Since the beginning of time, women have been pegged with some expectations either cultural, moral, social, religious, etc. With these expectations, they are expected to live a certain way and fit in the archaic “kitchen-bedroom” shirt made for women.
Zooming into the music industry, women have had to work 10 times harder, make drastic sacrifices if they want to be taken half as seriously as the men in the industry they find themselves in. Though they don’t say it, some people in powerful positions who can actually influence change for women in most cases also have these kitchen bedroom ideas in mind. Where they seek for some for, of sexual leverage with these women before they help them or are reluctant to help them if they do not marry them or are taking care of the “kitchen” aspect of their lives.
In other parts of the world, women in the music industry have made an exponential growth and are being served with equal opportunities as the men. Women are nominated in the same categories as the men with women taking home ultimate prices.
However in Africa, specifically Ghana, female artists have to go the extra mile for attention. Sometimes have to go after each other in songs or at interviews to be recognized for what they have been doing over the years.
Another way women in the industry get attention is by shrouding themselves in so many controversies either with their statement or dressing in order to get noticed.
Big artists like Shatta Wale, are reluctant to work with women on their personal projects mainly because “they do not understand the work, and they are afraid to step on toes” Shatta Wale expressed. This is one of the many reasons like, women are timid, women are not ambitious enough, and women are their own enemies are what people use not to give women in the Ghanaian music industry opportunities. All of these are some form of Ghanaian cultural limitations or expectations projected on the women which makes the journey harder and longer than it should be.
Speaking to Freda Rhymz on the topic of how these cultural expectations affect her work, considering the fact that she finds herself in a very male-dominated genre, Rap. Freda replied that
“First of all, so long as you are a woman in the industry, people will definitely always get to talk about your dressing. I’ve gotten that a few times before, you can dress nice, cover your body all the time, and just at a point you want to show a bit of flesh that becomes a problem. Like people saying the way you dress we like it like this, don’t do this, don’t do that and all.”
Opposing this opinions with the fact that “We these same people, we follow a lot of international artists and the females, they will be showing their bodies, their… you know? Their boobs their ass and all that but we Ghanaians go to their page and give them nice comments like wow you look good, so nice, so beautiful. I mean Cardi B even came to Ghana wearing….” She narrated. Yet female artists in Ghana are not allowed or cannot do these things without a week long backlash.
Freda Rhymz shares a lot of experience with cultural expectations and how they impact on her career.
WATCH FULL INTERVIEW BELOW:
Story by Matilda Mensah Marfo