Florence Obaa Yaa Achiaa is one of the many Ghanaian gospel musicians who has chosen to launch her career outside the shores of her homeland. Florence has been domiciled in the USA for the past 15 years.
She launched her second album titled ‘Odomakoma’, in July 2010 which transliterates into ‘Gracious God’.
The twelve track CD which was produced by herself also has a DVD version which has seven tracks, one of which is a bonus. Florence is based in Raleigh, a major metropolis in North Carolina, USA and is a native of Bantama, a town in Kumasi; the capital of Ghana’s Ashanti kingdom.
Obaa Yaa Achiaa left Ghana for the USA in the year 2000 where she had been living with her parents and siblings.
Her mother, the late Rose Nimo was married to William Kingsley Manu who is a native of Kumasi and a retired employee of the Tema Textile Limited located in Tema, one of Ghana’s bustling port cities. Florence has 13 other siblings of which 5 are males, the rest are 8 females.
The songstress whose life has been saturated with music since her teenage years started singing back in her high school days as a student of the Yaa Asantewaa Girls Senior High School in Ghana where she was a student in 1984. From Yaa Asantewaa she moved on to further her studies at the Kumasi Polytechnique where she majored in Catering in 1986.
After school she worked as a professional Caterer until music gradually began to retake prominence in her life.
Up from the early 90’s in Ghana, Florence started to immerse herself into the world of gospel music, at the time, she was a chorister for both the Calvary Crystal Church and the well known Winners Chapel founded by David Oyedepo of Nigeria.
The Church had opened it’s first branch in Ghana that was at the time located at Lapaz Ghana’s capital; Accra.
Whiles in Ghana, the songstress also doubled as a backup vocalist for some of the gospel musicians of her time.
Today, she draws most of her inspiration from some of these pioneering gospel musicians from the early 90’s that were emerging onto the gospel music scene like female gospel artistes including Diana Akiwumi, Helena Rabbles and Daughters of Glorious Jesus, who greatly influenced her style of gospel music today.
Helena Rabbles was personally at the album launch of Obaa Yaa Achiaa this year in the State of Maryland located on the American East Coast. Prior to this new album, Florence had released an earlier album on the 13th of June 2009. She’s however of the opinion that her new album is better and also an improvement on the last one. Her latest album titled “consuming fire” is already enjoying airplay on some of the online radio stations in the United States .
In 2008, Obaa Yaa paid a visit to her home country of Ghana where she was greatly impressed by the strides that has been made on the gospel music scene. She’s developed lots of admiration for how far advanced and improved the musicians and producers back home have gotten.
This progress gives her tons of inspiration she says. It also challenges her to better herself out in the USA as far as her journey in the world of gospel music is concerned.
It has not always been smooth on that journey though, as Florence recounts some of the difficulties she faces with singing gospel music in the local dialect outside of Ghana. Surely there is a respectable number of Ghanaians living and working in the States, but unlike back home, it is extremely difficult to find sponsorship and the cost of production falls solely on the artiste, especially when their genre is gospel music.
The stumbling blocks not withstanding, Florence still strives to give off her best. Her priority is to get her music across the globe by using the States as her launchpad. Gospel music according to the songstress is her way of spreading the word of God.
If it means going as far as singing in Chinese to get people to understand the message she’s conveying, then so be it.
Her goal is to ultimately glorify God and in the process, uplift men through her music and to become a good example to, Elsie; her 9 year old daughter who lives with her in Raleigh North Carolina.