By: Justice Lee Adoboe

The lady, popularly called “Akua China” by her Ghanaian fans, embarked on a musical career after taking part in a television reality show named “Mentor” in 2011 in Ghana.

“Actually, no one knows my story behind the stage. I was actually kind of homeless at that time. Some people told me that there is a reality show which enables qualified participants to stay in a house for three months,” Zhang recalled during an interview with Xinhua.

“So I thought, wow! For the accommodation, I went there,” she said.

As the result, 32-year-old Zhang started her journey of discovery in the music world of Ghana.
“The show gave me a good opportunity to expose myself and to let all the Ghanaians know that there is a Chinese lady who can sing in Twi,” she added.

Twi is the commonly spoken local language in Ghana.

“Music is my passion, I was looking for opportunity to see what the Ghanaian musicians are doing and what Ghana music is about,” Zhang said the rhythms of Ghanaian music made her happy and she would just say, “hey, let me shake my buttocks and dance.”

Then she made a decision to learn and sing Ghanaian songs, which has yielded two albums – ‘China Woman’ and ‘Juju Man’.

The lyrics of the ‘China Woman’ which are a blend of local languages, English and Chinese, are based on her experiences in Ghana and seek to build bridges between Ghanaians and Chinese.

The second track,’Juju Man’ is a critique of the belief in magic in the West African societies as portrayed in African movies.

Zhang says Ghanaian music, deeply rooted in Ghanaian folklore, has some benefits for her Chinese peers.
She narrated in China many live under stress, including those considered old enough for marriage but have no life partner and those without a car or an appartment.

On the contrary, she says life in Ghana is simple, many people have small salaries which can barely see them through the whole month, yet they are content, they sing and dance.

“This is the kind of attitude and picture I want to bring to China so that the Chinese can adopt something good,” she said.

Kojo Antwi, leading musical Icon in Ghana, is one of the first musicians Zhang had the opportunity to work with in Ghana.

Antwi described Zhang as someone who is very passionate and also serious about what she does.

“Music is an international language, and the only language that we speak when we meet; she doesn’t speak Twi and I don’t speak Chinese, we speak music. She is very passionate about what she does,” he stated.

Antwi said he loves what Zhang is doing in Ghana, adding that she would help bring Ghanaian music and culture to China as she has fallen in love with the West African country.

“And I think that is what makes it very special. For me, it is this collaborative move that she is making; she sings in our language and in Chinese, and I think it is a great move,” Antwi added. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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