Rap hasn't really been my kind of music. I'm from a different generation and as I grow older and my hearing grows dimmer I find the only way I can hear anyone speak is if I look at them closely and lipread... but a very talented young man has helped me to see and hear things very differently. It may be that I am slightly biased, I've known the lad since he was born. I was his mother's birthing partner and was with her the day he arrived into this lovely world of ours. She called him Shasa after her friend Rolf Harris and Rolf became Shasa's godfather and 'grandfather' of sorts.
Shasa has turned out to be a very talented young rapper who goes under the name BB Manik. He acquired his interest in music from his father Michael and like all young musicians these days his hero was the great pop legend Michael Jackson.
Shasa is a very confident young man and has a real passion for music, he raps as though rap music was made for him and his dance routines are as fluid as his great hero Michael Jackson.
Shasa played at Glastonbury this year with Rolf Harris to some fantastic reviews from NME and the Sunday Mail. After a hearty intro of 'I say Rolf you say Harris', they did a rap rendition of 'Pavlova' together.
I am really really proud of the lad and prouder still of his mother, my friend Seiwa Cunningham who encouraged him all the way. Being Ghanaian by birth, we come from a very different culture where success is measured by the level of academic qualifications you have, where everything else is frowned upon and considered less successful.
I am looking forward to a very long and bright future for the young man who goes by the name BB Manik whom I will always call Shasa.
To use his own language - I say Big Up!! BB Manik!