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One of the sons of the late legendary highlife singer, Oliver De Coque, Safin De Coque, has expressed happiness that people still celebrate his father many years after his death.
The popular highlife musician died 13 years ago on June 20, 2008, at the age of 61.
Celebrating his 74th posthumous birthday, Google honoured the legendary guitarist with a Google Doodle.
Reacting to the gesture, Safin De Coque, in an exclusive chat with The PUNCH, noted that the family was happy that their father was being celebrated even years after his death.
‘Personally, I feel happy that people are still celebrating my father even though he had died. The fact that he is gone but still remembered shows the amount of effort and dexterity he put into his craft while he was still alive. I think it calls for celebration and I am happy about it,‘ he said.
Oliver De Coque fathered about 12 children, of which five of them are musicians. Safin De Coque, who has toed his father’s path as a musician, stated in an earlier interview with correspondents that none of his father’s children could fit the shoes he left behind.
Safin said, ‘I don’t think any of my father’s children would surpass his record in highlife. We can only try, but there can only be one Oliver De Coque. We are only living under his glory.
‘We would find it very hard to break his record. Don’t forget my father had been making waves even before the advent of the internet and social media. I am just being truthful and realistic; I cannot beat my father’s record.’
Asides from Oliver De Coque’s family, Nigerians were also ecstatic about the Google Doodle as they took to Twitter to air their excitement.
Onye Nkuzi, via his handle @cchukudebelu, noted that it was a pleasant surprise. He said, ‘I was pleasantly surprised to see a Google doodle on Chief Oliver de Coque’s 74th birthday.’
Also, Joboson Chisa with the handle @jobosonchisa gave a thumb up to the illustrator of the Google Doodle. He said, ‘Really love the Google Doodle of Oliver de Coque! Big ups to the illustrator!’
Born Oliver Sunday Akanite, Coque was one of Africa’s most prolific recording artistes. He began to play music at 11 and was taught to play the guitar by Piccolo ― a Congolese guitarist living in Nigeria.
He further served as an apprentice with juju stars ― Sunny Agaga and Jacob Oluwale ― and became a star by his late teens.
Attracting international attention with a London performance in 1973, Coque played on Prince Nico Mbarga’s album ‘Sweet Mother’ four years later.
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