Sunday, September 6, 2009

Speak Out Time

I miss home! There are more than a million moments in a day when I wish I was strolling down the streets of Osu. On Saturday, it took all the muscles in my body to hold down the tears, and to fight off the desires to be home. On Saturday 22nd of August, poets and word lovers in Accra had an experience I have turned green with jealousy of. At Expressions Smoothie Bar, adjacent to Papaye in Osu many young professionals and recent returnees from the Diaspora were audience to the spoken word performed by young Ghanaian writers.

The literary night was put together by a group of dynamic Ghanaian talent, with the help of the owner of the smoothie bar. Ayesha Haruna Attah, my latest favourite writer and author of Harmattan Rain, Esi Cleland and Eric, the owner of Expressions. All performers were of course the biggest helping hands to make the event a success.

I have always thought of what it would be like to have an open mic night at a jazz club in Ghana. Would it be patronized, will it even work, were among the doubts that racked my mind. Would I be the only crazed fanatic present and cheering my lungs out? A cliché says, be careful what you wish for; it just might come true. My wish did and I missed out on it. I am happy though that it was very well attended and enjoyed. One of the organizers told me that it was essentially to fill a void in Ghana’s literary scene, by allowing new and established talent to find a platform to share their work.

I got some feedback from members of the audience and all were immensely impressed both by the performances and the turnout. It makes me glad to see that the thirst for such an experience was acknowledged and lightly refreshed. “I loved the people that were there too: college students and people in all kinds of work. It was a great experience for Ghana!” said one college student who was a member of the audience. People from different walks of life have an appreciation for literary works but this void has not been filled in a long time.

As one of the constructive suggestions people mentioned, a person very dear to me pointed out that the event might draw an even bigger crowd if alcoholic cocktails were served. Bless his soul, he knows the essentialities of beverages that hydrate your body and inundate your mind till rationality slowly oozes out.

In addition I learned from the audience that “The primary population at the event was young artists, writers and young professionals ranging from 24 to 31 years. Most of the people looked like they had come straight from work. The event attracted the likes of returnees - Ghanaians who had been abroad for school and were returning for the summer for research or graduate work. I would estimate that probably about 70% of the people I met were educated outside Ghana.” Now I am thinking of the value that such an event would have to the younger ones, teenage children who are still in Ghana, with an interest in Literature and who can start to carve out a future for themselves that involve this interest.

I am eager to be a part of the growing literary conscious generation of Ghanaians!

--This article was written by LSG Staff Writer Flossy Matekwor Azu.
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1 comment:

awura ama said...

actually flossy, these literary events happen all the time in ghana. i do know that thursday nights at baze lounge is "bless the mic" where people rap, sing, read poetry and draw. it's really cool. i don't know about legon, but in tech, a friend also organized a literary night which was a huge success!