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Hollywood Power Mom and Diaspora Ambassador Koshie Mills lends her voice by protesting against systematic racial injustice in America

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Koshie Mills Photos courtesy of The Diaspora Dialogues
Koshie Mills Photos courtesy of The Diaspora Dialogues

In the heat of widespread protests across the United States, and other parts of the world, following the inhumane treatment and murder of George Perry Floyd, I reached out to Hollywood power mom and Diaspora Ambassador Koshie Mills, to discuss matters arising.

On May 25, 2020,  Floyd was killed in the Powderhorn Park neighbourhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota. During an arrest, Derek Chauvin, a white American police officer, kept his knee on the side of Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down.
Here is my Q&A with Koshie Mills, founder of The Diaspora Dialogues and mother of Hollywood siblings Kwame Boateng, Kofi Siriboe & Kwesi Boakye:
There was a lot of pressure on social media from some Ghanaians asking the president not to be silent on the issue looking at the success of the year of return. How important is a statement from him and what do you make of his statement?
The United States of America has proven itself to be devoid of leadership at this critical moment in history with Trump at the helm. President Nana Akufo-Addo had the presence of mind and extended condolences to the Floyd family and denounced the systemic racism we are facing here in the Diaspora on behalf of Ghana. I think it’s natural for those of African decent in the US to search for our world leaders to say “We see you, you are not alone.” So his statement sends a powerful message which was well received.

Koshie Mills center and Los Angeles protestors Photos courtesy of The Diaspora Dialogues

Koshie Mills center and Los Angeles protestors
Photos courtesy of The Diaspora Dialogues

The amount of suffering caused by violence from the police and citizens like the men who hunted and shot Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed man who was jogging, plus a devastating shooting and Killing of 26 year old Breonna Taylor’s in her apartment plus a white woman, Amy Cooper makes a false police call using her White Privilege on an Unarmed Birdwatcher in Central Park was more than the perfect storm to set up the video of George Floyd being MURDERED BEFORE OUR EYES in the street. It’s been HEAVY to say the least. Our Black Lives Does Matter, so yes this deserves an international response, and I’m hopeful not only Ghana will continue down this path.
Los Angeles Protestors Photos courtesy of The Diaspora Dialogues

Los Angeles Protestors
Photos courtesy of The Diaspora Dialogues

Black People in the UK have shown solidarity in massive protests also, how important is such a gesture? And should Africa or its states do something similar? 
The gesture is so important! It cannot be said enough: The recent events of systemic racism have sparked global outrage from UK, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brazil and all across the world, proving this is seen as a HUMAN RIGHTS issue, not solely a Black American problem. I hope Africans in the continent organize in support and solidarity with African Americans. All the United States Embassies around the continent should have their phones ringing off the hook with Africans demanding justice to be served. This would send a powerful message of solidarity and unity to the African diaspora.
You have witnessed some of the protests yourself, is there truly any hope amongst the community that these protests would have an impact on these rampant racial abuse on black Americans? What must be done differently this time to make the continuing protests more impactful and bring about change? 
The way African Americans are treated in the US is a crime against humanity. I attended the protest because I am a mother with a black husband and 3 black sons, it’s scary to think these people went out and never came back home. It’s scary to be presumed guilty before any questions asked. As a woman who believes in taking action to effect change I felt the need to share my energy of grief, hope and questions to the streets. I was struck by the diversity of the Los Angeles protests, It was the first time I’ve seen soooo many young people of all ethnicities White, Black, Asian, Latino, African people of all ages, standing together in solidarity against the common enemy of injustice. This was very encouraging and beautiful.
The next action step is to develop an agenda strategize, organize to call for policy changes, including a ban on choke holds across the police force and exercising our vote to bring in new leaders who are sympathetic to our cause. We will be Holding lawmakers accountable and will be making sure our Civil Rights legislation is air tight.
 Los Angeles Protestor Photos courtesy of The Diaspora Dialogues


