PASSIONS WITHIN

(I need to go away for a few weeks. Will hopefully come early next month. My body just needs some rest. Thanks to all followers of amoafowaa.com. Keep following,  keep reading, blessings.)
Deep within each pod of a heart
Are fires and ice
Are hopes and dreams
Are fantasies and hallucinations
Are love and hatred
The God in our hearts
Is that will to live
That fire that needs in want of a burning
That ice like a knight
Which needs to quench
For we are so made
Things of contrasting feelings
Crying chaos at all that is good
Until time fans into acceptance
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

Meet the Boss of Ghana’s First Funky Read/Write Clinic: Miss Portia Dery

She is a writer, a community development worker and a social entrepreneur. She became the first Ghanaian to win the prestigious golden baobab prize for picture book in 2014.  She is the eldest of two children and the founder of the African Youth Writers Organization which seeks to lure children to read and write through play activities,  technology and games designed from local recycled waste materials. Our guest is none other than the humble, beautiful and hard working Portia Mwinbeter-ib Dery

Portia Dery on amoafowaa.com
Portia Dery on amoafowaa.com

AMOAFOWAA: You are welcome to Amoafowaa.com

PORTIA: I am so excited to be on your platform

AMOAFOWAA: Tell us about growing up

PORTIA: I had a wonderful childhood until my father died at age 11. Death was new to me and my father had meant the world to me.  As soon as my father died , everything at home broke down, and life became a terrible nightmare. If I am saner now, it is because of story books…they transported me into a fantasy world of possibilities.

AMOAFOWAA: Please tell us about Portia

PORTIA: Portia is a passionate social entrepreneur with focus on literacy issues. If there  are 3 key words to describe me , they will be;  Faith- I have so much faith even when things are impossible. I am the type that believes Mount Everest can move to Ghana overnight if it has to come to that. But I have a very good reason to have this strong faith, because God, my adorable father rules the world. Passion and Tenacity.

AMOAFOWAA: You are a social entrepreneur, please educate us on your work.

PORTIA: Being a social entrepreneur means I actively search for social problems and find innovative solutions to tackle them, however bearing in mind cost effective strategies. In 2013, I dared to turn my passion and love for reading and writing into a social venture  called the African youth writers organization-AYWO ; which  is on a mission to…(takes a deep breath in laughter)  turn the whole of Africa into a reading continent by grooming the next generation  into avid readers and prolific writers using innovation solutions. It looked impossible but with the help of my CEO, God and an awesome team, we have directly impacted the lives of 700 children within northern region alone.

On  June 21, 2015, the African Youth Writers Organization-AYWO started the first ever innovative reading and writing  clinic dubbed ‘the funky ReadWrite clinic’  for children living in deprived communities. Almost 5 months down the line, I am proud to say; about 30 children who were timid and less vocal are now confident and stimulated to face the world and fight for their future.

AMOAFOWAA: Why did you say dared to turn your passion into action?

PORTIA:  Prior to starting my social entrepreneurial journey, I was very timid and had low self-esteem. A childhood of poverty and emotional setbacks slowly affected the way I saw myself…I thought everybody was better and awesome except me. However upon rediscovering me, it was like the caterpillar I was emerged into a beautiful butterfly. Finally, like I said in 2013, I decided to stop complaining and take my destiny with the help of God into my own hands. That is why I am passionate about helping children who go through trauma to rediscover themselves through reading and creative writing hence my social venture African Youth Writes Organization-AYWO.

AMOAFOWAA: What are some of the challenges you face as a social entrepreneur?

PORTIA:  Oh my goodness!  It’s so challenging. Without passion you will fall out, most people think social entrepreneurial work is about fame  or popularity …ooh no if you get into it with that mindset, everything will go wrong.  Finding a great team, resources and skills can be very challenging but when you find a team that is awesome …nothing will matter , not even money.  A very good example is the GhanaThink Foundation’s Barcamps in Ghana which is largely successful due to emphasis on good teams sourced from volunteers. Another challenge is capital or resources for social activities. However, it is important to emphasize that even with less resources, a lot of social works can be done.

