As today marks International Women’s Day, we bring you a couple of songs that celebrates women and their efforts at making this world a better place. With women at the forefront of today’s movements like #MeToo and #WomensMarch and other feminist groups across the globe, the focus on women issues has been thrusted in front of the global conversation.
We all are obliged to join in the fight towards equality in terms of human rights, pay and workplace safety as well as in the areas of education, healthcare and politics.
Our playlist is geared towards celebrating women and features songs from both Ghanaian artists-female and male- and from Nina Simone and Erykah Badu. Enjoy it
Efya – Whoman, Woman
Efya’s ”Whoman, Woman is a highlife styled tune that celebrates, once more, the strength, beauty, unparalleled commitment of women in their everyday endeavours. In a world where the efforts of women are usually overlooked by their male counterparts, a song like ”Whoman, Woman” brings into sharp focus the need to always be there to support our women who continue to work at making the world a better place.
Akosua Agyapong – Me Ye Obaa
Me y3 obaa/ me y3 obaa/ me y3 obaa/ Me y3 obaa/ Egya Nyame b) me obaa/ )b) me yie
The chorus above translate as ‘I’m a woman/ God created me a woman/He did it with perfection’
This song is an inspirational tune from Akosua Agyapong, one of the earlier Ghanaian female artists who embraced the feminist agenda. “Me Y3 Obaa” (I’m a Woman) was found on her debut album, “Frema”, a collection of inspirational tunes about life, love and God. “Me Y3 Obaa” was an advisory note to young women to value their worth: to be confident, proud and assertive when it came to matters of love (some men are trash). She further advised women to be abreast with domestic chores since it would come in handy one day when they start their own family.
Becca –African Woman
‘Diamonds get their character from the African woman’. This powerful quote opens the video to this beautiful tune from Becca. “African Woman” is a song that celebrates the beauty and resilience of the African woman-and women in general. Its beauty lies not only in the uplifting lyrics but also, the contagions melody and striking rhythms. Infusing popular Ghanaian lullabies and adowa rhythms, Becca delivered, arguably one of her best musical outputs on “African Woman”.
Ria Boss – Flame On
On ”Flame On”, Ria Boss preaches about self-love, self-worth and finding strength within to face the numerous obstacles that hold us back. In a society where the odds are stack against women, this call by Ria Boss is motivating and assuring; that one could still rise out of their present predicament and make their dreams an aspirations become manifest. Being a woman who had to confront her own obstacles on her way to nirvana, ”Flame On” sounds like the perfect motivational anthem for the many others, especially women who wishes to break the chains holding them back. It’s not going to be easy but, it is possible.
Kojo Antwi – Bebre Anowa
One of my all time favourite songs from Mr. Music Man. “Bebre Anowa” is a song performed by one of Ghanaians finest musician, Kojo Antwi. Steeped in reggae inflections courtesy the production hands of Kwame Yeboah (of OBY band), Kojo Antwi sung this tune to celebrate his mother, and also dad. In the Akan tradition, the mother determines the family group that her children belong due to the matrilineal system of inheritance. After pronouncing on her qualities as a mother, Kojo Antwi indicated how he’d have her ‘walk in a golden slippers’ as his way of honouring her. The second verse was to his father whose spirit keeps him safe.
Daddy Lumba – Nyame Nhyira Mbaa
Daddy Lumba’s “Nyame Nhyira Mbaa” should be legislated as a morning hymn for all Ghanaians. On this beautiful tune that celebrate the efforts of women, more specifically Ghanaian women, Lumba touches on some of the struggles women have to endure-from childbirth to caring for their household. Lumba further criticizes the patriarchal system which makes some men disrespect women. ‘I get sad when I see a man disrespect a woman. A man who disrespects women is a lost soul’, he sings. Truly, Daddy Lumba couldn’t have said it any better.
Nina Simone – Four Women
Dr. Nina Simone knew her worth, and that resonated in the amazing music she made. “Four Women” celebrates women of colour. As the title reveal, this song touches on four women with different complexions- Aunt Sarah (dark skinned), Safronia (mixed blood), Sweet Thing (a prostitute) and Peaches (a tough woman) in racial America. The lyrics are as evocative as many of her songs. Four Women captures the struggles of women globally – abused, left for death, disrespected, unappreciated. And for those unaware of this song, it’s what Jay Z sampled on ”Story of O.J” off 4:44
Akatakyie – Ghana Mma
Even though this song is more of a love song, Akatakyie went a step to praise the beauty and the industry of Ghanaian women. Like Lumba, they also highlighted the many obstacles or traps that makes the life of a women horrible. This song passes as one of duo’s ‘most conscious’ songs ever and one that would be remembered for a little more time.
Erykah Badu –Phone Down
When Ms. Badu says she can make you put your phone down, you don’t doubt. Over this eclectic sound, she dilates about how she could charm her guy. It’s a song about independence and mutual respect for the parties involved. Guys better learn to focus when you’re with the one you love.
Okomfuo Kwadei ft Pop Skinny – Obaa No
For Okomfuo Kwadei, women deserve to be treated better and with respect. This he indicates on the hook of this song: ”Women deserve to be pampered, all women want to be taken care of”- which I assume is in reference to their welfare and needs. Okomfuo proceeds to offer gems on the ‘dos and don’ts ‘ in relationships like welcoming her home after a long day with a warm embrace among other things. In a society where men are mostly trained not to display public affection towards women- and sometimes spill over into homes, this advice from Okomfuo Kwadei could help urn things around in every relationship, no matter how toxic it may be.
Photo Credit: Akon’s twitter page