CREDIT: BALLYHOO PR
Marenikae is a West African beauty who has built a loyal following in her now home, of Atlanta due to her fierce yet sultry women’s empowerment movement.
In the opening of her music video “Remember” she states “I think contrary to Fela, the new African woman is a lady, the stories of African women need to be told by US and not FOR us. We are women and we do not have to do as we are told. We persevere, we DEY!”
Marenikae boldly and passionately shares her story in an anthem “Remember” that she wrote to both empower women and to demonstrate their collective strength. Instead of the age-old story starring a scorned woman nursing her tears in bitterness after infidelity; “Remember” is a battle cry for women to dry their tears and get back into the business of conquering the world.
The track is a collaboration of Southern Hip-hop producer, Cory Mo (Gucci Mane, UGK) and Ezenwa “Bigfoot” Ogbona (Illbliss, Nosa, Aramide)
In the face of the current #METOO firestorm of testimonies, Marenikae encourages women to use their collective voice to define power in their own terms.
CREDIT: BALLYHOO PR
She created “The Zuchia Nexus” to distribute her own music and it serves as an independent label geared towards becoming a meeting place for international producers, songwriters, and artists to support each other while exchanging ideas
INTERVIEW BY CYNTHIA HORNER
Q; How did you develop your position on women’s rights?
A: I developed my position after leaving Nigeria and coming to America and seeing the freedoms that women in the western world enjoy. I definitely feel like women in Third World countries don’t have the same privileges or the same access to education or sexual health awareness so that became something very important to me just because just because I witnessed the difference between both societies.
Q: Who is in your life that has had an impact in helping shape your ideas and willingness to bring awareness to some of the issues women faced abroad?
A: My mom and my grandmother. I saw the way my grandmother had to fight for respect and how they both have had to fight to be heard. That struggle was definitely discussed in my family. We had talks about the way my grandmother triumphed over certain things. So just having that in my family definitely makes me want to give other women the inspiration to triumph over their own situation.
Q: What kind of feedback have you received from people who are aware of the message you are trying to relay?
A: Oh, I’ve been getting great feedback. It’s been positive. With Nigeria being such a misogynistic society, of course men don’t take us seriously, It’s very easy for them to brush aside women’s struggles and women’s problems so even in spite of that, yeah I would definitely say I mean the response has been great so far.
Q: What women’s issues are you passionate about?
A: You know there are things that really get to me like female genital mutilation. That is something I definitely wrote a lot of pieces about in college. It’s something that’s really close to my heart, especially since it’s something that’s still going on and a lot of the women are still suffering. That’s a big problem for me. I’m just trying to do the most I can to bring awareness to the issue. Another thing is the way with those disenfranchised women are treated in African society so that’s also definitely something I’m passionate about and of course, sexual awareness sexual health and awareness. Providing stuff for little girls letting them know that you know their periods are normal and not the devil, things like that.
Q: Can you comment on your new music and how you describe yourself?
Q: My music is described as Afro-Merge and it is very different; it’s representative of all the different influences musically that I had while growing up. We had a household that was more open to Western ideas and Western thinking, so we were allowed to listen to music and experience a lot more than most people our age at the time. And that impacted my music. My next single is called ‘Vybz’ and I’m shooting half of the video here and going back to Nigeria to shoot the other half. It’s all about the Vybz that move us; it’s a feel good record.
CREDIT: BALLYHOO PR
Q: What are some of your beauty secrets?
A: I don’t really have any beauty secrets. I will say exfoliation is a big deal and I gravitate toward products that will make your skin glow. I make sure at least once or twice a month I clean out my skin and I do a lot of masks on the weekend.
Q: How did you get involved in the fashion industry?
A: I used to design costumes for vocal performances and shows in school; fashion has always been a big love of my life. In high school I was voted Best Dressed. I was so passionate (about fashion) that when we started doing performances I would design the costumes and people would come up and ask about them after the performances. That’s pretty much how my fashion line grew. I have fashion shows coming up to show off my new stuff from my Makan Gid’N line.
Follow her on social media @Marenikae