Igbo Highlife Music Take Centre Stage


By Vanessa Obioha

Onitsha recently got a taste of the HiLife Fest, themed ‘The Complete Experience.’ The festival, which is a highlife music competition celebrating the cultural values of Igbos, witnessed a host of talented upcoming artistes who slugged it out for a position in the quarterfinals.

The music fest, an initiative of Life Continental Lager Beer, featured stunning music performance from Obiligbo Brothers, Tipsy Kelvano, 2017 Hilife Fest King Chibest and Flavour the king of Afro hip pop himself.

The winners from Onitsha region were Don Ifeanyi Frank and Destiny Onochukwu while Ofuobi cultural group came tops and qualified to be in the quarterfinals in the cultural dance category. The decision was not an easy one, as all contestants impressed the Panel of Judges, which included David Jones, Jude Aguize, Dr Nicholas Akas, guest judge -Michael Ndubuisi and Highlife Veteran, Bright Chimezie.

In Owerri Regional Final, Elendu Chuks and Dozie Arthur were joint winners of the highlife performance, while the Asino Dance group won the competition from the dance category. Also two contestants from Nsukka region, Prince Ngwu and Chinedu Obiajuru in the highlife music category and Umuchiziri Egwu dance group qualified to be in the quarterfinals.

The winners from Onitsha, Owerri and Nsukka will now join Chukwudi Agbom, Emma Agbom and PC Nwabuzo dance group, who are winners from Asaba, Kalapi Ojuka, Kelvin Emmanuel and Kanayo dance group, winners from Port Harcourt alongside Obiora Ikechukwu, Onuoha Philip and Master Stars who emerged winners from the regional finals in Aba, as the Hi-Life Fest train moves on to other designated eastern regions.

Destiny Onochukwu one of the quarter finalists from the singing category in Onitsha out of excitement expressed himself saying, “I really cannot believe that I’m one of the winners from regional finals. I can testify to the fact that the competition was tight and the judges must have had a difficult task selecting me as one of the winners, but I thank God for making it possible. Now it is time to focus on the quarterfinals”.

Also, Chief Bright Chimezie, the Zigima king, expressed satisfaction on display of talent saying, “I am not so surprised by the level of talents that we’ve seen in the cities covered so far, especially Onitsha being the home of Osita Osadebe, Oliver De Coque and many other highlife music icons. It shows highlife music culture is very much alive and is in safe hands”.

With 6 successful selection parties concluded, fans can expect the complete experience in what is to come.

The HiLifeFest 2018 has been to Aba, Port Harcourt, Asaba, Onitsha, Owerri, Nsukka and train rides on to produce another set of regional champions.

HiLife fest is an initiative of Life Continental Lager Beer, the fine quality lager beer from the stables of Nigerian Breweries Plc., made from the choicest grains, hob extracts and the purest of waters. Life is expertly brewed to give that rich, crisp distinctive taste and well-rounded aroma in true quality fashion of the master brewer.