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Nate Plageman

Ghanaian musician and pioneer of guitar band highlife music and concert party theater, was born in Dunkwa in the Gold Coast’s Central Region. His first musical experience came at the age of eighteen when he joined one of Dunkwa’s konkoma groups, the “See There Band.” Konkoma, a percussion-driven style of brass-band highlife, first emerged in southern Gold Coast towns during the early 1930s, when it became popular among young men and migrant laborers. Despite his enthusiasm for the group, Okai’s family frowned upon his musical activities. Ultimately, his elder brother removed him from the group by sending him to Accra, where Okai studied tailoring under the care of a family friend.

In the end the forced sojourn fostered not squashed Okai s musical interests His tailoring tutor Appiah Adjekum was also a musician who had recently formed his own palmwine guitar band a highlife ensemble that combined imported elements ...