WORKS FROM GIRD WRITING CAMP 2016: “PLEASE DO TELL THEM” BY MWAMBA JAGEDO

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We are back from a brief hiatus with more works from Gird Writing Camp 2017. This week, we present a poem from Mwamba Jagedo who was at the poetry workshop facilitated by Prof. Kofi Anyidoho and Nana Nyarko Boateng. And now:

Please Do Tell Them
By Mwamba Jagedo

Tell those who wished my downfall
that I have awoken from yesterday’s slumber
that their devilish thoughts
couldn’t consume my hunch flesh
I am still standing

Yes, tell them
Those who vilified me in long sleeps
And sold me cheaply in towns
When the day hasn’t dawned for a chicken crow
That they have done well
For out of Egypt, came Joseph

Though the path I walk on is shaky
And silently do I doubt greatness a bit
But I have found solace in the Lord
He whom I put my faith in

Ancient as Abraham
Warrior and fearless as the Zulu
He will be my comforter
And lead me through these destructive trials

They may be populous
my foes may be countess as sand
like an army wanting to claw my bones
and smear shame on my blackness
but do tell them
that their backbiting won’t keep me from fighting
Do tell them
their backlash won’t stop me from forging forward
They are not my God
and they simply cannot wipe me off.
Please do tell them.

James.jpgAbout Mwamba Jagedo:

James Robert Myers writes under the penname Mwamba Jagedo which means “Builder’s Rock” in Swahili and Luo languages respectively. He is an Amazon author of two global anthologies, trained software engineer and founder of MwambaJagedo.com; which is a Tech StartUp. He believes in his nation that has failed to appreciate talents like him.

Works From Gird Writing Camp 2016: “A Fool’s Paradise Grows” By Rita Siaw

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We hope you’ve been enjoying the pieces from participants of Gird Writing Camp 2016. Today, we have a poem from Rita Siaw. Rita Siaw was in the Poetry Workshop lead by Prof. Kofi Anyidoho and Nana Nyarko Boateng. And now, to her poem:

A fool’s paradise grows

She swings around her emotions like wild fire
catching every cold stick that needs a skin’s warmth
her dance pleases every eye, even when the music fades
She is golden only when the liar desires her touch

In her eyes, life is butterfly and flowers
her physical appearance is the primacy of her life
She wears an infinite gear of seduction
Her beauty is but a passbook to her stomach

Her joy depends on the cookers of lies
A pool of parasites she embraces as her guides
When will her sleep wash off to behold the true nature of her lover?
Her future withers even before she limps into it
Wake her now if you can!

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Rita Siaw

Rita Siaw is the assistant head teacher, curriculum leader and guidance and counseling coordinator at Likpe Nkwanta M/A Basic School. Her NGO, Feminine Star Africa, educates girls and empowers women to promote change and development. She is a part time radio show host who talks about issues concerning youth development. It is her dream to build a center which helps empower women, fight for their rights, prevent teenage pregnancy and shelter abused women and children to heal from trauma and live meaningful lives. As a writer and public speaker, Rita hopes to help raise a generation of thinkers and problem solvers through her books, seminars and trainings in schools and communities.

 

 

WORKS FROM GIRD WRITING CAMP 2016: “ODDINARY INDIFFERENCE” BY DANIEL KOJO APPIAH

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We bring you more featured work from participants of Gird Writing Camp 2016. Today, we have a poem from Daniel Kojo Appiah, also known as O’Zionn. This poem was written at the Poetry Workshop with Prof. Kofi Anyidoho and Nana Nyarko Boateng.

 

Oddinary Indifference

There are those who do not realize

That being extraordinary

Isn’t for everyone

 

For there are those

Who choose

Not to have anything to do

With their potential

 

Being ordinary is

What we are by default

And I have met those that

Choose to stay that way

 

 

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Bio: Daniel Kojo Appiah is a literary enthusiast, poet and lexivist. He enjoys interacting with literary works and sharing his thoughts on them as much as possible. He spends much of his time promoting literary arts in the motherland. He is known on the literary scene by his stage name O’Zionn.

