Okyeame Kwame

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Okyeame Kwame
City of Accra.jpeg
Okyeame Kwame
Background information
Birth nameKwame Nsiah-Apau
Also known asOkyeame Kwame, Rap Doctor
Born (1976-04-17) April 17, 1976 (age 42)
Kumasi, Ashanti Region, Ghana
GenresHiplife, rap, Afro pop
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, Actor, Philanthropist
Years active1997–present
Associated actsAsumadu, Ebony Reigns, Kwaw Kese, Stephanie Benson, Kwabena Kwabena, Deborah Vanessa
Okyeame Kwame
Spouse(s)
ChildrenKwame Nsiah Bota, Sante Antwiwaa Nsiah-Apau

Kwame Nsiah-Apau (born 17 April 1976), known by his stage name Okyeame Kwame and nicknamed Rap Doctor,[1] is a Ghanaian musician, songwriter, creative director and entrepreneur.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Kwame Nsiah Apau was born in Kumasi, Ashanti Region of Ghana. He is the third of six siblings. His two younger brothers, Kwaku Nsiah Boamah nicknamed "Stone" and Kwaku Nsiah Amankwah nicknamed "Kunta Kinte", also perform nowadays as the hiplife duo "Bradez".[3] His parents expected him to become a physician, yet he gained interest in rap music from a very young age, having written his own songs and performed in local shows ever since he attended the Anglican Senior High School in Kumasi.[4] He later attended Kwame Nkrumah University, where he studied music and specialized in classical guitar, later graduated as a linguist.[5] From 2015, Okyeame Kwame is studying for a master's degree in Marketing Strategy at the University of Ghana Business School.[6]

Musical career[edit]

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 solo under his own record label One Mic Entertainment, in Accra since they parted in 2004.[7][8] He also featured renowned Ghanaian highlife and hiplife artists as 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 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 vindicative enough.[9]

Okyeame Kwame has contributed his due to education and the promotion of scholarship, his rap lyrics (which incorporate didactic themes, social consciousness and poetry) being studied in some Ghanaian universities.

Style[edit]

Okyeame Kwame raps and sings mostly in Twi dialect of the Akan language of Ghana. However, his versatile prowess sees him do songs in English as well. His stage name Okyeame chosen to reflect his lyrical fluidity means "linguist (of the royal court)" in his native Akan.[10]

Other venues[edit]

Aside from musical performances, Kwame launched in 2012 "The Versatile Show", produced by himself and performed biannually at the National Theatre, a theater show in which he blends his music with drama and poetry.[11][12][13][14]

Business career[edit]

Kwame runs his own record label One Mic Entertainment and also Firm Bridges Communications, co-founded with his wife,[15] and he is partner in the shoe manufacturing company Horseman Shoes.[16] Due to his notoriety as a national icon in native Ghana, he became brand ambassador for MTN Group, GT Bank and Coca-Cola in Ghana,[5] 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.

From 2015, Kwame has also been appointed as ambassador for "My African Union, My Voice" campaign launched by the African Union in Addis Ababa as part of the activities of the "State of the Union" (SoTU) – a Pan-African Civil Society Organizations project which is currently being implemented in African countries including Ghana. The stated goals of the campaign are to help creating public awareness of the objectives of the African Union and to promote active citizen participation in the implementation of its protocols, conventions and policy decisions at the level of the member states of the Union.[17][18]

Also, from 2015 he got appointed as 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.[19]

Education[edit]

Okyeame Kwame in 2016 graduated from the University of Ghana with a Masters in Strategic Marketing.[20] Prior to this, he was a BSc. holder in modern languages (Akan option) from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

Discography[edit]

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.[21] In 2012 he launched "The Versatile Show" ("Konfanko").[5]

Film and television[edit]

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 Ties That Bind, The Comforter and Amsterdam Diary.[22][23]

Personal life[edit]

Kwame has been married since 2009 to Annica Nsiah-Apau and they have two children together, Sir Kwame Bota and Sante Antwiwaa.[15] His two younger brothers are also rappers, using the stage names Flowking Stone and Kunta Kinte. The two are collectively known as Bradez.[citation needed]