Los Angeles Protestor
Photos courtesy of The Diaspora Dialogues

How do African Americans perceive Africans during this struggle and how can we bridge the communication gap. How can Africans be a resource for our brothers and sisters in the diaspora?
For over 400 years post slavery, I believe African Americans have carried and LIVE with the trauma of abandonment. The kidnapping that took place hundreds of years ago set the stage for the latent pain and turmoil surfacing today. I created a platform and movement called The Diaspora Dialogues to re-connect Africans from the continent with the descendants outside to begin the conversations that will lead us to healing the divide we have amongst us. The negative narratives and stereotypes we have heard about each other was part of the design to keep us apart and destroy us, but not on my watch, so I definitely believe that HEALING is always possible.
It’s time we create a STRONG relationship between ourselves globally. One of the initiatives that my organization is championing includes facilitating what that connection looks like for us. Providing investment information, cultural experiences and the most important thing is the hospitality of knowing that they will be welcomed. Ghana did an incredible job with The Year of Return. Now it’s time to have a decade of continued  reconciliation and relationship building. We are at the center of that charge and welcome more African countries to the table. We have to ask ourselves, how will our actions today impact future generations? The answer is The Diaspora must be an integral part of all planning for the future of Africa. That is why I’m lending my voice and influence to make the very necessary connection.
What role should Africa play in the Global call to end racial abuse and profiling of African-Americans in the USA? 
Africa must reach out in a genuine way, we have created an annual International Women Of Power Event where we honor Africans and African Americans to Forge the cross-pollination and connections. We Remind African Americans of their rich heritage and complex culture and vice-versa.
I would like to see “American” dropped from the “African American” moniker. What we call ourselves matters. IDENTITY IS AT THE CRUX OF THE MATTER.  If we ALL can refer to ourselves as simply AFRICAN, period, imagine the power in a singular narrative? Next, African leaders in the AU must be more vocal on behalf of our Diaspora and go to the UN and demand actions on our behalf when atrocities are occurring. What is the penalty of acting out of accordance with human rights laws?
We are well aware economics play a role in creating lasting change, so we need to become one unified voice so we can build that strong global black wealth which will dismantle our naysayers! Africa is the richest in natural resources than any other continent so why are we standing in line for aid and why do we struggle so much from corruption and paralytic infrastructure. We need the diasporas influence and expertise to help remedy some of these issues. As you can see the Diaspora in America are the catalyst for an enormous change! Imagine all these people mobilized on behalf of the continent, that is my DREAM! Change has to come so our future generations will have the inheritance that they deserve, we know it is possible as long as we unify and come together!
Photos courtesy of The Diaspora Dialogues
For more on the discussions, follow on Instagram @diasporadialogues
Facebook : @thediasporadialogues
YouTube : The Diaspora Dialogues
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Gospel singer QueenLet share how her SOKAAT music genre is making impact on lives

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Rising gospel artist, QueenLet, is gradually making waves on both local and international music scenes with her Soaking and Atmospheric (SOKAAT) music genre. (more…)

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How American tour operator, Rashad McCorey found a creative solution to tourism during COVID-19

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The tourism industry was one of the most affected during the COVID-19 pandemic but for American tour operator, Rashad McCorey it was a blessing in disguise.
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INTERVIEW: From Ghana to Italy and back, Shadowboy Myzic recounts his almost decade-long journey, new single ft. Kelvyn Boy and more

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The Ghanaian-Italian Afrobeat star may not be one you’ve heard enough of, but with his new single ‘Better’ out now, the floodgates are officially open. He’s keen on bridging the gap between Europe and African music; particularly through Afrobeat and his latest release featuring Kelyvn Boy is the plug.
Join us, as Shadowboy Myzic expounds on his enigmatic name and self, all down to a fiery Italian freestyle.
Enjoy.

Thanks for making time for us Shadowboy Myzic. It’s always a joy to host a new face. We can’t help but ask, why Shadowboy Myzic? What’s the story behind such an enigmatic name?
The name Shadowboy Myzic is spiritual blessing from my lovely mother. She used to call me (sunsum) when I was a child simply because my mother is very known in the city of Palermo and a market woman. She owns African shops and restaurants in Palermo. In my childhood, I was the personal assistant to my mother, whenever she goes out of the shop, I assist her until she returns. During that period, being a child growing I need time to play with my friends so as soon as I see my mother returns, I have to vanish to join my friends to play and the old woman will look for me everywhere but will not find me then she will be like you are indeed (sunsum) because you can vanish in a twinkle of an eye. From there I got ‘’sunsum’’ attached to my name.

Looking for a stage name, I felt ‘’sunsum’’ was a blessing from my mother because our shadows follow us everywhere. That’s where I got Shadowboy and Myzic simply means in our own interpretation, (my music). That’s where Shadowboy Myzic was generated.

You featured Kelyvn Boy on your new single, ‘Better’ and some fans may be wondering; “Who’s this new guy?” Mind telling us about yourself and Myzic Empire?
Daniel Kyei is my name, I was born in Ghana and raised in Palermo, Italy. I started writing music at the age of 9 but I got my first opportunity to record at the age of 18 – my first mixtape which then gave me the energy to do more and also set up a record label called Myzic Empire Records. Thanks to my first mixtape that I launched in 2012, I got some attention from my community Palermo where I got lots of compliments but no one was ready to give me a big push so I continued slowly with my friend, Kwamzizy who was the only one who supported me in when I needed to shoot videos for my mixtapes back then. In our little ways we managed to get noticed by some people in our city where we grew up but it wasn’t enough to get to the big platforms.

