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Biography of Okyeame Kwame

Biography of okyeame kwame
okyeame kwame

Kwame Nsiah-Apau (born 17th April 1976), known by his stage name Okyeame Kwame and nicknamed Rap Doctor, is a Ghanaian musician, songwriter, creative director and entrepreneur.

Life and career

Early life

Apau was born in Kumasi, Ashanti Region of Ghana. He is the third of six siblings. His two younger brothers, Kwaku Nsiah Boamah nicknamed “Flowking Stone” and Kwaku Nsiah Amankwah nicknamed “Kunta Kinte”, also perform as a duo, under the brand name “Bradez”. Growing up, Kwame’s parents expected him to become a physician, yet he gained interest in rap music from a very young age, when he wrote his own songs and performed at local shows since his days at the Anglican Senior High School in Kumasi.

Tertiary education

Kwame is a product of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology where he studied Akan and Sociology for his first degree with formal education in music under the tutelage of Dr Daniel Amponsah a.k.a. Agya Koo Nimo. Agya Koo Nimo taught him Classical Guitar and Philosophy in African Music. Subsequently, he enrolled at the University of Ghana and graduated in 2016 with a master’s degree in Strategic Marketing.

He is also an associate co-opted member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana in recognition of his professional use of marketing in creative arts.

Music career

In 1997, he achieved notoriety as a member of the “Akyeame” hiplife duo, together with fellow Ghanaian Daniel Kofi Amoateng (under the stage name Okyeame Kofi). They recorded together the albums, “Nyansapo” (“Witty Knot”, 1997), “Nkonsonkonson” (“Shackles”, 1998), “Ntoaso” (“Continuity”, 2000) and “Apam Foforo” (“New Testament”, 2002). He performed a solo under his own record label “One Mic Entertainment”, in Accra since they parted in 2004. He also featured some renowned Ghanaian highlife and hiplife artists like Daddy Lumba, Kojo Antwi and Ofori Amponsah.

For declaring himself B.R.A (Best Rapper Alive) in a song he recorded after winning Ghana Music Awards Artist of the Year award in 2009, Okyeame Kwame sparked a conflict with fellow Ghanaian rapper Obrafour, who saw himself more deserving. This resulted in one of the most memorable feuds the Ghanaian music scene has seen, with Obrafour challenging Okyeame Kwame to a rap battle on the streets which was never honored. In 2011, after Obrafour had apologized for his actions, Okyeame Kwame explained he declined Obrafour’s challenge because there was no need for it at the time, as winning Artist of the Year was vindictive enough.

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Okyeame Kwame has made significant contributions to education and scholarship promotion, his rap lyrics (which incorporate didactic themes, social consciousness and poetry) are being studied in some Ghanaian universities. He recently came out with a song titled “Yeeko” ft Ghana’s very own highlife artist Kuami Eugene.

Style

Most of Okyeame Kwame’s raps and songs are performed in the Twi dialect of Ghana’s Akan language. However, due to his diversity, he also performs songs in English. His stage name Okyeame chosen to reflect his lyrical fluidity means “linguist (of the royal court)” in his native Akan.

Other venues

Aside from musical performances, Kwame launched “The Versatile Show” in 2012, produced by himself and performed biannually at the National Theatre. He incorporates poetry, drama, and music in this theatrical production.

Business career

Kwame runs his own record label One Mic Entertainment and also Firm Bridges Communications, co-founded with his wife, and he is a partner in the shoe manufacturing company Horseman Shoes. He is also a partner to Sante’s Hair for Kids, a hairline business that produces local hair products for kids with his daughter as the Brand Ambassador.

Corporate associations

Due to his notoriety as a national icon in his native Ghana, Kwame has become an iconic figure for corporate Ghana. He has so far become a brand ambassador for MTN Group, GT Bank and Coca-Cola in Ghana, aside being appointed the public relations officer of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) from 2012 and the Ghana Music Right Owner (GHAMRO) in 2014.

Kwame was chosen to serve as the ambassador for the “My African Union, My Voice” campaign in 2015, which was launched by the African Union in Addis Ababa as part of the “State of the Union” (SoTU) project, which is currently being carried out in several African nations, including Ghana. The campaign’s declaration intends to raise public awareness of the African Union’s goals and to encourage active citizen participation in the Union’s member states’ execution of its protocols, conventions, and policy choices.

In the same year, he was appointed ambassador for the Junior Boys Mentoring Conference, a youth-focused non-governmental initiative in Accra which seeks to equip young people with the necessary knowledge and skills that will enable them to tackle challenges as they come into contact with the outside world.

Kwame has also collaborated with MDS Lancet Laboratories on his Hepatitis B project, vaccinating more than 10,000 Ghanaians. The screening exercise is aimed at creating public awareness about Hepatitis B which has become rampant among Ghanaians.

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Research has shown that insurance penetration has been low in Ghana, partly because a chunk of the population has still not come to terms with the relevance of insurance policies. The need therefore arises for insurance companies to diversify in achieving the intended purpose. To this end, Kwame was appointed by the Insurance Awareness Coordinators Group as an ambassador for its GET INSURED CAMPAIGN project with the responsibility of whipping up the interest among Ghanaians to get insured, particularly against hard times.

In 2020, he was appointed Ambassador for Technical and Vocational Training, TVET by the Ghana Education Service with the responsibility of promoting the preference of TVET among Ghanaians. He shares the same platform with Ghana’s first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo, ace broadcaster Kwame Sefa Kayi, television host Berla Mundi, actress Martha Ankomah, Founder and chief executive officer of McDan Group of Companies Daniel McKorley, Founder and chief executive officer of Makeup Ghana Rebecca Donkor among other distinguished men and women in Ghana.

Discography

Kwame released his first solo album “Boshe Ba” (Promised Child) in 2004, just after the breakup of the Akyeame band. He followed in 2008 with “Manwesem” (My Poetry) and in 2011 with “The Clinic”, launched at the Aphrodisiac Night Club in Accra. In 2012 he launched “The Versatile Show” (“Konfanko”).

In 2020, he teamed up with Jamaica dancehall act, Sizzla Kalonji on a song titled Come Home which urges all Africans in the diaspora to always remember to come back to their motherland.

Film and television

Okyeame Kwame has helped to discover native African talents by working as a judge on music reality shows in Ghana and has also acted in Ghanaian films like Ties That Bind, The Comforter and Amsterdam Diary.

Personal life

Kwame has been married since 2009 to Annica Nsiah-Apau and has two children together with her. They respond to the names Sir Kwame Bota and Sante Antwiwaa. His two younger brothers are also rappers, using the stage names Flowking Stone and Kunta Kinte. The two are collectively known as Bradez. Okyeame has only one sister.

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