Ghanaian international sports journalist Edmund Okai Gyimah, popularly known as “Black Messiah“, is out with his second single titled “Obra” literally meaning life.
The rap song, which talks about the hustling and hardship life people are experiencing in Ghana was recorded and produced by Big Hommies as well as Winner Beatz at Kigali and it was released on June 30.
Dailymailgh.com caught up with the international sports journalist who was voted as the best sports writer in Ghana for 2021/2022 and the seventh best in the whole of Africa during the recent AIPS International Sports Awards for an interview on his musical career as well us journalism job.
DM-Tell us about your self
BM- My name is Edmund Okai Gyimah, a Ghanaian international sports journalist and a part time rapper. I was born in Sunyani to Mr. Stephen Ofori Gyimah, who worked at Ghana Commercial Bank and Madam Agnes Gyamfuah Boahene who was then working at Sunyani Government Hospital.
DM-Tell us about your childhood
BM: I grew up in the midst of women, I had two big sisters, two little sisters, and three other cousins who are all females who were staying with us. I was the only guy in the house when growing up aside my Dad.
DM-At what age did you started to love music
BM-I think I was in class 3 at Good News Baptist Preparatory School. One of my best friends he is called Shadrack Boamah, we stayed in the same area so it was their house I used to play. They lived in a mansion. They were Jehovah witnesses. When I go there, we study “My book of Bible Stories”, we play a bit and we go to their living room with his cousins and we watch Musical videos, Tupac, Shabba Ranks, Coolio etc so i developed interest in Music. At an early age I and Shadrack could sing songs of Shabba Ranks, and Tupac though we pronounced the words wrongly.
Later at my church Christ Apostolic, we formed a junior choir led by Madam Theodora Adjei and Madam Ophelia Nsiah and I was part.
DM: With your interest in music did you encounter any problems as those days rap music was considered as a music for bad boys
BM: Actually it was my Maths teacher in JSS called Mr. Kobina Ayensu, he was always on my neck when he heard I was a rapper. I lost interest in his subject and did not even want to attend his class. I remember one incident, we were going to have a school’s fan fair and rap competition. I was billed to perform. All the people for the event we always had rehearsals at Tata Hotel. My dancers were from another school, they closed early and came to my school to call me so that we go for rehearsals. When they came, We were having Maths, Mr. Ayensu sacked them, I took my bag and walk out and we went as I was not even interested in what he was teaching.
DM- Can you remember your first time on stage as a rapper
BM- Yes I remember, you know those times it used to be the song of other people we sing. I and a friend called Samuel Tamatey performed “Champion” by Ex Doe and Nana King. We had Christiana Owusu Kyereh (Mother), Jennifer (Alpha) and Humu Mohammed as our dancers. The fun fair was at Sunyani Civic Centre, though we did not win, we were among the best on the day.
DM- Tell us about your life in secondary school, Music and road to journalism
BM- I can say I was very good in academics. I was also a fun of reading and football. Each day, after school, I had a news vendor friend called Bossman, he was far older than me but we became friends so each day after school I will go and read all the sports papers for free before I go home.
During BECE, I got very good grades and I went to Kumasi High School, it was there my love in Music reached its peak. I was in the same dormitory with Joshua Amankwah (Arrested Old Thug) who was also a rapper and my form 1 colleague. When the seniors in the house saw that I could rap, they never punished me. My nickname from JSS I went to SS with was Black Messiah but a senior called “Old Soldier” when he saw how I rap, he also gave me the name “Mad Rapper”.
I performed on entertainment shows on campus with my name “Black Messiah de Mad rapper.” Later I formed a rap group with one friend Peter Baffoe Bonnie who is now Doctor.
DM: Were your parents in favor of your rap music
BM- My dad wanted me to concentrate on education, I remember one he got to know that I have gone to done a demo, he came to my room and took all my CD’s. There were sometimes people will see me in town with my squad, they will say “son of an educated person working at the bank and see the people you are moving with,” They will report it to my father. Actually all my friends were ghetto boys. He later on grew tired and left me. All he wanted was I always perform well in my studies which I always did. I was the best history student in my class and generally, was always in the top six at the end of every term.
DM- Tell us the road to Ghana Institute of Journalism, being a sports journalist and combining it with music
BM- I passed my SSCE very well, I remember one early morning going to my father’s bedroom and telling him Dad, I want to talk with you. We sat down and I told him that I don’t want to continue my education, I want to be a professional musician so the money he was going to use for my tertiary education, he should give to me to do music. Then he said no, and that I should concentrate on education because is the best. I had good grades and and since I write very well, I love reading and I love sports he wanted me to go the Ghana Institute of Journalism and do Journalism. The forms were to be out the coming month so when it came, he gave me money, I came to Accra, bought the forms, filled it, I was called for the interview, I passed and got admission.
DM- Going to GIJ what did your father tell you
BM-He just told me to concentrate fully. In GIJ I never did anything related to music. No one even knew that I was a rapper except one lady in my class called Thelma. We had a mutual friend in Kumasi so it was the guy who told him I was a serious rapper. I gave it my all in GIJ and each semester my results were great. Even before I completed I was writing for Graphic Sports which was the biggest in Ghana.
DM- How did the music come in again
BM- After competing GIJ, I worked for the 90 Minutes, Goal.com which is the biggest football portal in the world and a host of others. I decided to further my education abroad which I did. More often when I close from lectures and I feel bored, I will just pick my phone and try to do freestyle and I post on my status. One guy saw it and he was impressed so he linked me to a producer. We connected, he listened to my flow and he love it so he signed me.
DM- How are you combining journalism with music
BM- Now I work with New Times in Kigali which is among the biggest media houses in East Africa. I also write for sportsworldghana. I am combining it with my journalism work well. When is time for me to record, I talk with with my producer, we schedule it and I go and record.
DM- How do you feel being among the seventh best sports writer in Africa and the being the only Ghanaian who made the writing category list in the AIPS International awards
BM-Actually, I feel great and is an honor, I dedicate it to the following people my parents, Mr. Kent Mensah of Asaase Radio who gave me a good platform in online journalism, GFA President Mr. Kurt Okraku, Ghana international Baba Rahman, Marvin Akowuah Dantey of All Games GH and my friend Gary Al Smith of Joy Sports.
DM-Lets talk about your second single “Obra” what inspired you to write the song
BM- Is all about the hustling people are going through in Ghana. They should remember that one day it go be better and they should keep pushing. The intro was done by childhood classmate and friend called Dave who is in New Jersey
DM- Do you have management team in place
BM- Yes I have Vida Hammond (Hajia Dhope) firmerly of MTN Ghana as y manager, Solomon Mensah an entertainment blogger as my Publicist, a brother in US Shadrack Adu Appiah as my International Relations Personnel and also my producer and Sound Engineer is Big Hommies/ Winner Beatz.
DM-Thank you for your time
BM- It is a pleasure.
Listen to “Obra” via this link:
Source: Daily Mail GH