Despite these difficulties, I continued to push my music 24/7 through the DJ nights and shows I use to play in Palermo. Thank God in 2017 my manager, Mr. Kenneth decided to take me, my music and Myzic Empire to another level. The same year 2017 I released my first single recorded in a professional studio with a music video which revived everything. The single was titled ‘Higher’.

In 2018, I launched an EP titled ‘’Genesis’’. With that EP, the whole Team Myzic Empire and myself went on tour in Ghana for some works and radio tour. In Ghana we managed to connect to some artists and people in the industry where we did some jobs and many other things. In 2019 on our return to Italy, though, we stopped releasing due to studies and some other things, I always continued to work hard for my music and on many other projects that soon the world will witness.

In 2020, I released some freestyles whiles planning on releasing my new projects, all of a sudden Coronavirus shut the world down. The pandemic got me paused, but at the same time got me work harder on many other projects at home. During the pandemic, I was at home with a Ghanaian producer called, Almighty Streetbeatz whom was in my city at that time we worked and created a lot of good music for the world.
This is a little about me and Myzic Empire.

9 years is a long time to be doing music. Any experiences or advice you’d like to share?
Absolutely, yes 9 years is a long time, but as I said in my previous answer the main reason was because, I did not have enough support at that time and I think everything has it’s time and God was still preparing me for the world. My little advice to all my fellow young artist is, do look down on yourself, give you your talent a chance to work though you, be humble and respectful.

Is there any other artist in the diaspora you’re keen on working with soon apart from Kelyvn Boy?

Yes, I would like to collaborate with all the possible artists with whom I can. I’m opened and ready to work with any artist so we can explore the Afro music in Italy, Europe and the globe.

How receptive have Italians been of your music and Afrobeat in general? Enlighten us.

Doing Afro songs in Italy was very difficult back then. The majority of the population of Italians was ignorant about our culture, the rhythm of the Afro songs sounded very wired to their hearing because of the language barrier. Now thank God things are changing, new things are being learnt and the Italians are ready to accept the Afro music in so many ways, that’s why my team and I thought of strategizing the ways of productions by mixing multiple tongues to also make it favorable for everyone to understand my communications with them through my music.

I can gladly say I’m welcomed everywhere I go in Italy especially in my city (Palermo) where this adventure of mine started. The new generation have accepted and embrace Afro music, thanks to our hard work now you can hear Afro music playing in Italian clubs, parties, restaurants, bars, shopping malls etc. I’m so grateful for this day.

We doubt learning Italian was a walk in the park, especially coming from an Anglophone and Asante background. Gist us.

Hehehe :). Oh, frankly speaking, Italian language one of the most beautiful, sexiest and jovial languages I’ve ever known on earth, though it’s difficult to learn, I love and I’m very proud of myself that I can speak, read and write this language. The importance is knowing how to eat and dress Italian will bring your back from the park into an Italian classroom, hahahahahahaa.

Now, the moment everyone’s been waiting for. Mind free styling in Italian for us?

Sputo fuoco come un drago Sono cercato come un ladro Non mi prendi fossi mato Nella moto vado vrom
Con gli amici vroom vroom

Sono il nero siciliano
Suona strano, molto strano Sono il nero siciliano (huh)

Ho visto la morte lo visto sul ponte
Mi ha reso forte c’è scritto sulla fronte

Divina commedia e stato come Dante Non parlo tanto tu sai chi hai di fronte

Haha. That’s a mouthful. Any big plans before 2021 ends? What moves are you making and how can fans keep tabs you?

Yes, I have many projects in progress. I am working on some projects which will be released soon. This one with Kelvyn Boy is one of the first but after that we will fly with lots of other works. Though I still have a long way to go, this does not disempower me because my mind is made up to do good music and my new projects are something new in Italy, Africa and it will be new in the whole universe soon so I invite all my fans and everyone to supporter and fasten their belts, we are about to start.

Listen to Shadowboy Myzic’s new single ‘Better’ featuring Kelvyn Boy here: https://afrisounds.lnk.to/ShadowBetter and watch the video below.

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INTERVIEW: Dove Nicol opens up on her adventure so far, debut single and more

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Dove Nicol, a new and probably the most exciting artist to grace the Ghanaian music scene is confident in winning fans over with her debut single ‘Calm Down’. She’s dedicated to becoming one of Ghana’s most streamed artists and with a voice as authentic as hers, the songbird is all set.

