Daddy Lumba has been an unstoppable juggernaut in music for the past three decades. With over 30 albums and uncountable hits, he is, without a doubt, the greatest Ghanaian musician of all time!
Born Charles Kwadwo Fosuh in Dixcove, Western Region of Ghana in 1964, the 57-year-old started his music career at Juaben Senior High School, where he and his friends formed the group Lumba Brothers.
After high school, he travelled to Germany to seek greener pastures, there he met Ernest Nana Acheampong and the two formed a group to begin their professional careers as recording artistes. The duo after touring for years, released their first album “Yeeye Aka Akwantuomu” in 1989. The critically-acclaimed album, which had only five tracks, contained hits like the title track and Odo Fakye. “Yeeye Aka Akwantuomu” became a favorite of Ghanaians in the diaspora as it tells the stories of the struggles of African immigrants in Europe and America.
Lumba, following the success of his debut album dissolved the Lumba Brothers, and embarked on a solo career. He has since released an incredible 30 studio albums, including classics like “Aben Wo Aha”, “Obi Ate Meso Buo”, “Biribi Gyegye Wo” and “Sika Asem” album.
But despite all the successes in his storied career, perhaps his biggest legacy is mentoring and launching the careers of several musicians who have risen to become legends in their own rights.
For example, Felix Owusu despite his stints with Osabarima, playing alongside guys like Kofi Hanson and Shasha Marley of Maata fame and the Western Diamond band with legends like Paapa Yankson, he was virtually unknown – with no album under his belt. But it all changed when he one day met Daddy Lumba in 1992 at the Labadi Beach Hotel. After a short interaction, Lumba agreed to record and produce Owusu’s first album “Vida”. The title track, which was a monster hit featured Lumba and the legendary Oheneba Kissi. The success of the album produced by Daddy Lumba propelled Felix Owusu to stardom, making him an established artiste.
The same can be said about Ofori Amponsah who arguably has had a more successful career compared to Owusu. Lumba met Ofori in 1993 when he was still a student at Konongo Odumasi Senior High School. He welcomed Ofori and his uncle Fred Kyei Mensah at his Dome residence and promised to make him a star.
After grooming ofori Amponsah for six years, he released their duet album “Woho Kyere”. The album was a blockbuster success, spawning hits like Anti Atta, Odo Mmra Fie, Esi So and the title track. And just like Felix Owusu, Daddy Lumba paved the way for Ofori Amponsah.
Afua Ampofowaa, known for hits like “Gyegye Ho” is also a Daddy Lumba protégé. Daddy Lumba collaborated with her on the album “Odo Foforo” which was released in 1994. Some of the hits on the duet album include Opono Hini Me, Enkosi Daben and Odo Foforo. They again collaborated on the album “Area Boy” in 2005.
One of the biggest female gospel acts in Ghana, Akua Serwaa Bonsu, started her career with the Pentecost Fire Band in Kumasi but it was her album with Daddy Lumba “Hwan Na Otene” that brought her to limelight. Following the release of Hwan Na Otene, she became the lead backing vocalist for Daddy Lumba on some albums including the Aben Wo Ha album, which many regard as Lumba’s magnum opus.
The list is endless; we can go on and on – Kwabena Sunkwa, Papa Shee, Selina Orleans, Borax, Ateaa Tina, Abigail Appenteng are all his “babies”.
In Ghana’s history, there is absolutely no musician that has helped launched the careers of others than Charles Kwadwo Fosuh. It is therefore safe to conclude that, through DL’s assistance, other musicians have, over the period, also carved a niche for themselves in the field of music.
Although DL’s consistency in creating hit tracks, his fluidity and lyrical themes are top notch, I believe it is his impact on other musicians that really makes him Ghana’s most influential and greatest artiste of our time.