Philanthropy[edit]

Okyeame Kwame founded in 2009 the Okyeame Kwame Foundation, to raise public awareness on hepatitis B and to provide screening, prevention and education to mitigate the disease in Ghana, backed by MTN Ghana and the MDS-Lancet Laboratories.[5][16][24] Periodic screening and vaccination campaigns are held throughout Ghana, attended by hundreds of people who receive free vaccines.[25] In 2014, he staged the Celebrity Car Wash, an event including sports, games and photoshoots with celebrities in East Legon, to raise funds in support of his campaign to provide free vaccination to at least 1000 Ghanaians.[26] The foundation has initiated and sponsored the construction of a hepatitis B treatment facility in Tamale.[1]

For his work in raising the funds to provide free screening for the Ghanaian urban and rural poor, Kwame has been appointed Hepatitis B Ambassador for the Ghana Health Service.[5]

Honors[edit]

John Cranley, Mayor of the city of Cincinnati in Ohio USA on November 21, 2016 presented Okyeame Kwame with a Key to the City and declared November 17 each year as ‘Okyeame Kwame Day’ to solemnise his status as International Cultural Ambassador to the city.[27][28]

Kwame was also honored on February 3, 2017 by the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana with the status of an associate co-opted member for his professional use of marketing in the creative arts.[29]

At the 2017 Ghana Music Honours, he was given the best video honour for his song titled Small Small which features MzVee.[30] Adding up, the rapper and philanthropist received a United States Presidential Volunteer Service Award. This award scheme is normally given to Americans but exception was made for the Ghanaian rapper dubbed (Kingdom Humanitarian Award) in recognition of his outstanding contribution towards kicking away hepatitis b.[31]

The People's Choice Practitioners Awards, organised by Media Men Ghana in April 2017 saw Okyeame receive the ‘Outstanding Health Ambassador’ honour presented to him by the Asantehene, his Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.[32]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organisation Award Work Result
1999 Ghana Music Awards Hiplife Song Of The Year (as part of Akyeame) Mesan Aba ft. Nana Quame, Mary Agyepong & Yoggi Doggi Won
Ghana Music Awards Artist of the Year (as part of Akyeame) N/A Nominated
Ghana Music Awards Song of the Year (as part of Akyeame) Mesan Aba ft. Nana Quame, Mary Agyepong & Yoggi Doggi Nominated
Ghana Music Awards Video of the Year (as part of Akyeame) Mesan Aba ft. Nana Quame, Mary Agyepong & Yoggi Doggi Nominated
2004 Ghana Music Awards Best Collaboration
(Okyeame Kwame / Daasebre Dwamena)
Kokoko Nominated
2009 Ghana Music Awards Artist of the Year N/A Won[33]
Ghana Music Awards Hip Hop Song of the Year Woso Won[33]
Ghana Music Awards Hiplife Artist of the Year N/A Won[33]
Ghana Music Awards Hip Hop Artist of the Year N/A Won[33]
Ghana Music Awards Best Music Video of the Year Woso Won[33]
Channel O Music Video Awards Most Talented West African Artist N/A Nominated
Channel O Music Video Awards Most Talented Young Artist N/A Nominated
Channel O Music Video Awards Most Talented Hip-hop Video Woso Nominated
Channel O Music Video Awards Most Talented Video of the Year Woso Nominated
Africa Music Awards (UK) Best West African Artist N/A Nominated
Africa Music Awards (UK) Best African Video Woso Nominated
Africa Music Awards (UK) Best Song Woso Nominated
Sun City Music Video Awards Best African Video Woso Nominated
2010 Ghana Music Awards The Game| style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated
4syte Music Video Awards Best Edited Video Woso Won
2011 Ghana Movie Awards Best Cameo Appearance Ties That Bind Nominated
2012 Ghana Music Awards Songwriter of the Year Faithful Won[34]
Ghana Music Awards Best Collaboration of the Year Faithful Won[34]
Ghana Music Awards Record of the Year Faithful Nominated
Ghana Music Awards Best Hiplife / Hip-hop Artist N/A Nominated
Ghana Music Awards Artist of the Year N/A Nominated
Ghana Music Awards Hiplife Song of the Year Faithful Nominated
Ghana Music Awards Best Music Video of the Year Faithful / Ohene Media Nominated
Ghana Music Awards Most Popular Song of the Year Faithful Nominated
Ghana Music Awards Best Rapper of the Year N/A Nominated
4syte Music Video Awards Best Hi-Life Video Sika Won[35]
2013 Ghana Music Awards Songwriter of the Year Sika Won[36]
Ghana Music Awards Best Rapper of the Year N/A Nominated
Ghana Music Awards Best Collaboration of the Year N/A Nominated
Ghana Music Awards Album of the Year N/A Nominated
4syte Music Video Awards Best Hiplife Video Sika Won
2014 Ghana Music Honours Hiplife Legend N/A Won
2015 MOGO Awards Artist of the Year N/A Won[37]
2016 All Africa Music Awards Best Male Artiste in West Africa Small Small Nominated
All Africa Music Awards Songwriter of the Year Small Small Nominated
All Africa Music Awards Best African Collaboration Small Small Nominated
All Africa Music Awards Song of the Year in Africa Small Small Nominated
All Africa Music Awards Best Artiste Small Small Nominated
2017 People's Choice Practitioners Honours[38] Health Ambassador of the Year Hepatitis B Project Won
2017 United States Presidential Volunteer Service Award Kingdom Humanitarian of the year Hepatitis b project Won
2017 Ghana Music Awards Best Video of the Year Small Small Won
2017 People's Choice Practitioners Awards Outstanding Health Ambassador’ honor Hepatitis B Project Won
2017 Glitz Style Awards Most Stylish Artiste of the Year N/A Won
2017 Interkulterelle Migraten Integrations Centre (IMIC), Germany Pan-Africanism Awards N/A Won
2017 Central Region Music Awards Ayekoo Award N/A Won
2017 United States Presidential Volunteer Service Award Highest Civilian Honour Hepatitis B Project Won
2018 Canadian Government Awards Reading Ambassador N/A Won
Videography
YEAR NAME DIRECTOR
2016 Medo Ama as featured artiste