Portia Dery with her students at the Funky Read/Write Clinic
Portia Dery with her students at the Funky Read/Write Clinic

AMOAFOWAA: True and I agree on the great team talk. Works like magic. Let’s talk about your work at Department of Community Development and Social Welfare.

PORTIA: So I am a community development officer, basically, my work entails social activities ranging from  gender advocacy,  helping small women group businesses, to ending early and forced marriages to sanitation issues. Anything related to community work is my job.

AMOAFOWAA: What are some of the challenges there?

PORTIAWorking in a rural district can be very challenging. With the bad road network and lack of social activities, it gets so strenuous but I am motivated by these challenges because the work I do changes people’s lives. It is difficult to change primitive perceptions. Take for example open defecation which is a huge problem in most of the communities. People have the perception that having a toilet facility in their house is a waste of resources and time and even if it must be constructed, it should be provided by the government or an NGO.  Most men are so paranoid that they say they cannot imagine their defecation mixing with female defecation. Some ladies say they cannot afford to mix their feaces with their in laws’ and others just think defecation should be left in the open as it is pure manure. Some also feel that open defecation is more enjoyable because there is fresh air, very ridiculous excuses. And flies settle on these feaces and transmit diseases. The challenges are many but there is hope.

AMOAFOWAA: Portia, are you single?

PORTIA: Yes.

AMOAFOWAA: What are the characteristics of your ideal man?

PORTIA:    Someone who has God’s favor; someone who delights God. It doesn’t matter if he’s blind or a cripple.

AMOAFOWAA: So noble and thoughtful. What are your hobbies?

PORTIA:  Bird watching! I simply adore birds. I am currently lobbying with God to make me minister of the birds and children and flowers when I get to heaven.(lol). I love gardening as well; (can I tell you a secret?)  My early morning ritual when I wake is to run out and  to see my planted flowers and vegetables, I like to drink in their beauty. Of late I have become fascinated with my camera. Need I mention reading?

AMOAFOWAA: No. You are a beautiful and pure soul. Who can gain your respect?

PORTIA:   I hate people who pretend! People who manipulate others.

AMOAFOWAA: Wow! Hate is strong but understandable. So your Funky Read Write Clinic, CEO right? Tell us more about how that dream came to be

PORTIA:  I am something like the director. It started like a kind of Disney fantasy.  The African Youth Writers Organization-AYWO since 2013 has carried out spin off  outreach programs like reading, writing and mentoring clinics but there was nothing like a permanent reading and writing program/project that will monitor  the impact of  targeted children and celebrate their success. And so as part of our innovativeness, we designed  a ‘Ghana made’ reading and writing clinic tailored to specifically address reading and writing challenges of  the youth. The whole idea is with the premises that if children are exposed to quality, exciting reading and writing methods; they will fall in love with reading and writing in no time and further maintain literacy skills throughout their adult lives. Well, the above was just a theory when we started  but I am excited to tell the world that it WORKED! The funky ReadWrite clinic is hard core evidence when it comes to education, quality should never be compromised. At the clinic we use paly activities, technology and games locally designed from recycled waste materials. On June 21, 2015 we promised the world by 5 months’ time that we will improve the literacy skills of children at our clinic , we have exceeded that by 150%….and in addition we are producing children with confidence to stand out and think wide outside the box  and whose imaginations are well stimulated  to explore the world with vim.

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AMOAFOWAA: What are your long term goals?

PORTIAIn 5 years, I want to directly reach 10 million children across Africa with our innovative literacy solutions and products. I want 10 million children to improve and maintain their literacy skills. I want 10 million children regardless of where they are born, where they live or their challenges to have a good shot at quality education.

