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Kojo Asamoah-Caesar hopes to save Oklahoma Congressional District 1 from immoral leadership

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Kojo Asamoah-Caesar hopes to save Oklahoma Congressional District 1 from immoral leadership

Kojo Asamoah-Caesar became Democratic Party’s candidate for the Oklahoma Congressional District 1 seat, on June 30, 2020. This makes him the first-ever black person to win the nomination in the district, first-ever resident of North Tulsa, and the youngest ever Democratic Party nominee to run for U.S. Congress.

For Kojo, this historic feat is more than a dream come true. “The word dream means a lot in my family because my parents came from Ghana chasing the American Dream. They sacrificed and they worked hard but they weren’t able to fulfill that dream. But their son has had access to opportunities because of their sacrifice, so that has meant something to me. But I’ve realized that the dream can’t just be true for me, if it is not true for others as well. So I have committed my life to ensuring that opportunities are available to more and more people and that they can fulfill their dreams,” he remarked.

This philosophy has guided Kojo Asamoah-Caesar and shaped most of the decisions he has taken in his life, including the decision to run for congress. “After law school I decided to become a kindergarten teacher. I said, “ send me to where the need is highest” and that’s when they sent me to Tulsa, Oklahoma. I hadn’t been there before, but I just embraced the community, worked hard trying to be the change, and make the change for others.  In my career and service, I have arrived at this point where I feel like running for congress is the next best way I can really serve that cause and make a difference.”

Winning the nod in the Democratic primary was no fluke or a mere gesture to make history. Kojo’s campaign was unorthodox, by-passing the usual gatekeepers and processes.  “I understand that democracy is one person, one vote, and it is about a government for the people, by the people. So I went to the people and said this is who I am, these are my values, this is my story, this is the work I have been doing and now I want to step into this role to help us build an America as good as its promise; to help build an Oklahoma that works for everybody. People actually listened and were interested. We started making some noise and people were energized and wanted to be a part of it.”

According to Kojo he knew he could actually win the nomination when he took a trip to the rural parts of the district “ I was expecting that maybe they were not going to accept me. But they actually embraced me and they were some of the most passionate people I had ever met. So I realized that my story also resonated over there too. That was when I realized that we could actually make it happen, I shouldn’t just disqualify myself just because I am black or just because my parents are immigrants. “

Kojo Asamoah-Caesar hopes that his style of serving the public good with selfless leadership and service would win him the seat from Republican, Kevin Hern, who currently represents the district.  “The incumbent is someone who is more interested in serving his own interest and that of the rich. For instance congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as a stimulus package to help small business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. He owns McDonalds franchises, which are not really small businesses to begin with, yet he goes ahead of the line to get about $2 million in government loans for his business.  Meanwhile, small businesses that have challenges accessing such funds couldn’t get the stimulus package. What he did may not be illegal but it is immoral leadership.”

According to Kojo, his platform is based on…” what are the policies we need to put in place to give more people the opportunity to fulfill their highest potential? For me, it starts with education; we have to fund education adequately. We have to pay our teachers well so that we can attract the best teachers and ensure that the great teachers don’t leave our state.  We also have to start educating children very early.”

Asamoah-Caesar’s priorities are education and opportunity, health and economic security, justice and equity, environment and infrastructure.

“We have to get universal access to healthcare. That helps everybody. If you have healthcare when you come out of college, you can take a risk and start a business. A lot of graduates go looking for a job because their job will give them the benefit of healthcare.  So they wont take the risk of starting their own business, and that hurts our economy because now we have less businesses starting and less jobs being created.

“There is also the need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. Justice and equity is also key.  We need to legalize marijuana not just because we want people doing drugs and getting high. In America where marijuana is legal recreationally in 11 states and medically in 33 states, it has been used to put a lot of black and brown people in prison. In Oklahoma, a lot of them are in prison for using or selling marijuana meanwhile in other states people are selling and using it legally. That is not moral, so we need to fix that. If that isn’t fixed then we will continue to have these racial tensions we see in the country and in our communities.”

Asamoa-Caesar was born to Ghanaian parents in Alexandria-Virginia, USA. His mother hails from Ejisu–Beasease in the Ashanti Region. At the age of two, he relocated to Ghana to live with his aunt and grandmother. He left for the US when he was ten. In 2008, he visited Ghana after graduating from college. In 2014, his best friend from Ghana got married and he returned again playing the role of Best Man.  He later visited Ghana in 2017 with his wife just after they got married. “ We plan to make it a yearly trip if we can. We just had a daughter and we want her to come to Ghana and see her roots,”he hints.

Kojo Asamoah-Caesar concludes by wading in conversations suggesting that African-Americans should come back home to Africa, in the heat of the Black Lives Matter protests.

People in Ghana, and the government need to give African-Americans the opportunity to experience their roots like it happened with the Year of Return.  Then, they can make a decision for themselves once they come back. Do they feel like this a place they see building a future for themselve, and being a part of the economy; helping to grow it? Or maybe it is just a place they just want to take trips to and bring their children to, every now and then. I think different people will make different decisions based on what suits them but I do feel that it is the responsibility of nations like Ghana to give people the opportunity to do that.”

Watch full interview below

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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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