As one of the world’s most charismatic rising stars, the journey of Wiyaala is one of defiance and courage – very fitting for the artist dubbed the Young Lioness of Africa. In her local Sissala dialect, the word ‘Wiyaala’ translates as ‘’the doer’’ – a seemingly understated expression for what has been required to emerge from the iron grasp a patriarchal and conservative society that has frequently been proven hostile towards artistic growth.
On a path to international recognition, she has enjoyed great success in overcoming and strengthening her own roots. CNN Africa has claimed her to be the only woman in world who is singing in Sissala, and Wiyaala is a committed supporter of creative arts and political movements in Africa. Not only has she organised The Djimba World Music Festival, which is now in its third year, she is an active influencer for UNICEF Ghana and fights for the abolition of FGM and Early Child Marriage, both of which she was fortunate to escape at an early age.
Back in 2012, it was merely a physical journey to the capital city that stood in her way. From this came her being discovered on Vodafone Icons Reality Show as one of their greatest performers, and laid the foundations of the journey to come. Seemingly an extension of her honest and forthcoming personality, her music has been described as a potent fusion between West African folk songs with stadium Afro-pop. Inspired by her own interpretation of West-African mythology, her music is brought to life with spectacularly energetic dance moves while modelling unique hand sewn garments of her own design.
Feistiness is perhaps Wiyaala’s most understated and apparent feature. ‘’Better Treat Me Right’’ is a feel-good pop song, and one that demonstrates some of that raw, inner fire. In a relatively upbeat chorus, Wiyaala declares, without a hint of irony, a promise to ‘pull out your hair and push you down the stairs’ if you fall short on her sole demand. She is one of Ghana’s most toured artists and already has an impressive roster of international performances under her belt, such as – Commonwealth Games 2018 in Australia, WOMAD in the UK and Timitar Festival in Morocco, which she will be looking to build on.