MUSICAL FUSION: Slovenia joins Ghana in Wiyaala’s Lioness Kingdom

The Yaga yaga’s from Slovenia are travelling to Funsi a small town in the Upper West Region for a musical and cultural exchange with local musicians and Wiyaala. Besides enjoying the traditional African vibe of the Upper West, they will jam and rehearse for three landmark concerts, firstly performing an inaugural concert at Wiyaala’s Arts Centre and then moving to Accra to perform two back to back concerts on the 26th and 27th of January at the Alliance Francaise Af Accra and the +233 jazz bar and grill

This groundbreaking Afro-Euro collaboration was inspired by Wiyaala’s invitation to the Yaga Yagas to enjoy the Upper West Region’s unique attractions and hospitality, not forgetting the opportunity to bring together the contrasting musical styles and influences of their respective continents.

The Ghana/Slovenia collaboration began in May 2019 after Wiyaala received an invitation from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovenia to perform at an Africa Day celebration in the capital city Ljubljana. Wiyaala was introduced to four classically trained Jazz fusion musicians from Ljubljana for the gig and they immediately hit it off musically and became firm friends.

Their musical chemistry continued to flourish as they embarked on a European tour during the summer of 2019, gracing stages at renowned festivals such as Afro-Pfingsten Festival in Switzerland, Riddu Riđđu Festivála in Norway, and Welcome to The Village in the Netherlands. Their performances garnered positive acclaim, cementing their status as a compelling musical ensemble.

The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted their musical endeavours and it wasn’t until 2022 that the band (by now known as Wiyaala & The Yaga Yagas) reunited for the Kamfest Festival in Slovenia. This reunion rekindled their creative fire, leading them to embark on a collaborative recording project in April 2023. The album, titled “Segerege (The Elephant’s Ears Are On Fire),” with 11 songs inspired by the traditional melodies and songs of Wiyaala’s homeland in the Upper West Region of Ghana.

Recorded live at Studio Metro in Ljubljana, the project is currently in its final mixing and mastering stages, with an expected release in the first half of 2024. The band’s lineup is as diverse as their music: Wiyaala, the charismatic vocalist, guitarist and percussionist from Funsi, Ghana.

Miha Petric, the Slovenian guitarist and award winning composer. Jošt Lampret, the Slovenian bass player, composer, and arranger. Nejc Skofic, the talented Slovenian jazz pianist and composer. Žiga Kožar, the versatile Slovenian drummer, with experience across many musical styles. The collaboration represents a fusion of cultures, genres, and talents, offering a fresh and captivating musical experience that transcends borders and genres.


Famed international travel bloggers, Drew Binsky & Wodemaya’s 2020 visit to Funsi prompted Wiyaala to renovate a couple of rooms in unused missionary buildings to accommodate her guests in some comfort. After the visit, Wiyaala saw potential and created 16 guest rooms with individual bathrooms and a restaurant.

Not satisfied she went on to build a stage, borehole, an Arts Centre, a recording/rehearsal studio and a traditional film village. More works are said to be in progress. Other famous visitors to the Lioness Kingdom include John Dramani Mahama, Jon Benjamin (former UK Ambassador to Ghana), Thomas Naadi BBC, Berla Mundi, DW Africa, KING AYISOBA

Photo Credit: Peter Giodani

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