21 Jan 2022

Nigeria

''I am from Amai. To me his remains the best we have produced in terms of typical Ukwani music.'' -Ben-Oscar Nwachukwu

''Roganna Otah is possibly the most talented but grossly underrated artist from Ndokwa land.'' -Emmanuel Clifford


The 1970s and 80s saw the rise of the Ukwuani style in Nigerian highlife. A funky fusion of the laidback, mellifluous guitar lines characteristic of Congolese and Igbo highlife with the rugged, animated rhythm section of Edo dance music, the sound was a sensation that made stars of musicians like Rogana Ottah, Steady Arobby, King Love A.U., Bob Fred and Chief John Okpor, Etc. One of the most consistent players in this field, though, was General Franco Lee Ezute, leader of the Harmony Kings International Band.

Isaac Rogana Ottah

'Chief Isaac Rogana Ottah (1951- 2006) ‘the Oshio Super King’ hails from our own Akoku (Ugulu), Ukwuani LGA, Delta State. Rogana’s guitar work is completely and comparatively unapralleled in Ukwuani musical history.

He had a very melodious and rare singing voice too and he had such control when he sang. Singing while playing guitar can be a very daunting task but Rogana did this very perfectly. I think this might be the reason why he didn’t dance so much.

“His musical career began in the early 1970s when he played in the bands of Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe and Rex Lawson. In 1973 he joined fellow Ndokwa native Charles Iwegbue and His Hino Sound Band. Striking out on his own after Iwegbue’s tragic death in 1976, Ottah scored a major hit with his first LP, Ukwani Special, in 1977. In quick succession a series of outstanding recordings, notably the “Oshio Super” series, propelled Ottah to the vanguard of the Anioma recording scene. Although his career slowed after the 1980s, he still made a prosperous livelihood as a touring musician into the early years of the 21st century”

He has so many albums to his credit. Among these albums are Ejeluno (1978), Money Hard to Get (1980), Oshio Super One “Azubuike” (1981), Oshio Super Three “Abiani Uwa Abia (1981), Oshio Super Two “Onyeloni” (1981), Ajo Oyi (1982), Anyi Bu Ofu (1982), Ifeloni Special (1982), Oshio Super Four “Okwuedili” (1982)…

It is my opinion that artists like Ubulu, Rogana and a host of others deserve to be celebrated, and honouring them with posthumous awards would encourage the teeming contemporary artistes.'



Rogana Ottah And The Black Heroes International – Ekwa Alili Ana

Label: Odec – ODBL 009
Format: Digital, Vinyl, LP
Country: Nigeria
Released: 1989
Style: African, Highlife

1. Ekwa Alili Ana 16:17
2. Ugbo Ojo 8:21
3. Nwa Aga Esah 7:51

Credits
Bass Guitar – Lucky Ogude
Chorus – Mercy Adishi, Mercy Gold
Congas – Asa Bobo
Drum Programming – Collins Osokpor
Drums – Agana Nkwor
Keyboards – Sedd Of Tete
Lead Guitar [2nd] – Gaskim Obanyedo
Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar – Rogana Ottah
Photography By – Betsy Photo Studio
Producer – E. A. Odenusi
Rhythm Guitar – Isaac Boro