It all started when Sista Afia – an afro-pop and highlife singer – decided to deviate into rap music and initiated a grubby beef among the female musicians in Ghana.
On April 22, she released a diss song titled “WTM” (Women Must Talk) where she made some disparaging inferences about her fellow female musicians and claimed to be the queen of highlife and ‘Queen Solomon’ (referring to her latest album).
Of course, she got a response.
Eno Barony, on May 1, released “Rap Goddess” to declare herself as the best in the industry and fired direct shots at Sista Afia. Her verses sort of tried to salvage the situation, however, along the line, she went hard at her fellow female musicians, addressing them in a discourteous manner.
It didn’t end there.
Sista Afia counteracted with another diss, titled “You Got Nerves”, where she dragged Eno in the muck and roped in body-shamming. “Ↄno saa chick no, ne to fia te sɛ Vodafone chip no,” she started off by body-shaming in her first verse. She then went in on Eno Barony, “…punch on point/I dey do better kyɛn saa rapper a w’ahyehyɛ sɛ beef burger no/Court rise, judge ni/Obi nkyerɛ Yokozuna sɛ ongyae gyimi/Na sɛ body na yɛde rappi a anka wo di bim.” She made other wild allegations but the weight of her derogatory remarks and body-shaming is equal to evil.
And on May 8, Eno decided to end the beef with a hip-hop single called “Argument Done”. But she equally used body-shaming as her major tactic to conquer Sista Afia. It was distasteful. She fired some stray bullets which target Medikal and other rappers but her verses were fixated on Afia. She compared Sista Afia to a cow and proposed they both attend “Di Asa” – a dance reality show for plus size women which airs on Atinka TV. “Nantwi a wo nofo si fam/Wo nnkyɛki wo weight/Me ne wo, Di Asa ooo, so no body-shaming,” she body-shamed Sista Afia and played the victim at the same time.
Of course, their unenlightened fans and social media users jumped on the debate on who won the beef and passed their judgements. Instead of rebuking them, they called the body-shaming verses ‘punchlines’, ‘bars’ and what have you. Their judgements didn’t come to me as a surprise – because this is what most Ghanaian rap music lovers use as a yardstick for judging a good rap.
The world keeps developing each day and social issues are taken seriously. Issues like body-shaming are treated with some high level of sensitivity on and off social media. The world has come to understand the need for people to embrace who they are and eliminate stereotypes surrounding obesity because it’s no deformity.
In this age and era, it's quite disheartening to listen to two top female musicians dragging each other with their weight like it was done in the stone age. Even in Ghana where the body-shaming topic hasn't gained a strong root, people are staying woke. A lot of people in our society frown on the word ‘obolo’ (meaning obesity) so this comes as blow from Eno and Sista Afia.
I understand that in rap music some certain rules (like privacy and snitching) are broken to defend oneself but body-shaming in this modern world is no punchline. Tagging a fellow female as a cow, beef burger and Yokozuna is very shameful and shabby.
Eno and Sista Afia serve as bad role models in our society for spewing such claptrap in their preposterous songs but it’s not too late to correct their mistakes.