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Ghanaian afro-pop artist Vera Hamenoo-Kpeda who goes by the stage name of MzVee.

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Language & Culture

Afro-pop artist MzVee: 'Music is one language we all understand'

An African pop artist says the many similarities between Ghana and South Auckland are helping her feel right at home ahead of her performance in Manukau.

Aleyna Martinez
Aleyna Martinez
30 November 2023, 4:08pm
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Ghanaian afro-pop artist MzVee says she’s already falling “in love” with Pacific music since arriving in New Zealand, ahead of her Auckland performance on 2 December.

MzVee, who’s real name is Vera Hamenoo-Kpeda and is best known for her track Sing My Name, is currently on her multi-country Destiny tour which began on 18 November and spans Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.

Speaking to Niu Weekends host Monich Ah-Young, she says shortly after arriving she was able to listen to Niu FM and the reaction was immediate.

“I was in love - I’m not even playing with you,” she says.

And when asked if she noticed any similarities between Afrobeat and Pacific music, she says: “The beat first of all and honestly, music is just one language we all understand, it’s not difficult.


“I can jump on any type of genre or beat. [And] the voices were so good! Like you have really talented artists here as well.”

She can also see the connections between her homeland and South Auckland.

“Ghana is very much like here, since we got out of the airport like I kept telling my people 'this gives me Ghana vibes’. We met some guy trying to wash someone’s car on the street - you know he had his bottle - it’s exactly what you’d find in Ghana.

“The streets in some places very much look like places in Ghana so it feels like home a little bit.”

And she’s keen to test the local cuisine while here.

“Hangi, I need to try that,” Hamenoo-Kpeda says. “I think we have something similar in Ghana, but I need to try it ... I like meat, I like rice.”

PMN Cook Isands radio host Tina Bonsu-Maro who is of Ghanaian and PukaPuka heritage, says "I think it’s epic and super amazing that we’re seeing Afrobeat come to Aotearoa. Our Pasifika communities, they love African style, culture, food, arts - it's been popping off since the 80s and 90s - so Afrobeat coming into the scene, it’s a beautiful things".

Hamenoo-Kpeda also took the chance to share with listeners how they can develop themselves, whether it’s through trusting their creative process or just going hard at whatever they chose to do in life.

“I was one of those kids who never knew what I wanted to do, through secondary school, even university.

“I keep saying in every interview that I stumbled upon this blessing, if [music] didn’t come to me through somebody, I genuinely don’t know what I would be doing.”

MzVee will perform the next leg of her Destiny Tour at Wailoaloa Beach Resort in Fiji December 1 and she will be back for the New Zealand leg of her tour on 2 December to perform at Club Royalz in Manukau.

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