Kwame Tsikata known in showbiz circles as M.anifest was born to a Ghanaian Politician, a top Legal Practitioner and Academician Tsatsu Tsikata and Reverend Dr Priscilla Naana Nketia, who is a lawyer and lady Pastor. M.anifest is the grandson of the late Prof. Joseph Hanson Kwabena Nketia, one of the leading ethnomusicologists and composers in Africa.
M.anifest is an award-winning versatile Ghanaian rapper and musician known for musical boundary-crossing and a refreshing approach that acknowledges both his Ghanaian upbringing and his sojourns in the West.
M.anifest went to SOS-Hermann Gmeiner International College in Tema for his high school education. He was the entertainment prefect of his school.
He migrated to Minneapolis-St Paul, USA in 2001 to attend Macalester College, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in economics in 2005.
During his time in Minneapolis-St Paul, M.anifest learnt to adopt the do-it-yourself credo and the know-how in becoming an independent musician. In 2007 he released his first solo album, Manifestations, which was funded by royalties he received from lending his voice to a Pepsi jingle that played nationally on U.S radio. Manifestations earned him Songwriter of the year Honors in the City Pages as well as top five albums of the year recognition in the Star Tribune. He released a free album in 2009, “The Birds and the Beats”, to raise awareness and funds for the work of a non-profit, Young Entrepreneurs Africa.
His originality and versatility have earned him collaborations with musical giants like as Burna Boy, Damon Albarn, Tiggs Da Author, Erykah Badu, Flea and Tony Allen.
M.anifest in 2011 linked up with Africa Express and played gigs in France and Spain with them the same year. He caught the attention of Africa Express co-founder Damon Albarn who thereafter invited him to be a collaborator on Rocket Juice & the Moon in 2011. In September 2012, M.anifest joined the Africa Express train touring the UK. He wrote for The Huffington Post about these experiences.
In September 2011, He released his sophomore album Immigrant Chronicles: Coming to America, which included the singles “Suffer”, “Asa” and “Blue”. It marked a decade of his life in the U.S. and the beginning of his transition back to Ghana.
M.anifest began making major in 2012 inroads in Africa performing on The Big Brother Africa stage as well at the Channel O Music Video Awards in South Africa. The video for his single “Maka Maka” also got him nominated for Most Gifted Hip-Hop Video at the 2012 Channel O Music Awards and won him Best Hip-Hop Video at the 4syte Music Video Awards.
He produced and co-wrote an independence mini Hip-Hopera for Channel O and also performed a piece, at the first-ever Ghana Music. M.anifest is the co-founder of Giant Steps, an interactive conference for entrepreneurial creatives and creative entrepreneurs. M.anifest’s creativity and entrepreneurial skills have also meant that he is a much sought after public speaker, He has had artist residencies and given lectures in St Lawrence University, University of Ghana, and spoken to several classes in Hamline University, Macalester College (his Alma Mater), Penumbra Theatre’s Summer Arts Institute, and Ashesi University.
M.anifest released a diss track to fellow rapper Sarkodie in June 2016 “God MC” attacking Sarkodie which made Sarkodie reply within two days by dissing M.anifest on the track “Kanta” (Panda cover). M.anifest’s God MC which is deemed the highest point of his career so far went on to win Hip Hop Song of the year in the Ghana Music Award the following year. Click here to check out M.anifest’s awards and albums