Actor and broadcaster Mikki Osei-Berko from Ghana is the most recent person to lament the highlife music genre’s apparent extinction.
He has voiced concern about the way the Ghanaian-born genre has been renamed into other musical genres, progressively erasing it from existence.
Speaking to Kwame Dadzie of Joy FM’s entertainment section outside the creative arts conference that Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, the Inspector General of Police, was hosting on October 24, 2023, at the Police Headquarters in Accra, Ghana, Mikki stated that the genre needs to be fiercely guarded as a cultural treasure.
“There is no culture without music, and in Ghana, we have been so blessed with our kind of genre of music. Are we letting it die?’’ he asked during his submission, which was monitored by 1Family Radio.
“Or are we letting people re-christen it and call it Afrobeats and lose it just like that? I don’t think Jamaica will do that to reggae music. Ghana should stand firm with highlife music, improve it, and grow it,” he said.
Over time, the 19th-century Ghanaian music genre known as “highlife” gave rise to other subgenres and genres.
The previously popular music genre in Ghana and other regions of Africa has lost some of its luster due to the rise of other musical genres.
Despite this, the majority of cultural guardians believe that high life should continue despite the introduction of contemporary music.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Cultural Forum of Ghana are working together to designate it as an intangible legacy in order to achieve these and other goals.