AMOAFOWAA: Pushing for a reading continent, what are some of your challenges?

PORTIA:  Reading is considered as an academic activity; something merely for exams sakes. The mind set in such a way that reading is deemed wrong. When I was a teenager, people called me a bookworm (as if it was a bad thing) simply because my 3 best friends and I carried books everywhere we went. Even at the university, people shake their heads  and say to me“ aarh why should I read such fat books…is it exams time?”

Teachers! Our teacher training schools do not train teachers with innovative skills to help children read in schools, in fact reading for leisure is not the priority of the Ghana educational system; library books are provided as an aid to academic work, merely to improve the English of students. But shouldn’t reading be more than just that?

Parents should read to their babies even when pregnant, they should tell their children stories even in their mother tongue and should fill the home with books.

When you have a whole continent like Africa with poor reading habits…what you get  in the long run is a continent with leaders who cannot think  beyond what they see, they cannot imagine anything…their imagination is dead!

Portia Dery on amoafowaa.com
Portia Dery on amoafowaa.com


AMOAFOWAA: Yes, and dead imagination is like dead thoughts. What is the most horrible thing you have ever done?

PORTIA: Told a horrible lie.

AMOAFOWAA: Won’t even ask for more. Sounds like you are still beating yourself about it. If you had a day more to live (God forbid) what will you do in the 24 hours?

PORTIA:  Cry…and praise God.

AMOAFOWAA: So realistic. Ghana and politics, what can you say about it?

PORTIA:  Hoping for the better. That all I can say.

AMOAFOWAA: Thanks for saying something. I know you are a so not interested in politics material. Who is your favourite musician and why?

PORTIA: I don’t  have a favorite , I simply listen to music that connects with me.

AMOAFOWAA: Who did you grow up reading from?

PORTIA:  Lady bird books , Enid Blyton and later the African writers series.  But let me give shouts out to Meshack Asare, my adorable role model. He is a fantastic writer , One of Africa’s most influential children’s authors and has won  numerous awards across the world. His book “Kwajo and the brass man’s secret” has impact on me. His book was the first book  I read as a child written by An African writer .

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AMOAFOWAA: I believe that those who read a lot were programmed by inspiration, what inspired you to be the reader that you are today?

PORTIA:  My home was filled with lots  of books by my father. I was inspired by the beautiful words and pictures…the magic, the opportunity to travel all around the world with just a book in my hands.

AMOAFOWAA: Forgive me, what you said sounds so nice. Travelling with the flow of a book. What in this whole wide world do you find most unfortunate?

PORTIAWhen people turn their backs on the needy, yet are prepared  to spend so much on funeral arrangements.

AMOAFOWAA: That really is unfortunate and I have a huge story to tell one day on that. Colours fuel labeling. Portia what is your take on this?

PORTIA: Ahaaa. It may seem so. But sometimes, just sometimes, you may get the color description wrong which will affect the labeling and get the shock your of life.  

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AMOAFOWAA: Given the chance, what will you change in your community?

PORTIAI want to see more community engagements and volunteering.

AMOAFOWAA: What is your best line in Ghana’s National Anthem?

PORTIA: God bless our homeland Ghana.

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AMOAFOWAA: Indeed we can never go wrong with blessings. Your final words of advice to followers of amoafowaa.com

PORTIA: Follow your passion! Let money be second to any considerations.  And please kindly support the funky ReadWrite clinic. Do hang out with us on our lovely  blog https://africanywo.wordpress.com/  and check out our website http://www.aywo.org

 

AMOAFOWAA: We sure will. Thank you for passing through.

PORTIA: It was a pleasure.

