Friday, 6 February 2009
Nelly Uchendu who hailed from Umuchu in Anambra State was one of Nigeria's top female highlife musicians, Uchendu shot to prominence in 1977 with Love Nwantiti, a folk song in praise of a local beauty.
Through the release of Love Nwantiti, which enjoyed tremendous acceptance, Uchendu had developed an individual style. She continued to build on this same sound identity, and remaining open to new influence from many sources which she nevertheless did not allow to overwhelm her own individuality as an African.
An outright departure from Uchendu's natural path came in 1979, two years after the release of Love Nwantiti. It was for the folkloric highlife idiom that she was declared the greatest among various other competitors during FESTAC '77. She got the coveted national award of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON).
Nelly Uchendu died in 2005.