Ghanaian Afropop singer Stonebwoy addressed both pandemics plaguing the world, coronavirus and racism, during his poignant Billboard Live At-Home performance Monday (June 1) that raised money for My Friend’s Place, which supports the homeless youth.
Performing from Ghana’s capital of Accra with his DJ, Stonebwoy (real name Livingstone Etse Satekla) started off his set with none other than “Black People,” a painful and incredibly timely testament to feeling lost in the world that doesn’t want to acknowledge him as a Black man, let alone respect him. Although not directly naming George Floyd, the Black man who was murdered in Minnesota last week at the hands of four white police officers, Stonebwoy took the time to honor the protests against racism that have sprung up throughout America’s major cities in Floyd’s memory.
“The world’s in serious times right now, we see what’s going with the world from coronavirus straight to the brutality and all these things that is happening,” he said. “We stand against racism in any case.”
The 32-year-old singer wailed over the reggae beat for “Black People,” “I’m losing myself/ As a Black man inna this world/ I’m losing my identity/ Inna the society/ I’m losing myself.”
Stonebwoy supplemented his testament to making people like him feel seen with enjoying being alive, which is what his song “La Gba Gbe” (from his 2020 album Anloga Junction) translates to in his native tongue of Ewe. As if Stonebwoy’s performance couldn’t get to the heart of the matter even better, he closed it with “Strength & Hope,” a mantra for those mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically dejected for whom he calls upon God as the source of such positivity by proclaiming “Jah Jah,” the Rastafarian term for God.
Find strength and hope by Stonebwoy’s entire Billboard Live At-Home performance below, and donate to My Friend’s Place here.