by dancing their hearts away.

“Highlife says something about who we are. Many greats have toiled to bring it this far and the current crop of musicians must keep running with the music. We have everything to gain from that,” Akablay says.  

Albums under Akablay’s name include Life in the Pot (2007); Flipside Of Life (2010); Genesis of Life (2011); The Gospel According To My Guitar (2015); Edoke (2017) and Sunshine Highlife (2019). Take  Away, his  2016 single, was a big hit with music lovers in Ghana and beyond.

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