Okyeame Kwame enters vagina affair

BY: Kouame Koulibaly / Graphic Showbiz / Ghana

He is no stranger to innovative ventures on stage and this time around, the knack has led ‘Rap Dacta’ Okyeame Kwame into taking on  a role in Vagina Monologues, a play that has since its creation in 1996, featured only  all-female casts.

The work by American playwright and feminist activist, Eve Ensler deals with various  aspects of women’s experience  such as love, sex, rape , menstruation , female genital mutilation, birth, orgasm,  masturbation and gender-based violence.

It has been produced a couple of times already in Accra but will be back at the National Theatre tomorrow, February 14 and Saturday, February 15.

Young Ghanaian theatre practitioner, Abdul Karim Hakib who is directing the production, says issues about women are also issues for men and that was why he decided to include a male character this time around.

According to him, he opted for Okyeame Kwame  because of his flexibility as an artiste and the general level of consciousness he has so far exhibited about  social matters.

“I have been following  Okyeame Kwame’s career and I’m fully convinced that he is a personality who gives deep thought to subjects before tackling them in his songs,” the play’s  director says.

“He is an extremely versatile artiste and does quite a number of other stuff within the context of the play apart from singing. I’m very satisfied with how he has fitted into the structure I have  created this time around for Vagina Monologues.”

Apart from being a poet, rapper and singer, Okyeame impressed many people with his Versatile show in 2012 that incorporated dance, music and drama. He says he is happy to be part of the Vagina Monologues production.

“It is necessary for us all to rise and be part of  the struggle against gender-based violence, which is one of the  key elements of the  play,” Okyeame states.

“In fact, all the issues dealt with in the production  affect men, maybe in different degrees, but  it is exciting that there is a male character in there to  lend support to the whole happening on stage.”

The first run of Vagina Monologues in this country had a cast which included well-known names like Naa Ashorkor Doku and Lydia Forson. They are not part of it anymore but  the upcoming production has a brilliant cast of young women graduates of the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana  at Legon.

They are Obenewaa Offei Nkansa, Elsie Esenam Atiase, Pearl Korkor Dake, Sirina Larsen, Samira Umar-Farouk and Nana Akosua Hanson.

Himself a graduate of the School of Performing Arts, Abdul Karim Hakib, the play’s  director  employs music and other elements to help contextualise the production in an African setting. 

He, however, still manages to ensure that the monologues reveal the sacred nature of the female temple and depict the tribulations the female figure goes through during a lifetime.

Ipass Ghana, Horseman Shoes, YFM, Citi FM and www.artsghana.org are sponsoring both performances of the Vagina Monologues.