L-ness (c) Ralf Rafee
L-ness, born in 1979 in Nakuru, Kenya, is the pseudonym of Lydia Owano Akwabi, also known as “Lioness” or “Madadadigital”, and is one of the most charismatic femcees of African Hip-Hop. She does not rap in Swahili or English, the two official languages of Kenya, but in Sheng, a hybrid language which developed in the slums of Nairobi and gradually became the lingua franca of the Underground there. The art of L-ness, well summed up as ‘Gal Power’, impresses with the directness and sheer energy and force of her delivery. For her, Hip Hop is an “international culture of consciousness” which possesses the unique power to bring together people of very different origins and education.
L-ness woerks as a radio presenter with VotuRadio Africa and together with the NGO Elimu Sanifu, organises Hip Hop workshops for disadvantaded schoolchiildren.
Publications (a selection): Music: Simangwe (album) 2011; Gal Power (album) 2012; Punch (album) 2013