Okyeame Kwame Reveals Growing Up With Dyslexia

Never aging Ghanaian musician, Okyeame Kwame has revealed being born with dyslexia and dyscalculia, a type of brain disorder

Dyslexia, also known as reading disorder, is a disorder characterized by difficulty reading in individuals with otherwise unaffected intelligence. Different people are affected to different degrees. Problems may include difficulties in spelling words, reading quickly, writing words, “sounding out” words in the head, pronouncing words when reading aloud and understanding what one reads. Often these difficulties are first noticed at school.

Dyscalculia on the other hand is a disability resulting in difficulty learning or comprehending arithmetic, such as difficulty in understanding numbers, learning how to manipulate numbers, performing mathematical calculations and learning facts in mathematics. It is sometimes informally known as “math dyslexia”, though this can be misleading as dyslexia is a different condition from dyscalculia.

And speaking with The Chronicle, Okyeame Kwame revealed he grew up having problems with reading and solving arithmetic which was later diagnosed as dyslexia and dyscalculia respectively

He had this to say, “I was born dyslexic so even when I was 10 years old, I couldn’t say my ABC or my 123. My father was so troubled that he is very smart but his son is not smart. They were not able to diagnose that it was dyslexia and dyscalculics so they became very afraid that I would grow up and become nothing”, the multiple award-winning rapper said.

“I used to feel like trash; because my mother will take me to her friend, my class 2 Teacher who will hit me on the head every morning and mention that I was blockheaded. Because my mother is a teacher, she would mention that why is a Teacher’s son this blockheaded?”

“I would come home and couldn’t do my homework so my mother will call my uncle to come home and beat me and when I cry, they would beat me the more that I like crying” Okyeame Kwame added.

“I grew up with no confidence as a result. When I completed my O levels in 1992, I had all 9s except Akan that I had 2. There was this rapper in Kumasi called Lord Marcus. I went to him and asked him to teach me how to rap. Then he said I want to see your O levels results; when he saw it, he said I am blockheaded, you can’t rap”.

“But then I pleaded with him and he said you know what, I am going to teach you how to rap but rap is an intelligent game. He said he would give me a book and then he will teach me one literary device and will ask me to read the book in four days and underline all the metaphors, alliteration, personification, etc” the rapper recounted”.

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