Meet Amani Yahya, otherwise known as Yemen’s first female rapper.
In today’s society, we can often find that women are identified to be the inferior sex. As we take each step to fight against gender equality – no matter how big or small it may be – will ultimately impact the result in whether we succeed in becoming a world in unity. Exampled by 24 year old womens’ rights activist, Amani Yahya, she highlights the issues faced by women.
This initially had began when Yahya had to flee Saudi Arabia with her family, as her homelad stood on the brink of civil war. Upon returning to Sana’a, Yahya had discovered that her aspirations lie within music.
“There was a small coffee shop beside my house, where people would gather to talk about music and books. It was new to me because you don’t find people who want to talk about those things everywhere here. So, I used to go there every day.”
As majority of current music lacks coverage over the difficulties faced by women, Yahya’s individual style of music includes the hardship Yemeni women endure, such as sexual harassment and child marriage. Whilst attaining a strong sense of truth and in effect, bringing an educating message to her audience. Amani Yahya’s music proves to not only be a form of expression but also promoting activism, as Yahya provides a voice for women.
Along with four other rappers, Yahya had teamed together, by Oxfam. The group produced ‘A Free Woman’ debuting on International Women’s Day where the result had challenged the preconceived notion on women in countries of the middle east, The song includes the individual rapper’s own beliefs and the role women take on during the time of conflict. The rappers featured are; Meera Erchid from Jordan, Krist from Jordan, Rush from Egypt, Mayam Mahmoud from Egypt and Amani Yahya from Yemen,
Amani Yahya is a new voice for women in the face of adversity, using her music to amplify her thoughts on how “people need to understand women can do things: they aren’t just born for marriage and children”. The empowerment radiated in Yahya’s lyrics not only are proving that she is bringing feminism within media platforms to a whole new level.
It is generally expected that artists receive negative responses from critics, however Amani has one message for them, and that is “I won’t stop. Deal with it.”