CORA Art & Cultural Foundation

...we are 'cultural landscapists.'

Great Highlife Party

From October 2001 to October 2008, the CORA in conjunction with Benidoni Productions and the management of O’Jez Nightclub, Lagos, held a monthly programme tagged GREAT HIGHLIFE PARTY (otherwise known as the Elders' Forum).

The programme was initiated as ELDERS' FORUM in 2001 by the veteran Music writer, and broadcaster Benson Idonije, and sold to the Ojez management; but supported by the cORA, and it was set out as a Highlife music revival forum, but used on every of its editions to serve as a forum for the celebration of landmark birthdays or achievements of the best in the community of Nigerian Arts and Culture producers. Highlife is West Africa’s most important contribution to world music, which inspired the works of Ambrose Campbell (who has been referred to as the father of black British pop) and the Afrobeat of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Nearly 100 editions were held in a unique blend of social party and academic reflections on the journey of the music so far, in the eight years of the programme.

Through this the career of many old highlife musicians – many of them had stopped playing the music since the mid-sixties when Nigeria descended into a 30-month brutal Civil War – has been revived. A classic example is the career of 83-year old Fatai Rolling Dollar, who is still actively performing on stage, and has been traveling extensively. Currently the Great Highlife Party is on suspension for the purpose of repackaging it to serve more as creditable platform for advancing the course of the highlife musical form rather than just a mere social party focus.