Lipstick band is an all women band in Ghana made up of 8 women who come from different professional backgrounds. It began some 10 years ago with the very first all women band in Ghana called Dzesi “women of colour” band.
This band put together a crop of women who knew music to some extent but were not playing professionally. The band (Dzesi) was launched in 2009 at the Alliance Francaise in Accra Ghana.
he Lipstick band is an exclusively female band of professional musicians that was formed in Ghana and is made up of 8 women from diverse academic and professional backgrounds. The band was formed a decade ago with the very first all-women’s band (in Ghana) known as “Dzesi Band” (women of colour band). The band was assembled by passionate women who were music-centric but did not play professionally. In 2009, the Dzesi Band was formed in Accra, Ghana at Alliance Francaise brought some freshness to the music scene by performing an interesting mix of jazz, highlife, funk, Latin, reggae, and other styles. The band performed at local and international events such as the 16th NAK festival (Nuit Atipiques de (Koudougou) in Burkina Faso, the 50th anniversary of the Ivory Coast, SICA (Stars de I’Intergration Culturelle Africaine) in Cotonou, Benin. Continuous dedication, sacrifice, and hard work made them receive an award in 2012 for women in the creative industry. However, six years later there was a huge breakout and most of the musicians who left formed a new women’s band known as Les Femmes and under new management, existed for two years. Their quality and prior experience in performing at the top level guaranteed that Les Femmes would perform at headline events both locally, such as the annual Stanbic Jazz Festival which paved the way for them to host Bob James at the 2016 Stanbic Jazz Festival, and internationally such as the Ghana Festival in South Africa. Mismanagement and exploitations continued to be the Achilles heel of the group and forced them to regroup and become the Amazing Ladies Band. To avoid further managerial problems, the bank decided to manage itself and rebrand to become the Lipstick Band in August 2016. This decision has so far yielded fruit under the leadership of Sita (the keyboardist) and Vida (The percussionist) with few managerial issues and better cohesion among all the musicians. The band focuses or plays its brand of music known as hi-life and Afrobeat. The band has been performing extensively and is currently the top women’s band in West Africa. The Lipstick Band has played at local events such as GAIDA (Gender And Development Initiative for Africa), a government initiative led by His Excellency Nana Akuffo Addo the president of the Republic of Ghana held at the Accra International Conference Centre and later on performed at the presidential palace, the MFWA (Media Foundation For West Africa) awards held at Movenpick Hotel and the Efya girl talk show at the National Theatre .
However, the band only owns a lead guitar, bass guitar, and percussion and rents the other required instruments usually priced between Ghc 1,500 to Ghc 2,000 based distance and for events outside Accra the band usually rents a bus. Currently, the band charges between Ghc3,000 to Ghc6,000 but in some situations perform for as low as Ghc1,000 for certain clients. Due to the challenges we face with the amount the instruments alone charge, the band will be very happy if it can own its instruments, a generator to power the instruments, a bus and a truck to convey both the band and the instruments, and a studio of our own where the band can rehearse and do its recordings. The band is made up of percussion, guitars, kick drums, keyboards, and two singers.
The Lipstick Band
Name: Vida Ofoli (Feehi)
Date of Birth: 27th April 1968
Vida Ofoli, also known as and affectionately called Feehi is the leader of the Lipstick Band and doubles as the percussion specialist. She enjoys watching TV and listening to music and has been playing percussion instruments since childhood. Vida brings her experience from playing with several bands such as Shippiloi, Dromo, Ablekuma, Ablade, Dzesi, and Les femmes to the Lipstick Band and has the privilege of playing in almost all countries on the African continent. Vida has been in the music industry for over four decades and as such has a wealth of experience in leading and managing bands. This has made her the core of the group and she usually ensembles, shapes the music dynamics as well as the phrases and expressions of the band during rehearsals and performances. Vida is an astute businesswoman who deals in fabrics
Name: Sita Korley
Date of Birth: 14th February 1985
Sita Korley is the keyboardist for the lipstick band and has a hobby for reading. She also enjoys sports and has been playing with Feehi for almost a decade now. As the keyboardist, she ensures that there is a harmonic accompaniment to the melodic components of songs played at programs. Her passion for music began at the tender age when she started as a classical pianist and later on progressed to learn how to play the piano at the age of three with training and tutelage from her late father who was an ace trumpeter. At twenty-three she began to play dance band and has performed at several concerts such as the concert for the Needy hosted by Joy Fm and has performed at other venues such as the British Council and the Goethe Institute. Currently, Sita functions as the church organist and the music director of the Methodist church located at community eight in Tema. Together with Vida, Sita aids in managing the Lipstick Band and this comes as no experience since she has a rich experience in leading and playing with top musicians from Ghana and the diaspora such as the late Kofi Ghanaba, Wendell of Osibisa fame, Bessa Simons, and Hugh Masakela. Her professional relationship with Vida can be traced as far back as the days of the Dzesi Band. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in composition at the University of Education, Winneba, and also a part-time keyboard instructor.
