Kwesi Selassie

Ghana Famous People


Kwesi Selassie

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Kwesi Selassie, also known as "The Lion of Africa" was born in Sekondi Takoradi. Although he was born and raised in Takoradi, he hails from Agona Nsaba, in the central region. At the tender age of 11, he began singing and playing the guitar.

He would simply sit under the palm trees, exploding with curiosity while experimenting with wires placing them over empty tomato cans and successfully manufacturing his own guitar.

Other instruments, such as the bass guitar, drums, percussion, and piano would continue to arouse his interest and he would not be satisfied until he learned of each of their worth. It would not be long until his Takoradi secondary school classmates and everyone in his hometown would know him as the "Musical Prince".

Having been strongly influenced by Mom & Dad, Kwesi decided to move to London, in pursuit of a career in law. Like all parents, Mr. Kweku Sackey-Selassie and his wife, the Queen Mother Nana Baah Agyekum 1, encouraged Kwesi to strive for a professional career fit for his title of Prince.

However, his drive to become a musician was far too strong to be reversed. After three years of pleasing the parents, Kwesi ended his preliminary studies in law at much disappointment from his parents and returned to Ghana to embrace his first love, music.

He reappeared in the music scene with a range of a true African Lion. Kwesi began singing and playing the guitar with many spectacular bands, all over West Africa. Bands such as Afro-Soul System (Burkina Faso), Ndeep (Senegal), 22 Band of KanKan (Guinea), The legendary Bembaya Jazz (Guinea), The Scorpion Band of Barra Village (Gambia), The System Band (Sierra Leon), The Lantics Band and the Osabarima Band from Takoradi, Ghana.

One of the most remembered performances was in Nzerekore Guinea, West Africa, in honor of the President, Lansana Conte for a traditional Ceremonial event.

Kwesi later began his travels, touring, and recording his own albums as a songwriter and self-taught musician. The first move was to Quebec City, Canada in 1993 by invitation of his friend, who later became his manager, Mario Gauthier.

In addition to writing, arranging, and singing his own songs, he is also a self-taught artist who plays the bass guitar, drums, and percussion. As a multitalented artist, not only does he sing in his original language (Fanti) but has also captured the hearts of many fans with the ability to speak and sing fluent English, French, Jula, and ten other African dialects.

Kwesi has maintained the original blend of his music, grinding highlife, the original music from Ghana, Reggae, Ragga, and a touch of European Influence what he calls Highlife-Dub Reggae. His universal themes surround the emancipation of African people, love, comedy, and corruption.

In 1995, Kwesi was the first Continental African to ever be invited to perform at the 11th Canadian Reggae Music Awards and the first African to ever be nominated in 1997 for his CD titled 'False Prophets', and nominated again in 1999 for 'Judgment Day' as the Top Reggae Album of the Year.

In November 1999, Kwesi took the African Music Awards in Toronto, Canada by storm as he was the only artist nominated in four of the ten categories for the Best Album, Composer, Release and was ultimately awarded the Best Producer of the Year for his fourth album Judgment Day.