During June and July 2012, the pan-African poetry platform, Badilisha Poetry Radio (www.badilishapoetry.com), will celebrate Ghana's contemporary poets by exclusively featuring sixteen selected wordsmiths on its international podcasting platform.
In October 2011 Badilisha's project manager Linda Kaoma met with the cream of Ghana's poetry scene in Accra. Excited by the quality of the work of words in Ghana, a substantial number of the poets were recorded.
“The poets that we came across were intelligent, talented, were eager for growth and extremely enthusiastic about poetry. The appreciation of the art form is on the increase in Ghana evident from the welcome we got from the poets and the vibrant poetry scene.”
This Ghanaian spotlight will profile such shining lights as Crystal Tettey, Mariska Taylor-Darko, Nana Yaw Sarpong, Laud de Poet, DK Osei-Yaw and Brenda Bakomora Dokmah.
www.badilishapoetry.com is home to a collection of live recordings of international, Africa-centric poets performing single poems. Poets from Kenya to Canada and many places in between have added their voices to this dedicated space where the art of word and sound is poured into meaning, passionate experience, and humour. Badilisha Poetry Radio is the only freely-accessible, online collective of contemporary and historic poets from Africa and its Diaspora. It gives a long-awaited voice to those who articulate the reality of a vibrant and exciting continent.
A project of the Africa Centre (www.africacentre.net), Badilisha Radio has evolved from Badilisha Poetry X-Change, a series of live poetry events and accompanying workshops in Cape Town.
A sample of the featured poets
A Malagasy/Ghanaian artist, Crystal is a member of EhaLaKasa- a group of young Spoken word poets who uses performance art to inspire positive social change. She is fluent in English, French, Russian, Ga and Twi.
A widow with two sons, Mariska is a writer, poet and motivational speaker. She is one of the Directors of Ghana Organisation for Learning and Development (GOLD), a registered Charity in the U.K. that assists women and children in the rural areas of Ghana. She is the founder of Yes Group Ghana, a motivational group involved in empowering the youth. Mariska's poems have been featured on www.oneghanaonevoice.com. She has been published in Jambo, an East African magazine and featured on radio chat shows on Yfm and Citi fm and on TV with Viasat 1 on the One Show and has read her poetry in London at the “Find your voice” motivational event.
Mariska has published her first motivational book, ”The Secret to Detoxifying your Life and Love”, a collection of poems in a book called Rhythms of Poetry in Motion and is in the process of writing one film script, one novel and a collection of children's stories. Recently she gave a reading of her book, which is soon to be published called “A Widow must not Speak” at the Goethe Institute organised by the Writers Project of Ghana.
Nana Yaw Sarpong
Nana is a poet, writer, radio presenter and producer of “Writers Project on Citi”, a weekly literary radio programme for Ghanaian writers. He currently works with the Writers Project of Ghana. Nana Yaw lives in Ghana where he teaches English and Linguistics.
Laud de Poet
Laud a contemporary poet from Ghana who lives in Tema who has been working in poetry for over a decade. His real name is Laud Kweku Halm-Quartey affectionately addressed as Laud de Poet or Ldp. A Pan-African, Ldp is a Poet and a poetry promoter and loves to support poetry venues. He is also the founder of modeconceptz, an association that supports anything about poetry and the elements of poetry.
DK is an artist who romanticises everyday life experiences and extrapolates their melodies into a multiplicity of art forms including poetry, theatre and music. A Liberian born Ghanaian, DK uses his artistic self expression in a variety of ways to project everyday African life, especially taking inspiration from the life and influences of his early upbringing and education in West Africa.
DK expresses the rhythm of the soul, which is portrayed through his performances and his distinctive taste of identity.
Brenda Bakomora Dokmah
Nineteen year old Brenda is a student at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, studying a bachelor of science degree in Real Estate. Creative writing is what keeps Brenda awake. Her writings fall in many categories: life, love, social issues. Besides writing, she is an associate of Evolv.Africa, an organisation that seeks to spearhead total transformation of the African continent. She speaks English and four Ghanaian languages fluently. Her dream is to show the world her works, and she strongly believe that where there is a will, there is a way. The thinkable is possible.
About the Africa Centre
Founded in 2005, the Africa Centre provides a platform for exploring contemporary Pan-African arts and cultural practice and knowledge creation as a catalyst for social change. The Africa Centre's objectives are to: formulate innovative models for presenting, debating and encouraging cultural production and the pursuit of knowledge; provide broad access to the creative work and ideas of historical and contemporary African thought leaders and artists; and re-examine the role, identity, transience and creation of cultural expression and knowledge.
Badilisha Poetry is one of multiple Africa Centre projects, which include:
• Artist in Residency Programme – in partnership, this project awards, across artistic discipline, 10 residencies each year;
• Infecting The City – an annual public arts festival that stages and exhibits thought-provoking works in the communal spaces of Cape Town;
• Talking Heads – a multi–layered platform conceived to profile the ideas and manifestations of the extraordinary people living in Africa; and
• WikiAfrica – an international collaboration that, through a range of interventions, redresses the critical imbalance of factual information about Africa on Wikipedia.
For more information visit www.africacentre.net