A Namibian Lioness

Namibian rapper Lioness recently dropped her new single “Superstar” earlier this month. Lioness exhibits through her song what it means to be a female self proclaimed rapper and artist. Through her lyrics, she speaks about being able to make her own money and how her success allows her to not rely on anyone. Despite being a female rapper in a male dominated industry, Lioness has made incredible achievements and has earned the right to call herself a ‘superstar.’ For decades, hip hop has been led by men who continuously perpetuate ideas of heteronormativity and sexual objectification of women. Female rappers have begun to carve their way through the industry, rewriting the way we all view hip hop artists. Lioness, who is both a musician and a full-time doctor, challenges these industry ideals by being unapologetically authentic. In African societies, women are expected to present themselves a certain way and to act in a modest manner. These social barriers hold women back from being able to freely express their creativity and showcase their individualities that make them unique. Lioness shows through her versatility in her work that women do not have to present themselves a certain way to be successful. She is both a brilliant doctor and successful artist, and redefines what it means to be in both of these positions. She has claimed her success single handedly by being an inspiration through her work and music. Lioness also shows that she has female inspirations in her own life that motivate her. In her interview with Okayafrica, she speaks about how Brenda Fassie is a huge inspiration behind her music. The South African anti-apartheid artists whose boldness rewarded her the title of “Queen of African Pop,” symbolizes what it means to be a powerful women in a society that wants to silence them. In the music video for “Superstar”, there are also scenes where the artist is seen dancing in front of framed photographs of her mother. These multiple strong female figures in her life, bring meaning behind her actions and what it means to be a woman. Through her music, Lioness will continue being her own female inspiration to others.

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