Nana Asaase, Chief Moomen advise poets on World Poetry Day

Entertainment of Thursday, 22 March 2018



Chief Moomen (left) and Nana Asaase

Poet and literary coach, Nana Asaase has said that poets in Ghana can be successful without solely relying on support from people.

According to him, because the world is a global village, poets of modern times can make it if they work hard and produce good work.

“Some might talk of sponsorship and recognition but these things are a case of time, branding and other dynamics. To me, your biggest challenge is yourself. It’s about the niche you create for yourself. I feel half the time, we are our biggest challenge. Once you are able to overcome that and you produce good work, then benefit will follow your work,” he noted.

He made this statement in an exclusive interview with Citi Showbiz when asked what challenges Ghanaian poets faced in their trade, as the world celebrates poets today.

In a separate interview with playwright and poet Chief Moomen, he noted even though the new crop of poets are doing well to sustain and grow their craft, he believes there is more room for improvement.

“We’ve reached a stage where we would have to consolidate our efforts more so a lot of poets come together to put up shows. Essentially we have to produce, we have to make our works available, shoot videos, we have to get that audience base and we have to get sponsors,” he said.

He also said there is the need to explore the international scene by linking up with poets around the world.

Today marks exactly 19 years since the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), during its 30th session held in Paris, proclaimed 21st March as World Poetry Day.

In celebrating World Poetry Day, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

The observance of World Poetry Day is also meant to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.

In Ghana, some media platforms have served poets and spoken word artiste opportunity to showcase their crafts on this special day.

Few years ago, a renaissance of poetry in Ghana was born. Some young writers vowed to make poetry and its performance more attractive to people.

Today, apart from the traditional poets in Ghana like Kofi Anyidoho, the late Prof Kofi Awoonor, Efua Sutherland, Ama Ata Aidoo, Nana Awere Damoah, Abena Busia, Atukwei Okai, there are a new crop that have decided to modernize their style of poetry – moving away from mere writing to performances – performances spiced with contemporary touch.

A group that called itself People of Equal Thought and Spirits (POETS) and the Ehalakasa led by Sir Black, put in place measures to make poets more visible in their works. They held meetings and programmes to advance their agenda.

Mention can be made of Chief Moomen, Nana Asaase, Mutombo, Kwame Agyemang Berko, Rhyme Sonny, Poetra Asantewaa, Oswald Okaite, Apiokor Seyram Abbey, Abeiku Arhin, Gombilla the Poet, as some of the poets and spoken word artists who are working hard to make their voices heard through their pens and microphones.

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