The poetry scene was a busy one in 2015 with a lot shows with new talents emerging on the scene. Though, not a huge genre in Ghana, it is gradually garnering attention among a section of the populace. In this post, I asked some friends to share their best moments in respect of poetry events in 2015.
EP LAUNCH OF MOTHERFUCKITUDE: THE NAKED ONES
The announcement preceding the release of one of my favourite poets, Poetra Asantewa’s Motherfuckitude EP was greeted with high expectations; due largely to the fact that an EP would not only afford her fans (poetry fans in general) the opportunity to have a complete work of Poetra for keeps but listen and spend time with her words.
On October, 9th 2015, the EP was released online for streaming. A week later came the EP launch. The response following the release of the EP was overwhelming and by all account, the EP launch promised to good. And so was the case. By the time I got to the venue, Rina’s Restaurant, Osu Mall, almost all the chairs had been taken up. Some fans, including myself had to stand through the performances.
Musicians Kyekyeku and Kidi along with poets Ivana Akotowaa Ofori (enchanted the audience with her performance), ‘veteran’ Dzyadzorm (who was the event/EP promoter) and the lady of the night, Poetra thrilled, mesmerized and left the audience desiring more as she performed pieces from her Motherfuckitude EP.
The real surprise for me was the turn out. I knew the social media promotions and few interviews on radio about the EP and launch created some buzz. But, sometimes expectations and reality don’t always meet at the confluence of satisfaction as I have seen over the year. So, seeing the audience, some not really fans of poetry fill up the venue was, for me exciting. It goes to point to the gradual growth of poetry in Ghana and most importantly, an attestation to the fact that good or excellent work would receive the support it deserves from the people.
‘I expected this reaction but it has been overwhelming’, words of Poetra when I asked if she saw the response of people to her EP- SWAYE KIDD (@swayekidd)- Arts Enthusiast and Blogger.
EHALAKASA POETRY SLAM
Somewhere in the first half of the year, I attended Ehalakasa at Nubuke. That itself is nothing new. I attend as many poetry shows as I can but I had started to lose interest. The performances, apart from a few known Spoken Word Artists, had become banal.
Poetra and 100% performed an awesome piece titled “Power”. I remember bobbing my head and tapping my feet as they mixed music and poetry in a powerful way. After them came a few performances that were at best forgettable. Seriously, I can’t remember which poets performed next.
After a while I wasn’t concentrating just catching up with acquaintances. Then a lady in black T-shirt and glasses stepped on the stage. To be honest I didn’t notice her till she started performing.
Solitaire. That was the title. A poem about a card game that somehow managed to get me enthralled. This wasn’t punchlines and unnecessary rhymes. She went on and on, delivering line after line of beautiful poetry. I found it annoying that people were clapping while I was trying to enjoy the performance. Couldn’t they see that greatness was being born?
Well it turned out I was one of the few people who didn’t know her. I don’t remember the date or most of what happened that day but I remember Akotowaa- by EFO DELA (@Amegaxi) Poet, Blogger and Computer Engineer.
THE WRITE EXPERIENCE I
Kwame Write is one of the few performing artistes in the country putting himself out more in the past year. He has performed on various stages and taken teaching/lecturing jobs in an effort to sell poetry as an artform.
So, he landing an opportunity to put together a show courtesy Alliance Francaise, which highlights all aspect of growing artforms in Ghana was one that Kwame took and delivered. From music, poetry, dance and graffiti works, Kwame served a potpourri of shows to the audience that trooped to the Alliance Francaise to see the show.
The focus on the environment was thoughtful and relevant considering the devastating effect climate change is having on Ghana in particular and Africa in general. And at the end of the show, the need for effective collaboration on all front to help safeguard the environment was made. Kudos to Kwame ‘Write’ Aidoo. Watch out for the 2nd Edition coming off on 27th January, 2016 – ELIJAH ATA AIDOO (@Ekowmaisse), Communication Expert and Blogger
VERBAL INK 2
When it comes to Verbal Ink, I have my standards and Laud De Poet never disappoints. I have been to almost all his shows and each year brings about new discoveries of artistic expressions. The event was held at the Liberty Hall, Community 12, Tema, which was already a plus in my eyes. The spoken word performers were all on point and their unique talents were evident in their choice of words and style. They addressed critical issues and their intended messages were delivered loud and clear.
However, after guest poet / spoken word artist GF Soldier’s performance, the audience became inattentive until the man of the hour Laud de Poet performed his song “this year go pap” which wowed the crowd. Many people seemed to know the words to the song so we joined him and sang out our hopes for the year 2015.
There is no denying the passion these artists have and I think everyone should try their best possible to be at this year’s event to witness for themselves.
My wish is that guest poet / spokenword artist this year will be Jackie Hill. Keeping my fingers crossed- NANA JOA BRASO (@NJBraso), Poet & Blogger
POETRY PERFORMANCES AT CHALEWOTE
First, it was the crowd that gathered at the Brazil House to cheer and applaud the poets who step in that small space to perform either new poems, old ones or just freestyle that got my attention. Comparing the crowd and the reception last year to that of 2014, the numbers last year was encouraging.
And the poets, from 100%, Poetra to Akotowaa (that was my first time seeing her perform) who performed a duet with another poet buddy were incredible. It was evidently clear that the energy of the crowd had affected them positively. It was Slimo, a name I was hearing and seeing for the first time that got my attention. (Note: I had seen and heard most of the poems by most of the poets except Akotowa). He was good with his deliveries, punchlines and rapport with the crowd. I wasn’t too surprised to hear he was runner up at the Ehalakasa Slam – MU (Poetry Enthusiast)