10 Ghanaian Writers Who Write For Children

If you have ever lost yourself in the magical world of children’s literature, you will admit, first of all, that children’s literature is a special kind of literary work. You will also wish that there were more Ghanaian writers who write dreams into realities for children and young adults.

It is tempting to think that children’s literature is easy work. After all, who couldn’t come up with stories to entertain impressionable little minds? However, the reality is that writing for children is real work that requires a lot of creativity and skill. We’ve put together a list of ten Ghanaian writers who have put their creativity and skill to work to create beautiful stories for children.

 

 

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1.       Meshack Asare– Meshack Asare was born in Ghana; he taught in Ghana for a while and currently resides in Germany. Meshack Asare’s works as a writer of children’s literature has received international acclaim.  On 24th October, 2014, Meshack won the prestigious Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature becoming the first African to receive the award. Some of his works include The Brassman’s Secret, Noma’s Sand: A Tale from Lesotho, Meliga’s Day Nana’s Son, Sosu’s Call and The Magic Goat.

 

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2.       Ruby Yayra Goka – Ruby is a dentist and a multiple award-winning Ghanaian writer. In the 2010 and 2011 competitions of the Burt Award for African Literature, two of her works The Mystery of the Haunted House, and The Lost Royal Treasure won the third and second prizes, respectively. Some of her books for children include The Step Monster, When The Shackles Fell, and A Gift for Fafa. Ruby doesn’t only write for children, but also for an adult readership. Her books, In the Middle of Nowhere and Disfigured, have been published by Kwadwoan Publishing in Accra.

 

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3.       Sami Gyekye – Is a United States based writer who was born in Ghana to a Muslim mother and a Christian father. His works reflect his exposure to different religious and cultural values. The premise for his first book, South: Halo’s Journey was drawn from having spent half his life in Africa and the other half in his current residence in the United States. Since then, he has published six other books including, Whatzis and the Beyond series. He tweets often using the handle, @RecklessWeasel.

 

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4.       Malaka Grant– Malaka Grant is a Ghanaian-American writer. She not only writes children’s literature, she writes fiction for adults as well as non-fiction. Some of Malaka’s works for children are Yaa Traps Death in a Basket, which was published in 2015 and Sally and The Butterfly. Sally and The Butterfly is a ‘choose your own adventure book’ where readers go on adventures through lands unknown, and are invited to be partners in saving their world.

           

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5.       Franka Maria Andoh – Franka was born in Accra in 1968. Her first short story was published in the Caine African Writers Anthology ‘Work in Progress and Other Stories’. In 2011 she published two children’s stories Koku the Cockerel and Dokono the Donkey. She was recently awarded a grant by the Ghana Denmark Cultural Fund to publish her collection of short stories I Have Time and Other Short Stories. Franka is the founder and Editor in Chief of an annual magazine for women entrepreneurs called AWE.

 

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6.       Elizabeth Irene Baitie – Elizabeth is Ghanaian and an acclaimed writer of literature for young adults. Elizabeth writes for preteens as well as older teenagers. She visits schools and has worked with organisations like the Young Educators Foundation to promote reading. Two of Elizabeth’s works has won the Burt Award twice; The Twelfth Heart in 2009 and The Dorm Challenge in 2012.

 

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7.       Roberta Turkson – Roberta Turkson writes under the pen name Robbie Ajjuah Fantini. Robbie released her debut collection of poems titled Talking Robbish in 2014. Her second book, The Children of Abuta Village is a folktale styled children’s reader.  She has just completed another book for children, The Forbidden Fruit, which will be available on her website; robertaturkson.com in a few weeks. Robbie can be found on facebook and twitter at @talkingrobbish

 

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8.       Ama Ata Aidoo – With a writing career spanning over five decades, Ama Ata Aidoo is no new name to readers. What isn’t so well known is that aside her plays, novels and poetry, Ama Ata Aidoo has written stories for children. Her collection of stories for children, The Eagle and the Chickens and Other Stories, was originally published in 1986 by Tana Press. More recently Smartline Publishers released her children’s title, The Days, inspired by her poem which bears the same name.

