The authentic Ghetto Ballerina

By Rosalia David

FEMALE rapper Esmeralda Garus-oas, also known as Ghetto Ballerina, who just released her debut album titled Chronicles of Ghetto Ballerina, said she aims to share knowledge through her music without having to use sex appeal to lure followers.

With the rap industry proven to be notorious for demeaning women in the most derogatory fashion, some women in the industry across the continent seemingly contribute to the rhetoric and buy into the concept of sexualising themselves to captivate an audience and generate revenue.

Which begs the question why women are subjected to tying their self-worth to their physical appearance when male rappers are not given that same standard.

Ghetto Ballerina remains relevant in a male-dominated industry with authentic lyrics that speak right to the heart. “I try to stay in my lane, be myself and not sell sex but knowledge, female empowerment, not following trends and just do my own thing,” she said.

Her album was released recently at a listening session in Windhoek at The Kitchen, which saw music lovers turn up to listen to her anticipated 11-track album.

Chronicles of Ghetto Ballerina touches on social issues, such as depression and is an album she describes as a form of self-expression, which allows her to paint a picture and the rest of the world can join in with their imagination. She also raps in her mother tongue, KhoeKhoegowab, which makes her music quite relatable and rather unique.

Besides her dedication to her music career, Ghetto Ballerina has a full-time commitment in her day job as a veterinarian. Asked about the challenges she faced working on her first album, she said she had to relocate to another place and juggle between music and studies.

“It has been a journey and a process. I’ve been through a few challenges and the title of the album says it all. I relocated and also had to put my music on hold because I was writing examinations.”

Known for hits such as About Him and Miss Rose, the rapper continues to deliver sizzling hits on her debut album, such as her single Grind, which has aired on international platforms, such as Trace Africa, and topped radio charts soon after its release.

“My type of music caters for everyone. I always try to encourage and motivate through my music so that I am able to inspire individuals to be better versions of themselves,” Esmeralda says. Although she had worked her way up despite challenges, she urged music lovers to give opportunities and platforms to talented upcoming artists as well.