Member Spotlight: A Man of Meaningful Music and Multiple Names

Man holding a child
Cover photo for Mawule’s song “Anything ft DJ Zenas” with all of its film festival laurels. Photo by Mia Ginae

By Ann Gill (M.A., ’76)

Ebenezer “Eb” Yebuah (B.S., ’12; M.S., ’14) is also known as Mawule, which means “Only God Knows” in the Ewe tribe of Ghana. He is a singer, recording artist, songwriter, and social activist. Born in Accra, Ghana, Mawule and his family moved to Denver when he was 10. He started singing in church choirs at the age of 14 and writing music soon thereafter.

Mawule began his music production journey as a first-year CSU student living in Braiden Hall.  As a member of the Key Academic Communities, he infused his classroom learning with his lyrics, focusing on topics ranging from race to sexual violence, poverty, and self-awareness.

Mawule performing at Club 156 for my "Fall For Me" music release show
Mawule performing at Club 156 for his “Fall For Me” music release show. Photo by Jairo East

During his time at CSU, when everyone knew him as “Thade,” he became deeply involved in a variety of activities. He served as an orientation leader his sophomore and junior years and as a resident assistant. During a required internship, he managed a recording studio at the Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County, an experience he deems “a highlight of my human development and family studies major.” Mawule also was a member of United Men of Color and attributes much of his success to the “bruthas” in this student organization.

Toward the end of his graduate study in Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE), he found himself at a crossroads  ̶  should he give up music and pursue a career in higher education? Then a producer, Glenn Sawyer, stumbled upon his music on Reverb Nation and contacted him. Mawule saw that as a sign not to give up on music, and he signed a management/production deal.

After SAHE, he accepted a position as hall director at CU Boulder but also began to structure his music career, and he released music projects. He also began performing on the local music scenes. In 2017, Mawule took some time away from music and began studying the music industry, applying what he had learned in the SAHE program to what he was learning about the industry. This led him to create Mawule Music Company, a growing indie music company that focuses on music consultations, artist development, music publishing, marketing and promotions, and synch licensing.

Mawule performing at the 2019 Youth Diversity Conference
Mawule performing at the 2019 Youth Diversity Conference. Photo by Michael Acuna

As a music artist, Mawule has built a well-known brand with songs that focus on diversity, inclusion, and social justice. For example, “It’s Not You” creates awareness of sexual assault and violence.  In 2017, he partnered with other local artists on a concert to raise awareness of sexual- and domestic-violence issues. The proceeds were donated to Safehouse Denver. His powerful tribute to Black fathers in “Anything” was awarded the Best Music Video Award at the 2016 DC Film Festival, along with four other film festival screenings.

Mawule has brought others along with him on his journey, including Key Academic Communities alumnus Garrett Hayes (B.A., ’12; M.A., ’15). The pair has collaborated on many projects, including the highly acclaimed music videos, “Black is Beautiful” and “It’s Not You.”

In addition to building Mawule Music Company, this Alumni Association Life Member has continued to work in student affairs, previously serving as associate director of resident education at the University of Denver and, as of May 2021, as director of human resources for Sodexo at the University of Denver. Mawule sums up his many missions succinctly: “I’m living my passion.”

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