17 Aug 2022


'ukwu is the best smooth highlifer ever; he is one of my favourite; really extatic calm music; guitar sound is bright and clear....his band is really one of the best high life band...' -minautor

Chike Anyanwu
Melody that reaches the depth of any soul who heard it.
So philosophical,
Adieu CU.

'Celestine Ukwu began his musical career during the 1960's with Michael Ejeagha's Paradise Rhythm Orchestra in Enugu, capital of the former Eastern Region of Nigeria. He left four years later to launch his own band, the Music Royals. Following a hiatus caused by the Biafran war of independence from 1967-70, the Music Royals were resurrected as the Philosophers National, who distinguished themselves with a series of sparkling, subtle highlife releases during the 1970s. Ukwu's signature tune is undoubtedly 1970's "Igede (Pt. 1)," an instrumental piece based on Igbo folklore. Its haunting melody was the basis for the tune "Elozekwana Nwanne Gi" by Enugu chanteuse Nelly Uchendu on her 1978 LP "Aka Bu Eze" (Homzy HCE 012). Ukwu's crowning achievement was arguably 1975's "Ejim Nk'onye," which combined Igbo poetry with passages of instrumental brilliance. Sadly, Ukwu perished in an automobile accident in 1977, depriving Nigerian music of one of its shining stars. Titles in this discography for which there are no track listings are taken from Ronnie Graham's "Sterns/DaCapo Guide to Contemporary African Music."

Celestine Ukwu & the Philosophers National also released issued many 45's in the early '70s which are not listed here. Many of these were included in his early LP's.' - John Beadle

See also

Celestine Ukwu & His Philosophers National – Ndu Ka Aku

Label: Philips – 6361 075 (PL)
Format: Digital, Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: Nigeria
Released: 1974
Style: Highlife, African

1. Nduka Aku 5:44
      Written-By – Celestine Ukwu
2. Ego Eju Aka 7:17
      Written-By – Celestine Ukwu
3. Onwu Ama Eze 7:56
      Written-By – Celestine Ukwu
4. Ebemi 6:08
      Written-By – C. Ukwu, Dennis Akwa
5. Ife Uwa Adi Agwuagwu 6:37
      Written-By – Celestine Ukwu
6. Chi Ji Oke 6:30
      Written-By – Celestine Ukwu