Words by Tomiwa Moore.
Zak’isha Brown, a Canadian born Jamaican, visited Ghana during 2019 and put her experiences into writing upon her return to Canada which became ‘Went To Ghana’. As well as a rapper she has also dabbled in the realm of spoken-word too. She has opened up for the likes of Talib Kweli, Dru Hill, Nas and for the influential and acclaimed poet Saul Williams. In her new song, ‘Went to Ghana’ she relays notable points from the trip and highlights the parts of Ghanaian culture that stuck with her most.
Ghana has become a tourist hotspot in Africa, especially in recent years. In 2019, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana designated the year as, “The Year of Return”. This was aimed largely towards the USA’s African American population, but also the larger African diaspora as a time to commemorate 400 years since the first African slaves arrived on US soil. Some notable figures, who like Zak’isha, travelled to Ghana during the period were Idris Elba, Naomi Campbell, Ludacris, and that’s just a few who made the trip.
In her first verse, she sheds light on her culinary experience during the trip rapping “Had some banku, ate some fufu with some good stew….” and goes on to mention other popular dishes. Her conviction, aided by the visuals, when delivering these statements could make you salivate as you imagine the delights in front of you. In the second verse, she moves on to praise the men and women of the country highlighting that there is more to the people of the continent of Africa than what is typically pushed in the media.
In the visuals to ‘Went To Ghana’ Zak’isha embraces parts of African aesthetic, predominantly in her choices of print and jewellery but also in some of her prop choices and decorations. One of the most beautiful aspects of the video comes through in visual representation. When she raps about the food that she knows her audience might not be familiar with, she literally displays it to make it more familiar. Representation is key when talking about culture and Zak’isha has done a great job in representing the Ghanaian culture on ‘Went to Ghana’. Apart from the song being relatable to Ghanaians, it is a track that promotes Black excellence with it sprinkled across her verses.