Showbiz icon Wiyaala has cautioned upcoming female artistes to be wary of characters in the local entertainment industry who demand sexual favours in return for their supposed help.
She, however, submitted that “there are many genuine guys in the industry,” insisting that she had benefitted from the support of some good guys.
Speaking to Graphic Showbiz in Wa last Tuesday after a short performance at a music, dance and cultural festival among selected schools, Wiyaala said the so-called ‘sex-for-fame’ issues were real and not mere talk.
“It is very true; one of the biggest challenges for a female artiste is the demand for sexual favours from some guys.
“Some of those guys meet you and they see that you are desperate; usually they don’t even have any connection, they have nothing to offer you, and just come in, wanting to take advantage of you.
“It’s unfortunate that you have to meet some of these irresponsible people before you meet the real guys. This tends to put some of the girls off because they come to think that all the guys are like that, but I tell you not all of them are like that. There are some real honourable guys out there.
“I have met some great people who are willing to help push you up there,” she said.
In a frank interview, she paid tribute to Ras Bingy and Echo Sounds – who are both based in Wa – for their help early on in her music career when “they never demanded anything like that for producing my music back then”.
“But before you get to those good guys, the bad ones always come in between; they are all over, and if you are frustrated you may think all of them are like that,” she said.
Yet, she considered the difficulty she faced in the industry initially as an artiste singing in her native Wale dialect as equally frustrating for a beginner.
“Why do they call somebody a Northern artiste, and don’t call another a Southern artiste? When you do that you are creating a barrier, and this barrier becomes very high.”
She said the demands on her to do music in Twi as she tried to break into the bigger market in Accra proved frustrating especially when those who encouraged her to sing in Twi still enjoyed songs in foreign and unfamiliar languages.
“They played Angelique Kidjo and others, and yet did not want to listen to Wale lyrics,” she lamented.
A native of Sissala land in the Upper West Region, she worked her way from the environs of Tumu and Wa before taking Accra by storm with hits, some of which have become household songs.
As she watched the display of talents by the youngsters, her motions suggested her approval, and after her own display was backed by some children, she said the future was bright for them.
Attired in an African print, designed perhaps to portray her cultural background, Wiyaala spoke glowingly about African culture, a root she did not want to forget.