 

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9.       Adwoa Badoe – Adwoa Badoe is a Ghanaian writer and storyteller, based in Guelph, Ontario. Adwoa writes children’s literature and literature for young adults. Some of her works include Crabs for Dinner which was published in 1995, The Queen’s New Shoes, The Pot of Wisdom and Aluta, a novel for young adults.

 

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10.   Mamle Wolo – Mamle Wolo is the pen name of Martina Odonkor, a writer of Ghanaian and German ancestry. She has also written stories for adults under the name Mamle Kabu. Mamle’s work for young adults, The Kaya Girl, won the Burt Award in 2011. The Burt Award recognises excellence in fiction for children and young adults.

Public Mind II

Demonstration.
The leashed goat bleats.
Tweets
inundate the timeline.
Annual flooding of the streets;

The mere fact that history
repeats itself. . .

History
repletes it’s shelves with books
yet to be written by enthusiastic writers
having taken on a different occupation.

Job application
Unemployment. Self-employed. Entrepreneur.
Like if I take that money start that business.
Business plan.
You dey wedge Obama make he come talk say “YWC” – Yes We Can.

But anytime people dey give you thumbs up
you for know long time say
yes you can!

Voter’s registration.
The Ballot boxes. But how many people dey vote for the right reason sef?

Secof fight go fi pai for there,
you no go go there go vote saf.
Filled with so much trepitdation.

And so it’s now become a case
of sore thumbs and democracy —
you no dey wan vote saf.

Or is it now a gamble of thumbs?
Which government go be less corrupt
so say you go vote give that one;

I mean,
this be some b-s thinking,
anagram of this
still stinking,
and so I go like talk say,
What . . . the . . . *sighs*

Consternation.
You be the Ghanaian,
you be the nation.

The after party be the minority
in parliament’s internal politics.

The primaries no be secondary matter
for this congress of democracy
bringing division in PP’s offices.

So e check like
the losing parties
always be the decepticons,
as the sworn in presido
be the Opitmus….Prime

Prime news. Headlines.

The people’s demonstration
Voters and non-voters frustrations
Entrepreneurs and Job Aplications
Multiparty or the people’s nation?

Right now dier, the way e dey go
You knor know if you for rep the black
or the gold.

Secof this nation be so much green
with passionate youth
wey dema eye red
but I dey wan ask one question,
“Who wey e dey here
go fi give all
for the red?”

Public Mind. The End.

 

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Daniel Kojo Appiah.
Daniel Kojo Appiah (also known as O’Zionn) is a literary enthusiast and a lexivist. He’s been writing poetry since 2004 and has been performing poetry for 5 years now. He spends his time promoting literary events and projects online.You can follow him on twitter O’Zionn.

~ONCE UPON A DREAM~

Once upon a dream

When Sun sprinkled golden rays upon my freezing body

And melted the ice in my soul,

I was a happy man.

 

Once upon a dream

When Dawn teared Dew upon my rusting blades of grass

And polished them into glittering jewels,

I was a rich man.

 

Once upon a dream

When Night’s sky was riddled with dancing Stars

And Moon joined them as they watched me journey down

The road of dream land,

I was a proud man.

 

Now, at my journey’s end, I have awoken.

 

Now Sun sucks the warmth out of my soul

And Dawn throws tiny embers in place of Dew down at my glittering grasses

And turns them into roasted flakes of pride.

 

And crippled Moon cannot climb up there

Into Starless Night

To watch me as I make my journey

Into nothingness.

 

I want to return to Sleep

And dream again.

But my eyes have refused to shut.

 

I want to return to Sleep

And join the Dreamers.

But there is nowhere here to lay my head.

 

Once upon a sleep,

I was a dreamer.

Once upon a dream,

I was a happy man.

 

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Kofi is an MPhil student at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana. He is interested in all forms of art, especially the performing arts.