 

                          WHEN AN EAGLE IS BORN (PORTIA DERY)

When an eagle is born

It doesn’t matter where it is bred

It doesn’t matter what it does

One day it will fly so high above

With wings stronger than all in its generation

Portia Dery is an eagle in character

With beauty and passion

To fly reading to all doorsteps

And impact the world of the poor for the better

Apt in goodness

Prayers are for the one who dreams

To end the screams so man made

And so I bless her

Portia Dery

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

ODIKRO’S RACING HEART

I met Odikro in a storm
Couldn’t really make out his form
He kindly led me to my dorm
After our bodies somehow thundered in our clingy uniforms

II
He took my number and always did call
And rushed to catch my every fall
But I did see Odikro’s racing heart ball
And felt my heart’s so very dull

III
So I did do tricks
To prevent his sand licks
But Odikro’s ego seemed to have been pricked
And he swore his heart never ticked

IV
But I sense his presence
In whatever I do
His pretended absence
In all he reads too
No matter my postings
He rushes to read
I sense his heartbeats in thousands of miles
And his bitterness strikes like a haunting bile

V
Odikro is weird
No wonder he lacks beard
His human is feared
Although he is in practice a dear
And now I stand dilemic
Like a lost soul
At the crossroad of three like paths
All promising a destination
All boasting owning a great nation
As Odikro’s shadow follows far behind
Casting scary shadows
On my confused mind
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

WOMEN IN NOTICEABLE CHARACTERS 1

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Imagine Nicki Minaj’s face
Which goes at Beyonce’ pace
In a skin like Yvonne Okoro’s in sun
With a height like Naomi Campbell’s in chase
Which goes with Joselyn Dumas’ shape
With a head like Michelle Obama in mode attentive
Which goes with Adwoa Sarfoa’s mind
With a Nadia Buari like smile
And eyes like Ariana Grande in glow
Oh God!  Oh God! Oh God!
Let’s add a Dzifa Gomashie’s hardwork
With approachability like Gifty Anti at work
With skilled fingers like Yaa Asabea Asihene
And strength like Shirley Banafoe so fierce
With talent like Taylor Swift in song
And a wriggle like Shakira on stage
With a personality like Angela Merkel and Kate Middleton in merging
Top it all with Doreen Andoh’s sweet voice
Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!
Who says women are mere decorations?
They are hot in beauty
Powerful in brain
Different in many shades
But unforgettable
And they make the road of life comfy in drive
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

WHINE AS I SHINE (EXCERPT)

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Whine as I shine
Dine as I work in line
The great palm tree
That knows not its importance
Dies with whipping clothed broom
Which yearn to sweep the earth’s dirt
Or help farmers carry things
No matter its ungracious ending
That same tree is bitten by palm worms
Which yearn to live to be called delicacies
Look, the very same tree drowns in its wine
Which never got the chance to bubble
Let alone beat minds of its lovers
And its ghost has to live with cries
Of its fallen palmnuts
Which never graced the bottom of hungry pots
Let alone shed their juices
To help mould foods to feed
On top of all that
Its nut shells chase its ghost
Hoping to burn it once and for all
So dine and whine
As I shine in line
Souls are different,  you have thine
And I, mine
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

WHEN A DOG BARKS AT ITS OWNER

When the dog barks at its owner
In a fierce and ugly manner
In a mind that is in order
It risks losing its comfy shelter
And might sweat in an angry slaughter

II
Even if it barks in sickness
It shows its feared weakness
And risks being the red meat
Which east and west of the north
Can battle for even a little piece

III
Each feed is in expectation
Like the sky keeping clouds to recycle
A little disrespect
And all thoughtful aspects
Dissipate into thin air
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

