Okomfuo Kwadee explores the issue of infidelity by comparing and contrasting the various qualities of his wife and girlfriend one of his notable songs.
What do you look for in music? The answer to this question varies from person to person. Music lovers listen to music for several reasons. Some listen to music to reminisce the keenest of their memories; others do in order to feel calm and focused. Whatever their reasons may be, people want records they can relate to. If you were an artiste making music for young people in Ghana, what would be your approach? What content would you be putting out? Artistes are aware of this and make music which suits a particular demographic of interest. Some artistes claim they had to compromise quality in order to enjoy the taste of commercial success.
This idea seems popular among young musicians in Ghana, and may partly explain why the quality of music seems to be declining. But do we have to continue along this path? Make music today, discard it tomorrow? Fortunately, we have great instances of Ghanaian artistes who have in the past made music that has transcended generations and continue to impact popular culture.
Okomfour Kwadee is one of such artistes. His unique style of rap, mastery over the Twi language, unique storytelling ability and messages are some of the factors that endeared his music to the hearts of many listeners. Kwadee explored the Akan culture like no other. He told Ghanaian stories. On his records, we hear him dissect the concept of greed, love, poverty, inequality, and infidelity. On infidelity, one can mention his record Me Yere Ne Me Mpena for his exceptional analytical skills. The chorus to the lyrics is simple and catchy:
Adwoa yɛ me yere, Yaa yɛ me mpena
Obiara hwe me nkwandɛ
Hwan na me nware no Hwan na mengyae no?
Kwadee explores the case of a man who was faced with the dilemma of choosing who to be with, between his wife and girlfriend. The first verse of the song makes a case for the wife. The second verse is an argument for the girlfriend. In the third verse, he does a comparative analysis and makes a decision.
A case for the Wife
The wife, Adowa, is a supportive woman who feels so much respect for him. She is akin to the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31. Not only does Kwadee acknowledge such qualities, he also appreciates them. The only chink in Adwoa’s armor is her refusal to step up her game in the romance arena. She is an ‘old-timer’usually clad in unsexy clothes and unwilling to explorein the bedroom.
On the song, you hear him encouraging his wife, Adwoa to embrace the new fashion sense, go out more to familiarize with current lifestyle. In essence, he hate Adwoa for being boring or too much of a traditional wife. One interesting bit about Kwadee’s approach in seeking a hall pass from his wife was to have an open discussion on the subject; highlighting his reasons rather go behind her back and cheat.
A case for the Girlfriend
What do young women who are ready to explore their sexuality offer you? Exactly everything your wife does not. That is essentially the theme for the second verse. The girlfriend, Obaa Yaa, is down for whatever- a daring soul. Kwadee only talks about how sexy her dresses are and her incessant need to go to the club. Her wild sexual exploits and feistiness, though too much for Kwadee to keep up with (due to his age) is what endears her to him more. What are the downsides with Yaa? She has expensive tastes which can be quite difficult to maintain- he funds her shopping activities, buys her the latest electronic gadgets, pays for restaurant trips. Kwadee, although complains about this in the latter part of the second verse, he also acknowledged it’s a repercussion borne out of his own choices.
On the same verse, he reveals something striking about how he maintains both households: unlike his girlfriend Yaa whose needs he funds with no hesitation, same can’t be said in favour of Adwoa, his wife, who does not even have a radio set or expensive clothes in her wadrobe.
Who gets to stay? Yaa or Adwoa? The first part of the third verse sheds light on the flaws of Yaa, the girlfriend. Yaa is an unfaithful young woman (pretty rich coming from a married man), too expensive to keep around. The only valuable thing she brings to the table is sex. In the second part, Kwadee reminds listeners about how boring the wife is but adds that she is a very good cook and a supportive wife, someone he could build a home with. He provides a detail description of a particular goat soup she made for him. This and other culinary delights are enough to make him choose Adwoa over Yaa.
A decade after this record, married folks still struggle with the issue of infidelity. Should they refer to this record to make a decision? I do not know. What I do know is: good music is forever and that is why fans continue to play the Me Yere Anaa Mpena record.