Kabaka – Mangala Special

Kabaka International Guitar Band

Kabaka Mangala Special
Mangala Special

From the stable of the legendary comes this highlife Mangala Special by Godwin Opara released 1977.

International of Nigeria was founded in 1971 – 1972 by Owerri's chief inn keeper, James Azubuike, who needed a band for his establishment, the Easy Going Hotel. To this end, he recruited Godwin Kabaka Opara and Ferdinand Dan Satch Emeka Opara from Owerri and Christoginous Ezebuiro Obinna (“Warrior”) from Abor . These three were soon joined by Nathaniel Ejiogu (“Mangala”), Livinus Alaraibe (“Akwilla”), and Prince Ichita, all freelance musicians in and around Owerri and Aba. Ejiogu fondly called ‘Mangala' died shortly after the band's founding.

Although the Orientals in the early years were ostensibly led by “Godwin Kabaka Opara”, Kabaka, withdrew in 1977 to found the Kabaka International Guitar Band. Apparently the main reason was a leadership fight with Dan Satch, but there were probably artistic differences as well. Kabaka wanted to steer the band towards the faster-paced Ikwokilikwo style later made popular by Ikenga Super Stars of Africa and , which was resisted by Dan Satch and Warrior. On early Kabaka Guitar Band recordings, their style is described on the label as Ikwokilikwo Kabaka.

No one joined Kabaka when he left the Oriental Brothers, but he was able to draw on a large group of independent musicians in Owerri to form a first-rate guitar band. The group's first LP, titled Mangala Special (1977) in honor of the late musician, caused an immediate sensation and the group has enjoyed many years of success in Nigeria. In recent years, Kabaka and Dan Satch, the two surviving founders of Oriental Brothers, appear to have reconciled and have made videos together under the Orientals banner.

Want to know what all the excitement was about? Here, in its entirety, is Mangala Special:

“Mangala Special” is a tribute to Nathaniel Ejiogu, a founding member of the Oriental Brothers who died shortly after the group's founding (‘Mangala', his nickname, literally means a type of dried fish!): “You don't know what you someone else is looking for in life. Send a message home to Imo State that Mangala died a tragic death. He will no longer enjoy his cigarettes. He will not marry.” The refrain “Mangala Sarawa” is difficult to decipher. “Sarawa” is not an Igbo word. Possibly Hausa. Is this a slang expression?

An irritating feature of Igbo records produced in Lagos and outside Nigeria is that song titles often contain misspellings that change their meaning or make them unintelligible.

I hope you enjoy this piece olden days highlife music.

Stream Kabaka Opara Mangala Special.

Kabaka Mangala Special mp3 download.

Download “Mangala Special by Kabaka Opara” Mangala-Special-Kabaka-Opara.mp3 – Downloaded 854 times – 6.27 MB

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