Wiyaala, which means “the doer” in her local Sissala dialect, is from Funsi, an African village in the Upper West Region of Ghana close to the borders of Burkina Faso and Cote D’Ivoire.
Also known as the “Lioness of Africa”, her music is a fusion of West African folk songs and contemporary Afro-pop informed by traditional West African storytelling.
The second of four sisters and thanks to a musical mother, Wiyaala “dodged” FGM and child marriage, whilst attracting attention as a child entertainer, dancer, artist and athlete, despite growing up in a patriarchal society frequently hostile to artistic growth.
In 2012, she made the long journey to the capital city, Accra, and won the Vodafone Icons Reality Show.
After being “spotted” by Rita Ray of BBC’s Global Beats in 2014, Wiyaala has emerged as one of Ghana’s leading international touring artists performing at top events and festivals all over the world, including the Commonwealth Games 2018 in Australia, WOMAD UK and the Timitar Festival in Morocco.
In 2018 Wiyaala was celebrated by the BBC as one of their African Women of the year.
She has been decorated with a number of awards over the years including: Most Promising Artist on the African Continent (2014), Video of the Year for “Africa” (2015) All Africa Music Awards (Afrima.org), Female Vocalist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year (2015) – Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.
Wiyaala designs her own unique stage costumes and has released two albums, “Wiyaala” (2014) and “Sissala Goddess” (December 2018).
She is a committed supporter of the arts in Northern Ghana having created and organized the The Djimba World Music Festival now in its
Wiyaala is an influencer for UNICEF Ghana and fights for the abolition of FGM, Early Child Marriage and the rights of children. She also campaigns against HIV in her community and around the world.