Tag: Kojo Antwi

The story of ‘Akuaba’

In Kojo Antwi’s song ‘Akuaba’ he describes the beauty of a woman he’s seen – the slimness of her nose, the whiteness of her teeth, and then the best feature of all, her figure, which he compares to that of an ‘akuaba’. Now to those of you not familiar with Ghanaian culture, ‘akuaba’ is a fertility doll who’s legend and tradition is still very much a part of Ghanaian culture today.



69301-FIGUASAN_1466ALegend has it that there once lived a woman called Akua who was unable to conceive. Because Akan society is matrilineal, it is extremely important that Akan women are able to give birth, preferably female children to carry the family line. So women who are barren often find themselves ostracised in their communities. The story goes that Akua visited a fetish priest who carved her a wooden doll to carry on her back. Akua took the doll home and cared for it as she would a real baby. She was laughed at by those in her village, who referred to the doll as Akua’ba’, meaning Akua’s child. Soon Akua fell pregnant and gave birth to a girl and it is said that from then on women adopted the practice of carrying ‘akuaba’ on their backs in order to conceive.


Genuine akuaba figures are female, carved to represent the Akan ideal of beauty; a flat disc like head featuring a high oval forehead, slightly flattened in actual practice by moulding a new born infant’s cranial bones on a round stone. The rings on an akuaba’s neck represents rolls of fat, which in Akan culture is a sign of beauty, prosperity and health. Small scars are made below the eyes for medicinal purposes to protect against convulsions and a small delicate mouth is set low on the face. Akuba figures also serve as protection against deformities and even ugliness – when a woman is pregnant she’s warned against looking at anything or anyone unattractive lest it influences the features of her unborn child. Most akuaba have abstracted horizontal arms and a cylindrical torso with simple indications of breasts and navel, with the torso ending in a base rather than legs.


Though carrying akuaba on your back to conceive is not as widespread as it was in the past, the practice is still carried out in

A woman carrying 'Akuaba' on her back

A woman carrying ‘Akuaba’ on her back

some part of Ghana today. If  a woman wanted to conceive, she would visit a local shrine accompanied by a elder female family member. A carving would then be commissioned by the local priest, who would then give the doll to the woman, sometimes along with traditional medicine. The woman would then carry the doll on her back tied by cloth the way a real child would, and she would also feed and bathe the doll – by doing this she’s thought to have a better chance of having a beautiful healthy baby. Once the woman conceives and successfully gives birth, the akuaba is often returned to the shrine as a form of offering to the spirits for granting them a child. Families sometimes also keep their akuaba dolls as a memorial if the child died.

Today akuaba figures are mass produced, often used a souvenirs or decorational pieces in the home. However its symbolism is still prevalent, with parents often buying these dolls for their daughter to play with, in hopes that it will influence child-bearing in their adult lives.


By Yaa Nyarko (@yaa_fremah)

Ghana Music Awards Europe 2013 Review

Ghana Music Awards Europe 2013 – a major disappointment

 gma 2013

So its safe to say that the 2013 Ghana Music Awards Europe that took place on Friday 9th August at the IndigO2 was a major flop. I made the really bad decision of attending the event, thinking I was in for a great night – how wrong was I!

I must say that I had misgivings about going. I mean, Ghanaian events in the UK don’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to being organised. However a friend told me last year GMA Europe was quite good, and looking at the artist line up this year (Sarkodie, Kojo Antwi, Fuse ODG, Pat Thomas, Atumpan and others), I thought I might as well give it a shot.

I got to the venue just after midnight and to me the turnout was quite disappointing. After this event being billed as the biggest night in Ghanaian music in Europe, I expected to find a packed venue. But the VIP area had plenty of empty seats, and the standing section was barely filled. This did not bode well , and the night progressively got worse from there.

I had expected to find the show under way when I got there, but the host for the night DJ Abrantee didn’t come on stage until almost 1am. And the show was supposed to have started at 9pm…I must say co-host Nana Ama McBrown was a pleasant surprise – her rendition of R2Bees hit ‘Walahi’ showed that not only was she a talented actress but she can hold her own on the mike as well! But she only came on for about 5 mins at the start of the show and the was it – I didn’t see her on stage again.

The event finally got under way and when it was time to give out the awards, guess what? The winners were not even there to collect them. Which is understandable – I mean not everyone nominated could fly here for the event right? However none of the artists based in Ghana nominated were present, a fact that was not well received by the crowd, who subsequently booed every time it was announced that the winner unfortunately couldn’t make it.

The only thing that could have saved the night was the performances from Sarkodie, Kojo Antwi and Pat Thomas. Not to say that the other UK based Ghanaian artists weren’t good. I regularly see Fuse ODG, Mista Silva, Skob, Kwamz, Flava, Gizmo and Sonni Balli at Ghanaian events all the time, the most recent being Ghana Party in the Park just last week, so I wasn’t really looking forward to their performances as much I was to Sarkodie, Kojo Antwi and Pat Thomas (and I’m sure I wasn’t alone on this). But surprise surprise they were a no show. No explanation was given as to their absence – I later learned that Kojo Antwi had turned up too late to the venue so security did not allow him in.

By now it was around 3am and I had had enough. Even though the event was still going on I left feeling like the event organisers had cheated myself and others who attended out of our money. The main artists that were supposed to perform didn’t turn up, the show started late and dragged on for way too long and the overall organisation of the night was extremely poor.

