Lincoln was born and bred in Takoradi. He had his formal education there, and later went to University in Koforidua. He dropped out of school to embark on an uncertain journey. Lincoln left Ghana for Libya, with the hope of going to Italy, in 2017, and returned to Ghana in 2020.
Under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, he is being supported with a comprehensive reintegration plan, which encompasses his economic, social, and psychosocial needs. Lincoln is one of the beneficiaries who receive psychosocial support. When Lincoln came back to Ghana, he felt like he had failed and lost hope in life. He felt his family was disappointed and he felt hurt that his dad did not care.
All of this, plus the traumatic experiences of a perilous journey through the desert, during which he saw people die and experienced violence first-hand, affected his mental health.
Lincoln is motivated by music. Not only is he using music as a means to heal and process his experiences. He also uses it to spread important messages to his listeners. In one of his songs titled “Guns from Tripoli”, he narrates his migration experience. Through his creativity he becomes a safe migration advocate.
"My name is Lincoln Kennedy Mensah. I’m from Takoradi, the Western part of Ghana. It’s the capital of the Western region. I was born and bred here.
I left Ghana in 2018. It was March. I had dropped out of university, so I had started recording music. But I couldn’t make ends meet from recording music.
All my friends that I had made growing up with were taking the same route. So, I decided “ok, let me join them in Italy”. I have always felt that there might be a better option outside but looking back now….
It is not easy out there. Not knowing if you are going to make it or not. Being alive is just by the grace of God.
When I came back to Ghana, I felt abandoned. But then IOM called, and that give me that psychological fitness and some support that not all hope is lost.
The life of an underground musician has its own challenges, including financial constraints. The support of IOM in this process has been very helpful for me to get my studio which I use to produce my music
I am inspired by the musician K’naan and just like K'naan, I am a victim of irregular migration. Telling my story is not a shame at all. I have always admired him, and I know, one day, my music would hit like his.
Do not go and risk your life; it’s not safe out there. If you want to travel, exercise a bit of patience and use the right channel."