Dove Nicol’s rise from Sierra Leone to Ghana is a unique adventure worthwhile and in this exclusive interview, we take time to explore her very lively character as she updates us on the adventure so far and her debut single, among other gists.

 

Hello Dove and welcome. It’s great to have you around. Like every music fan out there, I’m quite curious. Who is Dove Nicol? Blow our mind.

Dove Nicol is a creative, a pioneer who believes in the power of the African sound, music, culture, heritage and its influence in the world stage. I believe Africa is on the rise and we are living in the era of the African creative industries global domination and worldwide takeover and as a creative blessed by God with the talent of music, I am merely just playing my own part in the fulfillment of this reality.

You’re finally out with your debut single ‘Calm Down’, mind sharing the story behind it?

‘Calm Down’ is a song about love and relationships. The idea behind it places focus on the internal struggles we go through as lovers. It places focus on two sides of a spectrum. On the one hand, you hear the willingness of both partners wanting to love each other and be loved. And on the other, the anxiety and uneasiness that comes with the feelings of mistrust and insecurities that they have both experienced from past relationships which overshadows their ability to fully love and fall in love with each other. The chorus then comes in to serve as a stress reliever telling both parties to calm down, just be at peace and fall into love with each other. The song generally gives a soothing peaceful feeling to the ear.

It seems you were destined to have a career in music growing up. How is it going and what has your greatest challenge since taking it head on been?

Yes, I do believe I was meant for music and it has been the source of my livelihood since I was a child. If I’m been honest, I have received several challenges along the way to getting here. The biggest challenge I believe is getting others to believe in your dreams as much as you do. I can see the vision of where I want to go and who I can become but because I do not have the resources or avenue to get people to see that possibility, it’s hard and sometimes almost impossible to get others to believe in that dream too.

Alot of people only want to be a part of your success, when you have achieved it but are not willing to help you get there. The journey can really be a great struggle for a lot of aspiring artists who have the talent for it but no external backing to let their voices be heard. For me, I was only able to defeat this challenge through perseverance, the Grace of God and my belief in myself to continue going-on no matter the odds.

Are there any Ghanaian artists you admire and hope to work with sometime soon?

There are a lot of Ghanaian artists out there that have really helped shape the future of Ghanaian music and their relentlessness and tireless efforts have paved the way for emerging artists like me to go after our goals. People like Efya, Sarkodie, Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, Kofi Antwi, Bibie Brew, Wiyalaa, Kwesi Arthur, King Promise and many many more talented souls I will definitely see myself working with during the course of my journey in the industry.

Beyond the world of music, where else does your passion lie?

Beyond music I have always aspired to become a philanthropist and a humanitarian. I want to create charitable organizations and help children that are less privileged to achieve a better future. Africa has the largest youth population and majority of them are multi-talented in areas they themselves are not even aware of. If only we had more institutions that can cater to the needs of less privileged children and our youths growing up, our economy will flourish immensely.

What is a day in your life is like?

A day in the life of Dove is typical – wakeup, pray, shower, eat and eat a lot, do my daily routines, some reading, attend to any business calls or meetings I may have during the course of the day and make time to speak with family before the end of the day. Oh, and go to the gym at least 4 times a week to keep fit.

There’s still a lot of ground to cover in 2021. What are your plans? Should fans expect more?

Yes, definitely. Expect a lot from Dove in 2021 but expect a lot more from Dove in 2022. I want my supporters to know that I’m ready and prepared. ‘Calm Down’ was just the ice breaker. I have a ton of creative content ready to flood the market. It’s just a matter of timing. But in due time they shall receive all that I have to offer and will get to know more and more about me as my story unfolds.

I can’t wait to meet the world and for the world to meet Dove. It’s going to be a productive year definitely.

 

Dove Nicol’s ‘Calm Down’ is available on all digital streaming platforms globally here: https://lnk.to/dovenicol-calmdown/

 

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Onyeka Nwelue captures E.T Mensah’s pioneering role in highlife music in controversial biopic, ‘Other Side of History’

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Nigerian author and filmmaker, Onyeka Nwelue continues production for his upcoming biopic, ‘Other Side of History’, after wrapping up with additional scenes shot in Ghana. (more…)

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WATCH: How Ghanaian drummer, Abass Dodoo became a regular choice for the British Royal Family

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Abass Dodoo became a regular choice for the British Royal Family

UK-based Abass Dodoo is professional Ghanaian musician, performer and music teacher, whose skills earned him several opportunities to perform for the British Royal Family. (more…)

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