#aTypicalInterview: ‘Most people don’t know that SA footballer Aaron Mokoena is my dad’ – Ghanaian singer Chayuta

Ghanaian Singer/Songwriter Chayuta. Supplied image.

Ghanaian Singer/Songwriter Chayuta. Supplied image.

Published Jul 9, 2023


Johannesburg - This week we feature 19-year-old Ghanaian singer/songwriter Chayuta.

Chayuta, whose real name is Layla Mpho Mokoena, broke on to the scene in 2021 with the release of her first professional single titled “Solo”.

In February 2021, Chayuta released her second single titled “Gimme Love”, which was received extremely well in Ghana and other countries. She also recorded an acoustic version of “Gimme Love” with renowned multiple Grammy award winner, D’wayne Wiggins of Tony Toni Tone.

Chayuta’s third single release was “Don’t Kill My Vibes” featuring Ghanaian male teen sensation Malcolm Nuna. On June 11, 2021, Chayuta released her first album titled “17”.

In October 2022 she signed with Nayasa Records and released her first single under the label. Her song “Where You Dey”, which was produced by Grammy-award winning producer Killbeatz, got massive radio and TV airplay across the country.

Ghanaian singer/songwriter Chayuta. Supplied image.

Your favourite Ghanaian dish is?

I really love food and there are so many Ghanaian dishes, I love like the famous jollof. My mum is Ga (a tribe from Accra) and their staple food is kenkey (dumplings) and fish, which is very delicious, but my favourite is fufu (pounded meal) and chicken light soup, especially when my grandma makes it. It’s the ultimate comfort food for me and I can eat that all day every day.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

That I am half South African. My father is Aaron Mokoena, the former Bafana Bafana captain, who captained the team during the World Cup in South Africa. My middle name is actually Mpho and my last name is Mokoena.

Your top three African artists to date are?

There is so much talent in African music right now and I can honestly give you a list of 20 or 25 African artists I love. I have favourites from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, you name it. But if I must limit it to just three I will go for Burna Boy, DJ Maphorisa and Tiwa Savage

Burna Boy has really put African music on the map and he has achieved so much from winning Grammys to selling out stadiums and major venues across the globe.

DJ Maphorisa is just a vibe. I love amapiano and he is one of the artists that made me fall in love with it.

Tiwa Savage is the ultimate African queen. Amazing vocals, a fashion icon, extremely beautiful and very intelligent. She has managed to stay relevant for such a long time in this industry and I really admire her for that.

Your favourite item of clothing in your closet currently is?

Corset crop tops. When it comes to style, I’m not a very girlie person. I prefer pants and jeans to skirts and dresses, so the corset tops are my secret to still keep my style feminine.

Ghanaian Singer/Songwriter Chayuta. Supplied image.

South African musicians or Ghanaian musicians ?

I really can’t choose as they are two different genres, Afrobeats and amapiano and I love both genres so much so please don't make me choose. What I do want to see is more collaboration between the two countries. There have already been some collaborations between Ghanaian and South African artists, like the recent one between Stonebwoy and DJ Maphorisa, and they have always been hits, so we need more of that. I think we need a collaboration between Chayuta and a SA artist.

You are able to spend a day with any influential person in the world learning his or her trade. Who do you choose and why?

Rihanna, I want to pick her brain about how she beat the odds to become one of the biggest pop stars. I remember reading an interview where she said people told her she was a one hit wonder, and look at her now. I wouldn’t mind getting some tips about how to start a business empire and of course I need style tips from her as well as a lifetime supply of Fenty products.

Netflix and chill or a wild night out of partying?

Definitely a wild night out. Accra nightlife is amazing and I try to have fun with my friends when I’m not busy recording and rehearsing. I also can’t wait to experience the nightlife in South Africa next time I visit. My mum and grandma always tell me I have to enjoy my youth, I will Netflix and chill when I’m older.

Ghanaian singer/songwriter Chayuta. Supplied image.

The meal that most reminds you of your childhood is?

A Happy meal, because of the little gifts. I would always look forward to opening the box and seeing what’s inside. And for some reason, kids’ birthday parties always end up with a Happy meal, so there are many fun and special moments that come to mind when I think about a Happy meal.

A song title that most describes your life right now?

“Unstoppable” by Sia. I used to be a very shy person and when I started singing people would tell me that I didn’t have what it takes to be a musician. They would forget that I was only 14 or 15, and still discovering my sound and style. I took a break to complete high school and stopped performing altogether and when I had my comeback I was a completely different person, confident and extrovert on stage. Now people are seeing the real Chayuta and I feel unstoppable.

Tell us about the worst date you’ve ever been on?

Imagine I mention something and the person realises who I’m talking about. That would be so awkward. But honestly I haven’t reached the stage where I’ve had a worst date yet and I hope I will never experience one.

The Saturday Star