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“Oooo yeh! I wish you happy birthday…. Ooo yeh, very many many happy returns”. That is a song you could hear in almost every birthday party in Nigeria and other West African countries in the 80’s. It was a birthday anthem that got everyone up on their feet anytime. Reggae was perhaps a lot more popular in Nigeria then than it is now (there were fewer music genres in the Nigerian entertainment industry) and Evi Edna Ogholi was the first female artist to take on this music genre.
  1. CELEBRATE –by Alex O
Celebrate was another party banger of the 90s Released in 1990, it soon became his most notable song and a global disco hit in the 1990s. It is particularly the first time I remember hearing a Nigerian song with a rap verse Unfortunately I could not find the original video, but  
  1. UNDER PRESSURE – by Ras Kimono
Ras Kimono was not just a talented Reggae artiste, but also a dogged  activitist. Under Pressure was one of the songs through which he expressed his activist side, but to us, it was a memorable tune.
  1. SEND DOWN THE RAIN – Majek Fashek
This song won several awards, from his 1988 album ‘Prisoner Of Conscience’. Majek AKA the rainmaker started out as a guitarist for other Nigeria reggae bands including Victor Essiet’s Mandators. He worked with several artistes including  Tracy Chapman, Jimmy Cliff, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg, and Beyoncé and of course 2baba together with whom he redid his ‘No More Sorrow’ song
  1. ROSSIE – Blackky
Edward Inyang AKA Blackky was Nigeria’s Mr Sexy at the time. He stormed the Nigerian music scene with his fluid raga raps, zest and dance-friendly hit songs, all of which were almost impossible to ignore or go unnoticed. He began his musical career as a DJ in 1986 but got his big break in 1990 when he won the Lekki Sun Splash talent hunt contest and earned himself a record deal with Polygram. Rossie was the biggest hit of his career and a toast at parties and clubs. He is still a very active player in the music industry

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This article was first published on 23rd March 2018


Akwaowo Willie is a social media consultant for several businesses including SMEs and Startups. He is also an entrepreneur and writer with interests in entertainment, media, fashion, among others. He is married, with 2 adorable children.

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