BROKEN CLAWS (FOR AWO DANSOA) EXCERPT

Awo Dansoa; photo credit: JoyNews
Awo Dansoa; photo credit: JoyNews

The skin that society dug deep

The wound that society scratched to keep

Is now free to heal

For we have heard of its broken claws

Claws sent in the direction of a stronger soul

A soul which has severed society’s fingernails

II

Auntie Anti lived like a screen painting

Her eloquence causing dreamers fainting

Her hard work driving her …

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

THE SPIDER AND THE TORTOISE

www.ghanacelebrities.com
http://www.ghanacelebrities.com

Naked tortoise sat and watched

As its shell-loss-pain hijacked his happiness

And kidnapped all his will to live

So Kwaku Ananse took his sad cue

And looked for ways to own what tortoise wanted gone

II

Ananse wove a dubious plan

Like skilled Bonwire fingers weaving kente

And draped it on tortoise’s body

Whose spirit sat ghostly at Ananse’s mercy

With tears in its invisible eyes

III

Ananse dragged tortoise to his shed

Tied him to its bloodthirsty abattoir

And went off into the fiery bush

To ask the gods for a permit to kill

What is earthly dead to see its the heart of its spirit

IV

The gods refused to give the permit

But Ananse came home ready to kill

When it took out its fiery knife

Tortoise’s sudden stress switched fast to fears

The fear with strength like a frightened bull

V

Tortoise broke free and bolted fast

Like a thief of lightening rushing off the sky

 Strength gods agreed to take their speed

From his limbs to have some peace

In their disciplined kingdom

VI

Poor tortoise thought it through

It did no good after it defeated death

So it took a calabash and headed for the palm farm

For days on end until he got some palm wine

And poured libation for forgiveness

VIII

The gods of strength refused to yield

All merciful and wondrous God

Had pity on the gourd turned calabash and tears of the palm

And the repentant soul

And built for tortoise a strong shell

To aid it in its many travels on his cursed slow feet

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

FADING OLD SKIES

giphy.com
giphy.com

Sitting under the umbrella of civilization

I see no village sky

I scan my brain but there’s an incrimination

Thanks to technology patriotism, my mind says fie!

II

The beautiful sky with the virgin moon

Which has many stars with no fornication to trace

Just sank into disappointments as it lost its swoon

To discos, cinemas and under ceiling pace

III

All its audience like ship-on-an-ocean lost

The village sky does faze like fake paints

On a slippery slate at hurt’s cost

Its falling stardom squashed by greed’s giants

IV

It took away its fireflies glow

And took away its beautiful photo shoots on earth

And took its mirrors off all that flow

Which to all dark amazing, did give birth

V

It seems it is taking the storied old

Who garnished forming ashes with stories of old

To attract the smiles of innocence of bold

And made antagonists to seem so cold

VI

Now the trees have lost their loving visitors

And live so lonely because now snakes have fled

Even owls now flee from their spirit hunters

This is where urbanization’s truck, with us, has led

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

PALM-WINE AND DISCO SONGS

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This world is filled with cats and dogs
Cats with sniff-talents oh so strong
Dogs with pitchy-voices oh so loud
There’s no trace of worry
They deem so sorry
So it’s meow and “aoooooo wo wo wow”

II
Lucky are those with the many cats
And sorry are those with the many dogs
For their lives walk naked
With shameful shaved parts
On the ready hot street
With carnivorous eyes
Which can’t walk away
Without tasting some
So a cheap whore on the street
Their stories become

III
Poor poor world
Oh sad sad world
A world where sorrows turn palmwine in calabashes
As intense pain turn disco songs for happy feet
Oh drink and dance
Ye happy blind
Until you see yourselves dancing
In little calabashes
Or flowing in sound
As others dance to your sorry tunes
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

I CALL FOR YOU

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Mud, although unrespected
Begets lotus which fragrances the world
I call out to you
I call out like a saving bell
To you whose face is in the mud
As your back is made the footmat of supposed worthy legs
Rise, and know mud is the clot which begets beautiful pots
Take my lead and live

II
Dung, although smelly
Is the fertilizer which feeds foods fat
I call on you known as dung
To turn and feed what is buried to feed
Does any VIP head lacks buttocks?
Are there buttocks which produce gold?
If no eye wishes to see the end of any eaten food
No matter how expensive
Then know you are no different
From crown decorated heads
Do listen
And follow my lead to live

