Accra, March 9, GNA - Nathaniel Zewu also known as “SAFOWA”, is an indigenous musician who uses “Saperewa', a traditional instrument, he learnt to play by himself, to perform proverbial songs that weaves in stories of love, life struggles and address social issues as well.
The musician, who derived his stage name SAFOWA, from ‘’Solid African Feel of West Africa’’ also plays the guitar and sings as well.
The Saperewa instrument belongs to a class of harp-lutes chordophones historically known as Sanku, was used to entertain kings by the northern Ghanaian tribes and was played at palm wine bars and funerals in the 17th century.
In the 19th century during the British colonial rule, the instrument declined in use as the guitar was introduced and new chords of musical patterns from Europe entered Akan areas.
By early 20th century, as the Akan kingdoms became incorporated into the Gold Coast and Christianity was introduced by the British missionaries, the Saperewa found its way into churches, weddings and conferences.
The modern Saperewa has between 10 to 14 strings set onto a standing bridge, and are connected to the neck of the instrument by winding them directly.
It is mostly identified by it square wooden box. Saperewa highlife is the name users call their style of music.
Safowa was born July 19th 1988 to Mr and Mrs Zewu, who hails from Asuboi in the Eastern Region of Ghana. He grew up in Akim Oda, attended St Andrew memorial institute and Anum senior high all in the Eastern Region.
He said ‘’I started playing guitar when I found love in instruments from my Sunday school days. I later evolved and chose a path where many mates would never dare to thread, which is making indigenous music with an indigenous instrument and am happy because I am very passionate about what I do as a musician’’.
He said Mr Osei Korankye, who is the foremost player of the saperewa made his furts Saperewa for him, but never had time to teach him so he practiced how to play it himself and have mastered it.
He has recorded songs titled poverty chain, African woman, united black land and ‘efi’ meaning dirt, which was to create awareness on filthy surroundings and how to keep the environment clean.
The musician who now plays at Elimina for foreigners, performed at the 2017 World Music Day at Alliance francaisse headlined ‘’fete de la musique’’, the first ever relationship mixer in Ghana by Kwadwo pinyin, a relationship blogger based in the United States and currently the world Wildlife Day celebration in Accra.
Mr Samuel Boadi said ‘’my friend has been all alone so I have decided to help him by getting him shows for exposure. His style of music is original and his instrument tells story each time he plays”.
Safowa, said he was working hard to produce traditional songs that would put Ghana on the international map and put him on international stages with the likes of King Ayisoba and Wiyala to promote the Ghanaian traditional instruments and songs.