Updated: Jul 13, 2019
July 2018, Polish rock scene and showbusiness was shocked by the news that one of the biggest names of Polish rock and a very inspiring artist, Kora, died after five years of fighting with cancer.
She was a star. Born in 1951 in Cracow as Olga Jackowska, she was the youngest of all children in her poor family and that is why she was sent to an orphanage. Being in high school, she decided to join the hippie movement which strongly supported arts and free thinking.
In mid 70s', she made up her stage name. She was well known in one of the most important shelters for Polish culture under occupation – Piwnica pod Baranami (“A basement under rams”). This is where Polish culture survived and where many beautiful, well-remembered songs had their own premiere. It’s also the place where Kora met her husband, Marek Jackowski, who set up Maanam – a band that Kora was the leader of.
Since her first performances, she was acclaimed unusual and original, fighting against grey reality of Polish People’s Republic (that’s how Poland was called before).
In 1980, after performing in the festival of Opole, she was considered as the voice of young generation. In 1984, she refused to perform in a concert called “in friendship with Soviet Union” which caused many repressions towards the band. Despite the successes, she decided to dissolve the band as she was tired of high life, giving 200 performances a year – either in Poland or abroad. She released a few solo albums until Maanam had its reactivation in the 90s'.
In 2011 she became a judge in a popular Polish TV show "Must be the music". As she was divorced with Marek Jackowski previously, she was later in a relationship with Kamil Sipowicz. When she was diagnosed with a cancer, she decided to marry him.
Kora as a Songwriter:
Most of the songs in the band were written by Marek Jackowski but it was Kora who wrote the lyrics. She wasn’t afraid of telling the truth about the government and the politics at all. That’s why she was always on the black list for many politicians. She wasn’t alone as many Polish rock bands were fighting against communism and the Party.
Kora as an Activist:
Kora was also known for her fights to get some needed rights in Poland. Kora was an activist fighting for freeing women’s laws as well as a supporter for abortion, amongs some other campaigns she was really into.
Kora as inspiration:
Kora has always been my inspiration. I remember discovering my first Maanam’s song on a mix tape. I was so amazed – I was listening to it on my home hi-fi system all day. I was eight. She was a real artist – not created by a PR specialists or an „image”. She was just as she wanted to be.
She will be always stay in my heart and her songs will motivate me to be better and better. To dig deeply to find my real self.