III
There is none so pampered
By moths beneath
And none with a metallic and chiselled heart
Also none with a skin immuned to age
So I call
I call on you
Yes you who sweats
You who is wet from hurts and pain
You who is a wreck
And your thoughts have fled
To follow my lead and smile
For there is no mouth that feeds from the sky
The earth sponsors us all
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

IF LEGS HAD EYES

Picture by Kent, the world on its hind legs
Picture by Kent, the world on its hind legs

If legs had eyes

Coupled with mouths

With internal brains

On their stem structure like heads

They won’t act kings

Always being carried

There are many a places

They would have boycotted

And many a thorns

Would have tongues

Which would have never tasted their skins

Oh many aches

Out of long strides

Would have been alien

To their veins and bones

Too bad they are dragged around

By orders from above

Like brainless soldiers

Controlled by remote

They can rebel but for fear of hunger

Poor, poor legs

Always made servants

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

BREAST TAGS

Breastfeeding

Jumpy fruits

Juicy fruits

Shapeful fruits

Twin fruits

All made by our awesome God

II

Fairly warm

Although they have no known fires

So firm

Although they are mostly forced into things

Like huge balls of fufu squeezed into small earthenwares

III

I’ve seen the ones who murder crosses

I have seen the ones like limes each with a tooth

I have seen the ones which can murder ten soldiers

And seen the ones thrown in miles of hundred

I have seen those pierced to stand by metal sticks

Their cries admired in their jumpy tiny cups

Oh why must the natural suffer so to die?

IV

Everywhere they go

They work to fit

They show the shapes of their carriers

And give newborns stable lives to build on

They roar in passions to pleasure in leisure

Their worth, too high that men do treasure

Using them as crotches, harsh brakes and all

So free the pious criminals

Even if it is for a day

Un-cage the prisoners to enjoy some light

No matter what frights eyes show in delight

Just make them free to stretch

So they can good health fetch

To work until their sorry falls

For then, none will crave for their sorry selves

As braziers become their only ladders

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

All about Kobina Ansah; from Theatre to the “Juicy-Personals”

He is a Playwright, a director who aims to heal the world through his art. He has done so much to help theatre arts in Ghana although he is a learned biochemist. He is handsome, down to earth and very talented. Our guest post is Kobina Ansah.

Kobina Ansah on amoafowaa.com
Kobina Ansah on amoafowaa.com

AMOAFOWAA: You are welcome to amoafowaa.com

KOBBY: Thank you your highness.

AMOAFOWAA: Wow. Your highness? Okay, please tell us about Kobina Ansah from birth to now in summary

KOBBY: Chai! I am the penultimate child of my parents; I have a big brother and a kid sister. We have another cousin who has been with us since childhood. I attended basic school at Ghana Believers Church Prep. Sch. in Dansoman and then proceeded to Pope John SHS to read Science in 2003. In 2007, I was admitted into the premier university; University of Ghana to read Biological Science with the hope of entering medical school. I am a Vandal. I qualified for medical school; interview but was ‘bounced’ for whatever reasons unknown to me. Eventually, I ended up reading Biochemistry, which I graduated in 2011. I did my national service at St. Roses SHS, Akwatia, as a Biology tutor. I had to leave some few months ago because I couldn’t juggle teaching and writing so well. Had been teaching for four years.  Passion would always have its way, you know. So I’m a full writer now.

AMOAFOWAA: What do you do now apart from writing and directing?

KOBBY: Eeerrm… I sing. I rap, too. Lol. I think aside writing, music is such a big thing to me. I used to be an assistant music director in church back in Akwatia.

AMOAFOWAA: Talented huh? So play writing and directing, what gave birth to that dream?

KOBBY: Play writing. Directing. Haha. I used to write all genres of literature aside play writing. Some friends dared me and I took the challenge up. That’s what has brought me here. Sometimes in life, all you need to do is to take challenges as they come. There’s more inside us than we think. Everything is possible.

