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Entertainment of Saturday, 25 January 2020


I was once a shoeshine boy - Okyeame Kwame narrates childhood struggles

Ghanaian Rapper, Okyeame Kwame play videoGhanaian Rapper, Okyeame Kwame

Okyeame Kwame has recounted how his early life experiences such as being a shoeshine boy and selling polythene bags shaped him into a successful musician.

The rapper who says he grew up in a big house with about 50 different families as tenants noted that he didn’t understand why he had to live like that because his father was an accountant and as a child, he felt they could afford a better life.

“I grew up in the (big house) ‘efikesem’ type of setting where we had like 150 people in one big house built by some old cocoa farmer that has one toilet and bath. In that house, there is the hustler…, the sister in the house who is trying to go to London…, the gentleman of the house who maybe works at COCOBOD that at the end of the month the water and light bill will be given to…, the house owner who is more than 70years old which is wicked…”

“I always felt that ‘my father is an accountant why do I have to live in a place like this…” he said.

But being around that many people and meeting many others through the menial jobs he was doing gave him the opportunity to learn a lot in life which has helped him become the kind of man he is now.

“…I lived there and sold rubber bag when I was five years old, I made my own shoeshine box and on vacation, I’ll go through the neighborhood and shine shoes for coins. I didn’t know that this thing that I thought was disturbing me, was destroying my swag, was the thing that was going to give me the opportunity to meet a lot of people. Inside that house, I saw many things and all the things I experienced, little did I know was building my library to become an artist.”

Okyeame Kwame who was speaking at a music seminar organized for upcoming artists, added that he has acquired a lot of knowledge from hustling on the streets which have been able to help him write good, relatable songs so far.

“I have had much knowledge working in the streets from zero such that whenever I must write a song, to touch the heart of hustlers, I always know what to say,” he noted.

The ‘rap doctor’ urged the young talents to draw lessons from their struggles and stay humble and true to themselves and not to tag their present state as insignificant.

“Appreciate today that where ever you find yourself, whether you are in the mansion or you are in efikesim or you are sleeping in the market, that is the exact opportunity that God is giving you so that one day when you develop, you’ll bring that knowledge to bear,” he said.