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Okaidja Afroso

Guest Artist, Musician & Choreographer

Headshot of Okaidja Afroso

Contact Information

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301


Okaidja Afroso was born into a family of singers and songwriters in a small fishing village on the west coast of Ghana. As a young boy, Okaidja sang in churches, and while working as a canoe boy on fishing boats on the weekends. The fishermen sang a cappella on the ocean as they worked, and Okaidja passed the long days learning the songs of the sea.

His hunger to dance began after seeing the Ghawafrica Dance Ensemble training in his hometown. Dancing did not come as naturally to Okaidja as singing did, but the more he learned the deeper his interest in studying native Ghanaian cultures grew. By the age of 19, Okaidja was accepted as a professional dancer for the prestigious Ghana Dance Ensemble at the University of Ghana’s Institute of African Studies. Through this ensemble, Okaidja had the opportunity to study with the best teachers in the country and participate in a tour of the United States.

Okaidja Afroso has taught drum and dance workshops in Germany and performed at major festivals and venues including the Kennedy Center and the Newmark Theatre. Okaidja lives in Portland, Oregon, and teaches a variety of dance classes for adults and children throughout the area.

He recorded his first solo album in 2005.

Willamette University


M. Lee Pelton Theatre
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.