Music Review: Serwa Akoto by YOM (Writer Poet)

This beautiful song is one of the projects I am most proud to have been a part of. Making timeless music is one of the reasons I believe I am here and this song is just that!

It was composed and recorded while I was in Accra last year and it addresses the epidemic of skin bleaching in our communities. Africans are blessed with beautiful dark skin but unfortunately some of us hate the color of our skin and use all sorts of skin products to be lighter in complexion. But just like Rapsody rapped on Kendrick Lamar’s song “Complexion”,

Black as brown, hazelnut, cinnamon, black tea
And it’s all beautiful to me

Call your brothers magnificent, call all the sisters queens
We all on the same team, blues and pirus, no colors ain’t a thing

 

I think too much attention is paid to complexion. What makes a person truly beautiful isn’t how light or dark their skin is and it sucks that people have used that as a yardstick to measure beauty for so damn long. I am very glad to be lending a voice on the issue and it is my hope that someone out there would listen to this song and decide to be comfortable in his or her God-given skin no matter what shade of brown it is.

(Please) Be sure to download/ stream and knowing what you think after hearing it would be awesome. Constructive criticism is also welcome. You can find the song on my Soundcloud or just Google “Yom ft. TarandBella Serwa Akoto”.

Happy listening!

CulArtblog

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Yom tackles the issue of skin bleaching on his latest poem Serwa Akoto

The name Serwa Akoto has somehow become synonymous to beauty thanks to the classic hit song Serwaa Akoto by the Yamoah International Band released in the 1970s. The name, based off the song title and lyrics, celebrated the beauty of Serwa Akoto. (Note: Serwa Akoto was a real individual resident at Dansoman, Akoko Foto).

The latest act to reference the name is Yom The Poet. His celebration of beauty carries a twist. YOM tackles the subject of how today’s generation perceive beauty: the adoration of light skin and the culture of skin bleaching (or is it toning). Through the character called Serwa Akoto, the ‘African Geisha’, Yom shares his views on this trend; exploring reasons behind it.

Featuring singers Tara and Bella, whose ballads and background harmonies are as ornate as Yom’s words, the two describe…

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Imperfect is Okay

It just crossed my mind that this period two years ago is when I should have submitted my thesis and stage play for my Masters degree in Playwriting from the University of Ghana in Accra. Instead, I ended up applying for a year’s extension and by the time that year came around, my thesis still wasn’t ready to be submitted and though it took me another 6 months to admit it to myself, I wasn’t going to submit it because my heart was never really in it. Now this isn’t me trying to make an excuse because I’m way too Igbo (Nigerian tribe and I bring it up here cause Igbo people have a reputation for being very money-conscious) to comfortably justify “wasting” my school fees and time because my heart wasn’t in it. When I say my heart wasn’t in it, that’s just fact. I later came to realize I was doing that for my parents and not for myself but that’s a whole other post. 

Back to my initial point, the one year and then some I spent trying to convince myself I was going to finish and submit my thesis, I beat myself up so many times for not having completed it in the initial time given. It was a huge sore spot for me and I carried it around like an overweight duffle bag that was weighing me down and making it hard for me to walk or even smile. I was so ashamed of myself, so sad I had let my parents down and let’s just say it was a long and painful year. I’d always prided myself on being smart and good at school even if I didn’t love it and not finishing with grad school as planned was a tough pill to swallow.

Now fast-forward to the day I realized that failing to submit my thesis and officially bag my Master’s degree did not make me a failure and I was still an intelligent human being who just happened to have a dent in an otherwise impressive academic record. I realized that even though I didn’t submit my thesis, I had emerged with a full length play on a theme I cared about, I had written at least 70% of a good thesis on the same theme (which was lots of hard work!), met new and interesting people and made some friends in the course of my study, acted my first stage play…sheesh! I was a good daughter, sister, and friend and I had grown up into a woman who was no longer okay with living a life she didn’t love. I wasn’t perfect but I wasn’t a failure either and till today, I bless the day I realized that.

It’s okay to fail as long as you don’t give up. It’s okay to fall as long as you get back up again. It’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them and keep moving forward. Maybe I’ll still end up finishing and submitting that thesis (that’s what I told my dad anyway) or maybe I’ll decide to do a totally different Masters degree. Maybe I’ll even decide I never want to go back to school but whatever the case, I know now that being imperfect is okay. Thank God too xxx

  

Bury Away

Bury
I’ve learned to bury hurt and regret so I can survive days in my head.

I’ve learned to bury tears cause sometimes letting them fall doesn’t change anything and you just give up your “strong woman” card.

I’ve learned to bury my deepest emotions for you cause I’m not sure you can handle their gravity and enormity.

I’ve learned to bury my thoughts so they never become words that put me at odds with people I love.

I’ve learned to bury my doubts and fears because what if I actually can do it???

I’ve learned to bury so many secrets because I would want mine buried too.

I’ve learned to bury relationships cause I would rather be alone than surround myself with people who aren’t helping my growth.

Keep Going

“We think about bravery as this noble virtue, where someone is supposed to keep their heads high and not let anything affect them. Someone who flies when we seem to be walking. It’s not like that. It’s like crawling. You don’t feel strong, you never do. But you just don’t want to give up.”

The above statement really speaks to me because I know all too well about this aspect of bravery. There are those days you just want to curl up into a ball because life and everything about it seem too overwhelming to deal with. It could be financial challenges, relationship drama, ill health, anything! No one is above problems and I think it is pretty amazing how you could have absolutely no strength or zeal to keep going but somehow, you still get up and keep moving.

To be honest, that’s how I have gotten where I am now. With my music, with my writing, with my personal growth as a human being, I just never stop pushing. I get frustrated, tired and sometimes I will admit I just stop trying for a time but only to take a break from the struggle and reevaluate how to deal with whatever it is. I always get back up again. I have to. I need to.

Like Timi Dakolo said to a contestant on The Voice Nigeria’s season 2, the man who fails is the man who doesn’t try again after a seeming failure. If you always get back up again, eventually you will succeed at whatever it is. It is the failure to keep trying to succeed that is true failure indeed.

Hope this inspires someone out there not to give up. I’m rooting for you!

P.s This post is inspired by “Failure” which you should check out when you can xx

5 Things God can’t do

Just came across this video listing five things God can’t do and I like it so decided to share/ save here. Here goes!

1. He can’t break a promise (Psalms 89:34).

2. He can’t remember sins He’s chosen to forget (Isaiah 43:25).

3. He can’t abandon you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

4. He can’t stop thinking about you (Psalms 139:17-18).

5. God can’t stop loving you (Jeremiah 31:3).

How awesome! Have a blessed and God-centered week y’all 😘❤️