It will be difficult to sell 'a particular type of highlife' globally - Mark Okraku Mantey

Deputy Minister-Designate, Mark Okraku Mantey, says it will be difficult for Ghana to package and sell highlife globally.

Samini, Kuami Eugene, Wendy Shay, Uncle Ebo Whyte, Kwesi Aboakye at Mark Okarku Mantey's vetting

This comes after Shatta Wale's call that Ghana must put in the effort to sell High Life as a music genre that Ghana must be known for. The call from the dancehall act has since sparked a national debate and it popped up at the vetting of Mr Okraku Mantey.

Speaking to the Appointments Committee of Parliament yesterday, Mark said “we still enjoy highlife, we are still producing highlife but it is in a different form for the youth of today. It will be difficult for highlife to die, because most of the music we listen to today, even the dancehall, or other genres of music, they all have the rudiments of highlife.”

Answering the question asked by Hon Joseph Osei-Owusu, the veteran music producer further explained that Ghana's High Life pattern changes over time and no type of a particular High Life can be maintained for long, to be packaged to sell globally.

If you listen to the 1970s Nana Ampadus, then it came to George Darko who changed it using burger beat, making it burger highlife. Then over time, we heard people like Charles Amoah also coming in with their type of Highlife, then Daddy Lumba, Kojo Antwi, Oheneba Kissi, then the Daasebere Gyamenas also came to change it," he said.

After that generation, we got Ofori Amponsah. If you listen to all these rhythms, you will see that almost everyone comes with different rhythms. You will see that almost everyone comes with a different form of Highlife. So, it will be difficult to have a particular type of highlife play for about 20 years,” he added.

At the vetting that saw Samini, Wendy Shay, Kuami Eugene, Uncle Ebo Whyte present at the parliament house, Mark emphasized that “Kuami Eugene is touted as championing Highlife but I’m sure some of you do not believe his kind of music is Highlife but it has evolved".

"King Promise, Wendy Shay, they all do a different form of highlife. But to go back to our Dr K Gyasi, Nana Ampadu and George Darkos, Mr Chairman, respectfully, ET Mensah will never come back,” he concluded.

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