Hundreds of mourners thronged the forecourt of the State House yesterday for the funeral service for the late legendary Highlife musician, Nana Kwame Ampadu, who died on September 28, 2021 at the age of 76.
The burial and final funeral rites of the highlife icon will be held today (Saturday) in his hometown, Obo Kwahu, in the Eastern Region.
In attendance were President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin; the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei Opare; Ministers of State; Members of Parliament; a former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, and the clergy.
Others were members of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), members of the Obra Drama Group, family, friends and the general public.
The atmosphere was one of grief, as many mourners shed tears as they filed past the remains which lay in state in a coffin.
Red and black colours dominated the premises. Many others were in customised cloth made for the late musician.
The Police Band treated mourners to some inspiring tunes.
Tributes were read by the widow, children, family, Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), the Obra Drama Group , among others.
President eulogises him
In a glowing tribute, President Akufo-Addo said: ‘’Talk of the commencement and growth of Highlife music and one of the people whose name would be on the lips of every Ghanaian would be Nana Kwame Ampadu.
‘’Indeed, the outpouring of grief by many Ghanaians following the news of his death, is an appreciation of the impact his music had on successive generations of Ghanaians. He was one of Ghana’s music icons and undoubtedly, a legendary Highlife artiste whose music transcended our national borders.”
The President said Nana Ampadu believed in his (President’s) vision for the transformation of the country and assisted him tremendously on the campaign trail in the run-up to the victory of the New Patriotic Party(Party (NPP)) in the 2016 elections.
For that, President Akufo-Addo said, he and the NPP would remain eternally grateful to the departed musician.
‘’His was a life well-lived, and he will be sorely missed by all who had the opportunity and privilege of knowing and meeting him,’’ he concluded.
In their tribute, MUSIGA praised Nana Ampadu for his immense contribution to the growth of the union over the years, especially his role in the establishment of the Ageing Musicians Trust Fund.
Wreaths were laid by the Government and People of Ghana, the widow, children, family, church, MUSIGA and traditional authorities.
Born on March 31, 1945, Nana Ampadu composed over 800 songs.
He formed the African Brothers Band in 1963 with Eddie Donkor as one of the founding members. Other members of the band were Kwasi Boahene, Yaw Owusu, Kwame Anim, Yaw Asante and Nana Nyarko.
His hit song, ‘Ebi te yie’ literally meaning some are well seated, attacked the inequality in society
The song, however, was seen as politically motivated and angered some people within the political circles.
As a result, the National Liberation Council banned the song, and Ampadu had to explain to the military rulers the meaning of the song.
However, after the end of military rule, the song made a return to the airwaves.
In 1973, he won a nationwide musical competition and was named ‘Nwontofohene’, meaning the King of music.