References[edit]

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  4. ^ "Biography of Okyeame Kwame". ghanabase.com. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
  5. ^ a b c d e Kojo Akoto Boateng (2014-12-03). "Okyeame Kwame: Businessman, Philanthropist & Mr Versatile". CitiFMOnline. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
  6. ^ "Okyeame Kwame back in school". Graphic Showbiz. 2015-06-11. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  7. ^ Kojo Akoto Boateng (2015-03-13). "#MOGOAwards Nominee Profile – Okyeame Kwame". citifmonline. Retrieved 2015-04-27.
  8. ^ Mustapha Ayinde Inusah (2013-05-02). "Critics ask Empire Entertainment: "Why not Samini, Sarkodie, etc but Okyeame Kwame?". GhanaMusic. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
  9. ^ Ernest Dela Aglanu (2011-08-28). "Obrafour apologises to Okyeame Kwame; calls for truce". MyJoyOnline. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
  10. ^ Allen, Barbara. "Ashanti Okyeame". AfricaOnWheels. Retrieved 2015-04-20.
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  12. ^ Ernest Dela Aglanu (2014-11-10). "Okyeame Kwame nails second coming of Versatile Show". Retrieved 2015-04-28.
  13. ^ "Okyeame Kwame's Versatile Show rocking hot". MyJoyOnline. 2014-12-17. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
  14. ^ Dadson, Nanabanyin (2012). "Okyeame! Okyeame!!". Graphic Showbiz: 16.
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  17. ^ "Launch of "My African Union, My Voice" Campaign, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia". African Union. 2015-03-17. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
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  19. ^ "Okyeame Kwame Honoured". Daily Guide Ghana. 2015-10-15. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
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  24. ^ Mawuli, David (2015-01-27). "Rapper Vaccinates Hundreds Against Hepatitis B At Adabraka Clinic As He Brings The Project To An End". Pulse. Retrieved 2015-05-05.
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  38. ^ https://enewsgh.com/2017/04/16/prof-frimpong-boateng-okyeame-kwame-others-awarded-pcp-honours/