Name: Abena Pomah
Date of Birth: 16th December 1974
Abena Pomah is the bands lead guitarist and enjoys watching TV and listening to music. Just like Sita, her late father nurtured and taught her how to play musical instruments. Abena has a natural flair for playing the guitar and is an authentic hi-life and palm wine guitarist that was part of the very first women’s band in Ghana that transitioned and later became the Lipstick Band. As a result, Abena is well-traveled and occasionally leads the singing performances of the band during performances that involve indigenous and certain burgar hi-life music. As the lead guitarist, Abena plays a pivotal role in the Lipstick Band by playing supporting chords and together with the bassist and drummer forms the foundation for music that is loved and adored by all. Abena is a businesswoman by profession and deals predominantly in foodstuffs.
Name: Wendy Opoku
Date of Birth: Born 1st July 1988
Wendy Opoku is one of the band drummers and originates from Ada. Wendy is very athletic and plays a variety of sports such as football, table tennis, and volleyball. Her drumming journey began at the age of twelve at the Divine Healers church in Laterbiokoshie. During those days, Wendy would follow her aunty and play with the drums when her aunty went to get the church premises ready for service. Wendy developed a natural desire to be different from other females and would often be seen on the field playing football, table tennis, or volleyball with her male friends and colleagues. Drumming became a natural desire for her and according to her emphasizes the rhythm of the song by reinforcing the rhythm. Together with the bassist, she provides rhythm to the Lipstick Band. Her music career began with the Dzesi Band in 2010 and in 2014 she joined the Les Femmes Band. Wendy became a part of the Lipstick Band in 2019 after spending five years in Sweden.
Name: Ruby Nunoo
Date of Birth: 27th July 1999
Ruby Nunoo is a Ghanaian songstress the band’s lead vocalist who adores dancing and reading. In showbiz circles, Ruby is known as Akua Rhythms. Her music career began at the tender age of eight where she participated and still participates in the church choir. Her love for music served as the driving force to fuel her desire to succeed in the music industry by participating in several auditions for music inclined reality shows. Her consistency, desire, talent, and hard work earned her a place as the second runner in the fifth edition of the much-viewed and patronized mentor reality show hosted by the TV3 network. In 2014. Ruby joined the band when it was known as Les Femmes and has had the opportunity of leading the band to play both locally and internationally. As the sound of the band, Ruby ensures that there is a connection between the audience and the band.
Name: Abigail Aniapam
Date of Birth: 21st January 1986
Abigail hails from Boso in the Eastern Region and is the lead drummer and one of two drummers in the Lipstick Band. She started playing the drums at the age of fifteen in the year 2001. With the help of her proprietor coupled with studying at a music school, she became exceptionally skilled at playing the drums. Abigail loves to watch football matches. She desires to be internationally recognized for her drumming abilities and has further ambitions of becoming a business tycoon within the next five years. Abigail played with the Chara Praise Band for five years during the early stage of her musical career and later went on to play for WIPM for two years and the Travailers in Worship Band for a few months. She joined the all-women band then known as Les Femmes four years ago when they needed a new drummer and has since been continued through to the Lipstick Band where she has been exceptional.
Name: Ama Ekem
Date of Birth: 30th April 1994
Ama is the bassist for the Lipstick Band and likes to travel, read and engage in sporting activities. Since childhood, she and her family have had a deep passion for music and this made her decide to learn how to play musical instruments. She first had a keen interest in playing the piano but this shifted after she was taught the basics of the bass guitar by a close friend of hers, and since then it has become her instrument of choice and expertise. She only perfected her skills at the university even though her curiosity was heightened in high school and has now been playing the guitar for about five years. She is a medical doctor by profession and has been with the band for three years now (previously Les Femmes). As the bassist, Ama is the sonic link between the rhythmical and melodic elements of the band through purposeful repetition to songs in conjunction with the drummer and brings ‘thunder” to any live performance. According to her, “Balancing band music with academics, family and friends can be tough sometimes and I only take it one day at a time because of my immense passion for medicine and music.” Ama believes in equal and fair treatment and detests it when people are treated unfairly and this makes her very likable and easy to work with. She writes off with one of her favourite quotes by A.J. McLean: “Music is love; love is music; music is life, and I love my life.”