 

 

 

Sanctity ~ by Nana Yaa Asantewaa Asante-Darko

Leave them be

the petals, where they fall

Allow the yellows brown

golden, burning

in the sun

defile them

not

in unholy matrimony

with broken beer bottles

and

improperly doused ciggarete stubs

they do not want to be co-tenants

with chicken bones and pizza boxes

So leave them be

the flowers, where they fall.

 

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Nana Yaa Asantewaa Asante-Darko

Nana Yaa has a keen interest in the arts with a bias for Literature, which she realised early. She’s won a couple of literary awards including the Special Award for Creative Writing in 2012 in Wesley Girls’ High School. Her writing was mostly poetry until 2015 when she started writing short stories and flash fiction, a few of which she shares on her blog Oddinary Perspectives

She recently found out she enjoys proofreading academic essays. She also likes food and so finds any excuse to bake cakes.

Ironically, her formal education so far has been largely in Business. She is a final year Accounting major at the University of Ghana Business School. She is a Christian.

You may follow Nana Yaa on Twitter: @Oddinarynana

Untitled ~ by Alexander Sena Kodjokuma

He died a few months ago
She clung to his memories
And through them his ghost would speak to her.
Then she found life and broke camp from his grave.
His ghost mourned
Grave.
He had stayed on
Just so she could hear him speak if she listened hard enough.
He followed her home
And watched aghast
As she cleared all the remnants of their love
And she glowed
For life was really meant for her.
Happy he was
Yet he was deeply hurt
For he traded eternal rest
To give her the comfort she gave him in life.
He
Denied the luxury of a conversation
Whispered as loud as he could
But she ignored the poltergeist.
And he was still here,
Trapped on this plane.

Sena Frost
Alexander Sena Kodjokuma

A copywriter by profession, Sena is a person of many interests including but not limited to writing. He spends his free time mostly between photography and creative writing.

You may follow Sena on Twitter: @sena_frost

AND DEATH DIED…by Amma Konadu

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There is this need
This
Pressing need
To write a sad song
And lament my good fortune
Shed shameless tears
That burn like acid
Corroding the
Calm that plagues me

I want
To step out naked
Into the stormy downpour
And get drenched
Along with the hope
That now wears me
Without my consent –
Catch a grave cold.

This need
To damn it all
And step back
In awkward celebration
Of impending doom
While
They
Who came to dance
With me loiter
On an expectant dance floor

I need
To find pain and
Weave her into my
Consciousness
Strum the minor chords
Of fatality –
A prelude to oblivion

This haunting
Unrelenting
Need
To
Crumble
Under the weight
Of something
Mysterious –
A potent
Enigma
Tell them…
The ones who had held
Their breaths
Five long years
Fearing to
Let what’s in out
And adamant
On letting what’s out in
Not sure what will finally break
Me
Tell them they
Can go on and breathe
Now
That
I am free

But let them know
I sit here
Composing a dirge
As I wait
To be taught
How
To live

Without death

 

By Amma Konadu

 

PRETTY CLOSE by Enyonam Damesi

I still haven’t found words for the gossamer dream we stepped out of
Or the times we fist-bumped our way through small successes
I can’t describe the jinxes and the inside jokes, the knowing looks and the unspoken paragraphs that tally to the letter

It is not love when we tell stories to each other via playlists
Or spend hours into the night making art.
It is not love the things we say to provoke a smile
Or say the meanest things out of spite
It is not even love when we swear the other is more awesome
And get mad about too many compliments

When our skins touch and you call me out for being a trap queen
Or our eyes meet and I compliment your lashes
When we share a smile while lost in crowds
Or brush fingertips when we meet in the hallway
It’s not love but it’s pretty close

I dread that this won’t last forever
I want to screw this up and get it over with
The anticipation of where this will lead kills me
But  excitement of the beauty we make warms me
Maybe this is for the long haul, but I don’t mind short-and-sweet

Regardless
When we’re 40 and we’ve lost out on love and family
But we still have each other, let’s make a family…
It wouldn’t be love, but it will be pretty damn close

Enyonam is a writer, a storyteller and a student of life. She believes that beautiful tales can be woven out of  ordinary occurrences.