Sweet Mother

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"Sweet Mother" is a highlife song by the Nigerian and Cameroonian singer Prince Nico Mbarga and his band Rocafil Jazz. Released in 1976, it remains one of the most popular songs in Africa.

The demo-tape of "Sweet Mother" was turned down by EMI in 1974, citing the song's "childish appeal." "Sweet Mother" was later also rejected by Decca Records and Philips Records, before it was eventually released in December, 1976, by Rogers All Stars, a Nigerian recording company based in Onitsha.[1][2]

The song is a celebration of motherhood, sung in Nigerian Pidgin English. The music is West African highlife, with Congolese Soukous-style guitar finger-picking.

"Sweet Mother" went on to become one of the most popular hits in Africa, selling over 13 million copies.[1] Sometimes called Africa's anthem, it was voted Africa's favourite song by BBC readers and listeners in 2004, coming before Brenda Fassie's "Vuli Ndlela", Fela Kuti's "Lady", Franco's "Mario" and Miriam Makeba's version of "Malaika".[3]

Sample music[edit]


  1. ^ a b Prince Nico Mbarga: Profile
  2. ^ Tribute to Nico Mbarga of Sweet Mother, ModernGhana.com 11 February 2008
  3. ^ Sweet Mother is Africa's anthem, BBC, 31 December 2004

External links[edit]