However the evening wasn’t all bad – I did enjoy Charsay‘s , Fuse’s and Mista Silva’s performances. But based on what transpired on Friday night will I go to next year’s GMA Europe? Right now the answer is a resounding no.

By Yaa Nyarko

Sarkodie does Ghana proud!



Ghana’s king of the mic, Sarkodie has won the Best International Act (Africa) at this year’s Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards which came off at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles Sunday night.

The Ghanaian, who was recently crowned the Artiste of the Year at the 2012 Ghana Music Awards, together with the Nigerian artiste Wizkid, were announced joint winners of the awards.

The two beat off competition from Iceprince (Nigeria), Camp Mulla (Kenya), Mokobe (Mali) and Lira (South Africa) to win an award which was once jointly won by Nigerian artistes, D’banj and 2face Idibia.

The award makes the Dangerous rapper, Sarkodie the first Ghanaian to win a BET Award after failed attempts by Kojo Antwi and D-Black.

An elated Sarkodie tweeted after winning the award that “From da streets of TMA str8 2 @BET_Intl …. God has been too good 2 me.. Love ma fans promise we ll go higher just save some love 4 me…”

The BET Awards, the biggest black music awards event, also saw Ghanaian-born-UK-based artiste Sway loose out to Wretch 32 to win the Best International Act (UK). The Unorthodox star also beat Estelle, Labrinth and Emeli Sande to the award.

Other winners on the night included Kanye West and Jay Z, Chris Brown, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce and Bi Sean.

Chris Brown took home Best R&B Artiste beating Bruno Mars, Miguel, Trey Songz and Usher to the award. The Don’t Wake Me Up hit maker also won the Fandamonium Award for the third consecutive time.

Beyonce won Best Female R&B Artiste and Video Director of the Year alongside Alan Ferguson. She however lost out on the Video of the Year to her husband, Jay Z, and Kanye West.

In her acceptance speech, Beyonce said she “fell in love with music by listening to R&B and it’s the core of who I am.”

There were two memorable moments of this year’s awards. The first was an impressive tribute to the late Whitney Houston who died in February this year.

Monica and Brandy put up splendid performance to honour of the late singer who graced the world with her powerful voice. Monica performed I Love the Lord, while Brandy came on stage with a set of backup dancers and performed I’m Your Baby Tonight and I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

Whitney Houston’s brother, Gary Houston also took to the stage to give off a performance after which he introduced their mother, Cissy Houston, who sang Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Songstress Mariah Carey in a tribute recounted that “The first time I heard Whitney’s voice, I was mesmerized like the rest of the world. Just an unknown, budding singer myself, I was captivated by the power in her range, the richness of her tone and her unique ability to wrap a lyric in emotion.”

The second interesting moment at this year’s awards was Jay Z interrupting Kanye West during an acceptance speech for the Video of the Year.

In 2009, Kanye West infamously interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech after she won the award for Best Female Video for her song You Belong With Me at the MTV Music Video Awards.

After Kanye and Jay Z were declared winners of the Video of the Year for their The Throne – Otis which also won them Best Group, Jay Z gave his acceptance speech and just as Kanye took over the mic and uttered the words “I wanna thank BET…”, Jay Z jokingly interrupted and said “Excuse me Kanye I’mma let you continue but…” This got everyone laughing at the venue.

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly received the Lifetime Achievement Award while Reverend Al Sharpton received the 2012 BET Humanitarian Award.

The 2012 BET Awards which was hosted by actor Samuel L. Jackson also witnessed exciting performances from Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Melani Fiona, Usher, Tyga and the Maybach Music Group (MMG) which included Rick Ross.


Source: *http://www.ghanacypher.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=625:sarkodie-and-wizkid-beat-ice-prince-and-others&catid=64:latest-news&Itemid=141*

GH’s fastest rapper isn’t done yet!

Sarkodie is to issue Two more albums this year!


Sarkodie picking up 'Artiste of the Year' at the 2012 Ghana Music Awards


The award winning Artist of the year (2012), Sarkodie ‘opidiponbidi’, says he will be releasing two albums this year.

In a recent interview with Hitz FM, The rapper disclosed that one of the albums is ready to drop, and the other one is still in the process.

According to Sarkodie, the first album is a hip-hop themed album titled *Mind Game* a collaboration with Jay-So which is targeted for his worldwide audience as well as hip-hop lovers in GH.

The second album, he said, will be a Hi-LIFE themed album which will feature some of the BEST artistes he grew up listening to such as Kojo Antwi, Oheneba Kissi, Daddy Lumba and Daasebre Dwamena.

Unlike other artists that take a long break, Sarkodie says he’ll never rest, all he wants to do is to work to bring his fans the best of music.

He made it clear that he had plans before the 2012 Ghana Music Awards, and now that it is over, it is time to continue from where he stopped.

For his future plans, the ‘You Go Kill Me’ hit-maker said he has tours, charity events and a couple of shows ahead of him.

Sarkodie performed the second part of his Rapperholic concert in Kumasi before the awards and afte, did a couple of shows in Ghana before performing in Malaysia.

He is back and says the next step for him is to tour some regions of Ghana to be followed by a Canada tour in June.

Sarkodie has now won the Artiste of the Year twice and says being in the artiste of the year category was a blessing to him, adding that he thinks his fans and management supported him a lot hence they make sure he wins awards every time he is nominated.