Think energy. Think Richael Achempim. It’s no joke when they call her the ‘Energy goddess’ as Richael is a perfect reflect of not just energy, but the very positive one! She doubles all with an aura of contagious joy and we cannot but love how she combines her beautiful personality with an amazing Art as a dancer. In all Richael is one that effortlessly carry so much grace, brilliance and zest.
Join us on this special Heart-2-Heart conversation, as Richael lets us in on her journey as a Creative, in the most relatable and inspiring way!
Enjoy and Stay Inspired:
We are in love with the energy, positivity, glow and passion you effortlessly reflect while at your Art- dancing. Can you please share some highlights of how you began your creative journey as a dancer?
First off, I will love to say thank you for the opportunity, thank you so much for reaching out, thank you so much for allowing me to share my experience of what I know about my dance, my art, to change through the world, thank you so much. For me as a dancer, how I started was in church. Every time I went to church, I was part of the choreographers, so when there was a program, you would see me there dancing. Every time we were going for a competition, I was definitely there because I would raise my hands and say “Sir, I want to be there” then they would add me up. So, it started from there.
At some point in time in church, everything became more like a competition so we started having dance competition and became more serious, which was where the interest started coming from. They would be like this branch against that branch, we want to see who the best is and we would definitely go for rehearsals for days, we would be training for days, just for the competition and for your church branch to win. It started more from there.
Even as the competition went down, it was a conduit for me because I really wanted this thing not just a church thing and it would be something I would do for a very long time. I stepped out from church competition, not that I stopped church, I stopped church competitions to go in for dance classes; experiencing new and other type of dances, trying to learn more, trying to broaden my knowledge about dance and actually helping myself and knowing how creative I should be when it comes to dance. So that is how it has been and the interest has grown since then till now.
What does Art mean to you?
For me, Art is more like how you express yourself. It is more like a reflection of who you are so for me, who I am, I express it through dancing. You see in my videos, there is more energy, there is a lot of smiles, through that, I am spreading all that well. Sometimes, most people say my smile is contagious because the moment you see me smile, you will also smile, so I think that is how I reflect what my art is. I see art as more, as a reflection of you to the world.
For someone to see who you are, it might be through your art, it might be painting. Maybe a painting you have done and you can just tell somebody that this kind of person is this way or this person likes to paint certain things like this or this person gets inspiration from this. It is your reflection of how you are and how you show the world who you are.
We are grateful to have you onboard this special ISSUE in celebration of awe-inspiring dancers around the world. Also, in honor of the International Dance Day 2023. We know how unique and special the Art of dancing is to each dancer. As an individual passion about this Art, what does dance mean to you?
For me, International Dance Day is a very big thing that there is a day set aside for just dancing and there is a lot of award programs for dancers to recognize other big dancers, those who have paved the way for us in the new generation to also build on and I feel like it is a great initiative. It is a very big thing for us as dancers to show how good we are, what we do, and for the world to know that dancing is not just dancing that there is more to it.
How was growing up like?
It was very calm; I wouldn’t say very calm but it wasn’t too hard, it was okay. There were times when I told my mum I wanted to be a dancer, she didn’t take it lightly. You know in African homes, they are all about school, “I want you to become a doctor” like what society took as a profession is what they wanted me to be and then for me, along the line, I had a different passion. In as much as I am actually still in school and studying but this is what I want to do.
With time, she understood that her daughter wanted to be a dancer no matter what. Although I am in school, she decided to let me pursue whatever I wanted to pursue and she might not know what this will bring for me in the nearest future. My dad was okay but my mum had issues because most of the programs were evening and me as a girl child going out late made her scared. With time, I made her understand that I was safe with the group that I was with; everything would be okay because they would make sure I was home.
From TikTok videos to your most recent performance live at Davido’s show. You constantly thrive in your field. What will you consider as most fulfilling to you right now on your journey as a dancer?
We have been recognized and been on stage with international artistes. We have got international artists coming here to Ghana to scout for dancers in the academy and I have been privileged to be part of that. For me, to the extent where I am making money from what I am doing, not like how it was before because it wasn’t paying up all but now, it is getting better. Others are seeing us for who we are and they are paying us for what we are doing. Even though it is weird not to work, I would say but with time, I would get there. I can fend for myself, I don’t need to ask anybody for money but I am getting lots of money from it.
What’s your dream life as an Artist?
For me, it is to say I have made it, I have made it through my art and to get recognized there. It is not just about it but there is more to it. What you are doing, it goes a long way into impacting other people’s lives.
