Wiyaala The Charismatic Musician from Ghana

Gati Jesse

Gati Jesse

Published on April 2, 2024

Wiyaala, whose name means “the doer” in her native Sissala language, is not only a musician but a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment sector. This vibrant African diva hails from Funsi in Ghana’s Upper West Region. From her humble origins to her international renown, here’s all you need to know.

Wiyaala’s irrepressible outgoing nature was on full display from an early age, enthralling audiences with her talent in entertainment, dancing, art, and even football. Despite growing up in a patriarchal society that frequently suppresses artistic expression, Wiyaala’s musical mother protected her from the horrors of FGM and child marriage, allowing her to thrive as a performer.

Wiyaala

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Wiyaala’s music blends West African folk traditions with contemporary Afro-pop, earning her comparisons to legends like Mariam Makeeba, Brenda Fassie, and Angelique Kidjo. Her captivating performances and engaging songs reflect a modern yet traditional Africa, captivating audiences around the globe.

In 2012, Wiyaala’s star began to rise when she won the Vodafone Icons Reality Show in Accra. Since then, she has graced prestigious stages worldwide, representing Ghana and Africa at events like the Commonwealth Games, SummerStage in New York, and WOMAD UK. Wiyaala even performed for Vice President Kamala Harris, showcasing her immense talent on an international scale.

Notably, she made history in 2014 as the first Ghanaian artist since Osibisa in the 1970s to chart on Billboard with her FIFA World Cup song “Go Go Black Stars.” She has released two albums, “Wiyaala” in 2014 and “Sissala Goddess” in 2018, captivating listeners with her unique sound and powerful vocals.

Wiyaala

Beyond her music, she is a vocal advocate for various causes, including child marriage, child abuse, and access to clean water and education. She actively supports organizations like Unicef Ghana, GACA, and Water Aid Ghana, using her platform to effect positive change in her community and beyond.

The Lioness’s efforts have not gone unnoticed, as evidenced by her numerous awards and citations, including Alternative Song of the Year at the Ghana Music Awards, Woman of the Decade at the Women Choice Awards Africa, and BBC’s Celebrated African Women recognition. Her impact extends beyond the stage, as she empowers and inspires both her local community and fans worldwide.

Wiyaala, an articulate communicator who designs her own costumes, is more than just a musician; she is a role model and beacon of hope for all aspiring artists.

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