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Sierra Leone Entertainment: S. E ROGIE – HIGHLIFE AND PALM WINE GUITARIST AND SINGER

E Rogie was a popular singer, guitarist and founder of The Morningstar band from Sierra Leone. Sooliman Ernest Rogers was born in 1926 in the town of Fonikoh, Pujehun District in Southern Sierra Leone. His father Mboima Kpaka was a prominent leader, but later adopted the surname ‘Rogers’ from a British Christian Missionary. In the 1960s, he became a professional musician, singing in four languages. His hits songs include ‘Koneh Pehlawo’, ‘Go Easy with Me’, ‘African Lady’, ‘Green Pumkin’, ‘Nor Look Me Lek That’ and ‘Lovely Elizabeth’ a song he dedicated to the Queen of England during her visit to Sierra Leone. In 2004, the BBC conducted a poll of the All Time 10 Best Songs by an African musician, out of millions of songs, Rogie’s ‘Lovely Elizabeth’ was voted in the top 10 songs from Africa. A milestone. In 1973, Rogie travelled to the United States, where he performed at elementary schools across California, and received several awards from the US Congress and Senate, the cities of Berkeley and Oakland, California. In 1988, Rogie was invited by a British disc jockey Andy Kershaw. He stayed in England and bought a home in Finchley. In 1991, he put together a band called The Palm-Wine Tappers, and toured the UK. Rogie had undergone heart bypass surgery few months before he travelled to perform in Russia against medical advice, where he lost consciousness while performing onstage and died later at Lewisham Hospital, having been flown by air-ambulance from Estonia in 1994 at age 68. He died shortly after recording his last album, ‘Dead Men Don’t Smoke Marijuana.’ He can be remembered for his beautiful silk-like baritone golden voice and his outstanding High Life (Palm Wine) guitar-playing. On his musical offspring, S. E Rogie’s music continues to inspire the world and many types of musicians (in different genres, even Rock’n’Roll) has attributed their inspiration to S. E Rogie. As it Is said, ‘…the true mark of success in any endeavour is evident by the fact that others after you may try really hard to copy you, to be just like you, and/or to use your inspiration as a springboard to launch their own dreams.’

Friday May 3, 2019.

 

 

 

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