One of the aim and dream is to impact positively because I might not know this thing I’m putting out there. I’m thinking it’s positive but somebody is taking it in a different way and thinking it is negative, the impact is not good, but then, for me to put something out there and the impact be positive, for it to be recognized. There is this initiative that was brought out, and when it was brought out, it was Richael through dance.
Do you feel creatives in developed countries are at an advantage than those in developing countries?
Yes. In the sense that, us here, we are starting. To even get a good phone with a good camera quality to shoot your content is very hard. And for those who are in a developed country, it is very easy for them to rent out cameras, rent out certain kind of technologies to use for a content to make them stand out.
Here, you might or might not get and even if you get, it would be really expensive to afford just for one content. And here, we don’t really have the advanced technologies that we see in developed countries because we might see some kind of cameras and the content they used it for is very creative but here we don’t have that same type to get the same quality that we want.
Even then, it was really difficult to get an iPhone but now, it is coming down in terms of price. And we are hoping that as we are developing, we get all these technologies for our content and how we spread our hearts.
Balancing work time and rest time is a struggle for many creatives. Please share a few tips on how you try to balance work time, rest time and family time?
Even now, there is still struggle with rest time. As a creative, you would want to get more work and when the work comes, the time in between day to day might be very little which means, you wouldn’t even have time for family or time for rest. Let’s say from Monday to Friday, you have a shoot the whole week and the time interval in between is little to rest.
Probably you finish very late, probably Tuesday gone, you will have to go home and have two hours rest, go again the following day. It is sometimes like that when the work becomes a lot, balancing it sometimes might not be equal for all. Sleep might take two hours of your time, work time might be more, and family time might be less too. Sometimes when you see that your body is breaking down because of lack of rest, and you are not having enough time, you will have to set aside a little bit from work and balance it. Even now, there is still issue of balancing work, even if it is about work, it is still important to rest and have time for your family.
What does success mean to you?
Success means seeing myself in somebody out there. In the sense that, I would see a replica of myself in somebody else who is also doing the same thing I am doing, spreading love, energy, positivity through dance. For me, that is one of the main reasons I am doing what I am doing, to spread my energy out, to spread my love out. There might be somebody somewhere who you impact positively.
Sometimes, I might just be on my phone and I receive texts saying “You made my day, the way you smile, made me just smile the whole day.” There was one message I got from a woman, she was in a hospital, ready to undergo a surgery and she was like she watches my video.
Some come online to watch our videos, just to see us talk, just to see us have fun and it makes their day. The main success for me is to spread love and energy out and also to see myself in somebody else spreading the same love and the same energy as mine.
As creatives, we understand the high tendencies of getting stressed out even while pursuing our dreams and passion. There are days when even depression may creep in or just that inexplicable feeling of overwhelmingness. Do you have any relatable experience to this? If so, how are you able to manage and thrive beyond phases like this? Any tips on “Mental Health for Creatives.”
I believe that as a creative, you have to really have a sound mind and have peace at heart to really create because everything is coming from inside and out of your mind. If within you are not at peace, certain things are bothering you, you have to set it aside by putting social media away; reminiscing about your life and thinking about certain things, asking about what to change about yourself, what you think you should let go, do things that make you okay. You really need to do that.
Coming on the dance space, it was getting a certain way. I thought I was too good to not be selected for a certain job, little did I know that it actually motivated me to do good and to do well and to come out from the shell that I was in because it was more like “oh! I am too good, why are they not selecting me” and I will just relax and be there thinking about why?
But then, it got to a time I had to sit down and think that if I am not selected, probably I am not doing some things right, so what am I doing to correct this? What and what am I not doing right? Then I started coming out of my shell, I started rehearsing more, being creative about certain things, contributing in class, coming for dance classes, exploring, doing certain things that would make my art grow, that was how I could come out from the shell.
Most of the times, it comes and it is very normal to get depressed because, you have been painting, writing and doing art related talent for a long time but you don’t get people to read, you don’t get people to even buy your paintings and then you have to sit and ask, what is it that I am not doing right or what can I do to make this and that attractive? That is to put your phone away or social media away, reminisce and think about what you can do, that would be very good and it would definitely work or even if it is not working, just speak to somebody; that is somebody you really trust, share your emotions with the person and you would be alright.
Please briefly tell us something we do not know about Richael Achempim.
I am a very shy person; people might not know. I can be very shy when I do not know anybody around me. But the moment there is music on I am never shy, when there is music and the place is turning up, oh! Never.
Let’s go a little poetic: If poetry is a rainbow and you have a choice of one color in that palette, what would that be and why?
It would be red. Red stands for love, it stands for aggressiveness, not in a bad way but then, it is more like energy that is what I stand for. So, I would go for red.
Massive Love Richael!
The ICONIC Team