Agya Koo Nimo: The Legend’s Life, A ‘Palm Wine’ Music Pioneer And The Beautiful Recognitions

Agya Koo Nimo

Agya Koo Nimo is highlife and clearly, highlife is Agya Koo Nimo. He is an encapsulation of the Ghanaian genre highlife due to his extraordinary cooperation in the arrangement of this novel genre of music.

Agya Koo Nimo has been one of the pioneers of this leading folk music called the – Palm Wine Music.

Born in October 1934, the 87 year old has without question fanned out the real Africanism in him to the world with his style of Palm Wine Music.

He has undoubtedly set up a good foundation for himself as Ghana’s principal exponent of acoustic guitar highlife and fables (palm wine music), with an array of in excess of 100 songs to his credit.

Since he began music in the 1957’s, he has never thought for once that, he might have changed to another genre. He has widely promoted this one of a kind traditional music that were usually sung in the ‘Twi’ language of the Ashantis to the world.

For somebody like Agya Koo Nimo, who has worked in different jobs in science and clinical related fields, he still kept his enthusiasm alive by keeping up with his interest in music. This clearly implies that, his first love for music, particularly the highlife music is incomprehensible.

In 1957, when the former British colony of the Gold Coast became the independent country of Ghana, Koo Nimo first received national acclaim through the formation of the Addadam ‘Agofomma’ ensemble. The latter was phenomenal when they were on ‘fire’ in front of an audience.

The ‘Agofomma’ ensemble always did extraordinarily well by making people who watched and paid attention to them long for additional music from them.

One unique thing about Agya Koo Nimo is the means by which he can sing and simultaneously, along with a couple of instruments including the guitars, ‘apentemma’ and the ‘donno’, the frikyiwa (metal castanet), the ‘prempensua’ (rhumba box), the ‘ntorwa’ (empty gourd clatter with globules or seeds woven around it on a net), and the ‘nnawuta’ (comprising of two iron ringers that give the vital cadenced example) or dawuro (banana-formed chime).

And surprisingly, he could really do it impeccably with no hitch. From the 1950s through to these current years, Agya Koo Nimo was exceptionally active in music until he attained his present age of 87 where he can no longer sit and play as in the past. But then, up to that point in 1990, eight of Koo’s tunes were released as a compact disk named ‘Osabarima’.

This was the first work by a Ghanaian artist to be put on CD. In January 1992, at Columbia University, New York, USA, Andrew L. Kaye introduced his dissertation named “Koo Nimo And His Circle: A Ghanaian Musician in Ethnomusicological Perspective” and was granted a Doctor of Philosophy degree for his works.

In 1998, he was employed as a Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA, for two years, prior to taking a comparative position at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

In 2006, Agya Koo Nimo moved back to Ghana, precisely Kumasi. He showed up in a January 2007 scene of the American travel show ‘Anthony Bourdain’: No Reservations, where he was shown playing music, talking about his music, and partaking in a lunch of stewed more prominent stick rodent with host Anthony Bourdain.

In 1979, in acknowledgment of his services to Ghanaian music as entertainer, teacher and an administrator, Agya Koo Nimo was elected President of MUSIGA (the Musicians’ Union of Ghana). His kinsmen liked not only his music, but his affection and regard for custom.

In 1985 Agya Koo Nimo was designated interim chairman of COSGA, the Copyright Society of Ghana. All the more as of late, he has been made a an honorary life member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, alongside such recognized names as Professor J. H. K. Nketia and John Collins.


O-S-I-B-I-S-A – Is The Greatest Musical Band Ever To Have Existed

In February 1991, in recognition of his services to music and to his country, Agya Koo Nimo received the renowned Asanteman Award from the Asantehene.

In March, he also received the Flagstar Award from ECRAG (Entertainment Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana). In 1991, he was invited to serve on the National Folklore Board of Trustees.

Agya Koo Nimo on his guitar

In March 1997, the Ghana government commended the 40th commemoration of freedom by awarding gold medals to forty its recognized residents, one of whom was Agya Koo Nimo.

This was in acknowledgment of his endeavors to protect traditional culture. In the following month he received the Konkoma Award for his commitment to Ghanaian Highlife Music.

Agya Koo Nimo is a remarkable individual who has genuinely worked his hearts for pure highlife music. In this manner, has been recognized at various occasions with the new one being an honor at Citi FM’s Maiden Entertainment Achievements Awards (EAA) 2021.

The legend whose real name is Daniel Amponsah was given the Special Recognition Award for his unbridled commitment to the Ghanaian music industry, traversing more than fifty years.

Agya Koo Nimo was born in the town of Foase, in the Atwima District of the Ashanti Region in Ghana.


Ashanti Ballads (1968)

Osabarima (1990, re-gave 2000)

Tete Wobi Ka (2000)

Highlife Roots Revival (2012, Riverboat Records)

Contributing Artist:

The Song “Se Wo Nom Me (Tsetse Fly You Suck My Blood)” on The Rough Guide to Acoustic Africa (2013, World Music Network)

A similar tune on The Rough Guide to Highlife (2012)

“Adowa Palm-Wine Set” on The Rough Guide to the Music of West Africa



Efie Ne Fie


Medley: Anansi Song Story/Bear, What Is the Matter With You? /Hornbill

Yaree Ye Ya

See Wo Nom Me

Medley: Nation Building/Adampa

Praise Song for Otumfuo Osei Tutu second

Life Is What You Make It

Ohia Ye Ya

Adowa Palm-Wine Set

Odo Akosomo

Dabre Obia Awuo

Akosua Som Bi

Golden “”Hits”” of Ghana – Vol. 1 · 2014

Me Papa Wo Hen Ni

Golden Hits Of Ghana Vol.2 · 2015

Pay Me

Naa Densua

And Some more..

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