Tokyo, Miyagi

Known as the “Golden Voice of Togo,” singer King Mensah’s dedication to his country has always been expressed through his artistic endeavors. He will perform for the first time in Japan next week on the occasion of Togo’s independence day on Sunday.

Mensah took inspiration from many sources. In his youth, he traveled along with Ki-Yi M’Bock Theater and performed in countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Benin and France. He sings in French and the local Mina and Ewe dialects, and mixes elements of traditional African music with reggae and funk. His lyrics are often concerned with poverty and oppression, which he addresses with encouragement and hope.

The artist has created a charity called “Foundation King Mensah” that helps fund an orphanage situated in the southern Togolese town of Agbodrafo. The foundation looks after about 30 orphan boys, taking care of their education and well-being.

Mensah has reportedly always been quick to offer his services as an artist to promote his homeland, so when the embassy in Tokyo contacted him to organize a concert in commemoration of Togo’s independence on April 27, he happily accepted.

On April 28, Mensah will head north to Sendai for one more concert before returning to Africa. He will play a show at the Miyagino Cultural Center in Sendai as a way to show support for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.

King Mensah plays the Embassy of the Togolese Republic in Minato-ku, Tokyo, on April 27. Tickets cost ¥2,000 and the show starts at 6 p.m. For more information, call (03) 6426-5266 or visit www.ambatogojapon.net. On April 28 he plays Miyagino Cultural Center in Sendai. Tickets cost ¥2,000 and the show starts at 4 p.m. For more information, call (022) 257-1213 or visit www.stks.city.sendai.jp/hito/WebPages/sisetu/miyagino/index.html.

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