She's a star performer, known for her vocal skills and stage presence.

Now this Ghanaian celebrity has walked a different kind of stage in Waterloo, after graduating with a master’s degree.

The artist known as “Yaa Yaa” won reality singing show, “Stars of the Future,” in Ghana in 2009 under her legal name Bertha. The show is similar to American or Canadian Idol and is very popular in West Africa.

Yaa Yaa described her time on the show as, “a very challenging moment in my life.”

She was young at the time, only 19-year-old.

“I hadn't been on stage ever in my life,” she said.


A post shared by Yaa Yaa (@yaayaaofficial)

Fast forward a decade, and the award-winning singer/songwriter is a veteran of the music industry and has found a new way to challenge herself by expanding her brand.

“It's just been something that I've always felt is a part of my journey,” Yaa Yaa explained.

In 2017, she started a vocal training practice in Ghana. She says the business took off quickly, to the point where she admits she needed a little help in order to keep up with demand.

“I needed to find a solution, and I was like, ‘let me find a school that can teach me this.’”

That's when she found the University of Waterloo Conrad School of Business’ one-year masters degree in business, entrepreneurship and technology (MBET).

Yaa Yaa also holds a degree in fine arts, theatre arts and music from the University of Ghana School of Performing Arts.


A post shared by Yaa Yaa (@yaayaaofficial)

“I remember when she applied. I was quiet excited that she applied,” MBET Director Christopher Holt explained.

“She's been a linchpin of the culture, this really magical culture we get when we mix all these diverse individuals together,” Holt continued.

“All of whom have the same passion for something new, to create change in the world.”

The music star has now graduated with her master’s degree, adding to her long list of accomplishments.

“The sky is the limit. In fact, it's not the limit, it's the starting ground,” Yaa Yaa explained with a smile.

She says she is now ready to expand her vocal training practice on the international stage, while embracing her life experiences, including her time in Waterloo.

She explained many of her friends second guessed her move to the cold climate, but she assured them she would enjoy the cold.

“It started snowing and I was like, ‘oh yes, snow.’ I was just playing in the snow, I had a lot of fun.” she said with a giggle.