AMOAFOWAA: Who did you grow up reading?

KOBBY: No one. I grew up reading newspapers. My dad works with Graphic Communications Group as a mechanical engineer. He would always bring home newspapers and somewhat force us to read and write to them. We all did but I think of the four of us, I honed my reading and writing skills best.

AMOAFOWAA: Are there themes you want to be known for?

KOBBY: No. I don’t want to be predictable. I write on anything; everything. My head is too big to contain only a theme for which i may want to be known.

AMOAFOWAA: Do people show up for your plays?

KOBBY: Yes I will say… but not to my  satisfaction. However, I think we are now building the brand. It is a big dream but we need to start small. For us to dare to fly, we need to have learnt how to walk. Every phase in life is a learning one. We are still learning and yearning for a bigger followership and audience.

AMOAFOWAA: Any challenges?

KOBBY: Many; financial especially. No one wants to help until you have made a hit. You sometimes find it discouraging but we can’t give up yet. We have come too far to do so.

AMOAFOWAA: What has been your happiest moments since you started production and why?

KOBBY: Haha. Valentine weekend. 2015. We got the Drama Studio of University of Ghana overflowing with theatre lovers; something which had not happened in ages. I was glad because it was such a dream-come-true. My team worked hard and God rained His blessings. The peak of the bliss was that our audience laughed for three hours unending!

Kobina Ansah and friend on amoafowaa.com
Kobina Ansah and friend on amoafowaa.com

AMOAFOWAA: Wow. What are your long and short term goals?

KOBBY: Long term: I want to touch hearts globally with theatre. I want my company; Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com) and Scribe Productions to be  a force to reckon with. We want to provide jobs for young people so they can exploit their creativity as much as they want to. In the short term, I want to be happy. I want to exploit my creativity as a writer and singer. And… I want to be a good husband. Lol. It’s one big dream of mine.

AMOAFOWAA: You want to be a good husband? Please throw more light on that

KOBBY: I’ve always told myself I owe myself and my kids the best mother. The best mother needs the best husband too. A good husband, in my perspective is one who has his family at heart; willing to sacrifice anything and everything for his family. And that is exactly what I wish to do someday. Yes I can!

AMOAFOWAA: Wow! Sitting in these words of yours, I am blushing for your lucky choice.

KOBBY: Lool. Life’s lived just once. We can’t afford not to love. If you have the opportunity to love and be loved by a woman, don’t waste it. It is a rare blessing.

AMOAFOWAA: I wasn’t going to ask but I know writers are dangerous in love. They know all the good things to say and so end up manipulating their lovers. At a point, they become cruel because they know which words hurt best. What is your take on this?

KOBBY: Hmmm. Love is a language. It is a means of communication. Writing is a communication tool. I’m not surprised writers, perhaps, have the choicest words to speak into the ears of their lovers. However, like I’ve always maintained, if a woman indeed loves you, It’s a rare blessing, no need to waste it. Don’t abuse it. You may lose it forever! It is a blessing to be a writer but it’s more blessing to be a loved writer. Take that from me.

AMOAFOWAA: Taken. What impact do you think your plays will have on the nation Ghana and the world at large?

KOBBY: Inspiration. Healing. Motivation. I want every youth out there to be inspired that if only they can work hard, their dreams would be a reality. I also want my plays to touch families and heal broken relationships. No family is for sale…in spite of each other’s blunders! I want to champion causes through theatre. For instance, in Season 2 of ‘This Family Is Not For Sale’, we made mockery of how Africans literally spend all they have on funerals. This is what I am talking about!

AMOAFOWAA: Yes, that thing sucks huh? When you see monies flowing on corpses on an empty stomach. Anyway, apart from what you do, which I know is fun, what do you do for fun?

KOBBY: I love to tease. Probably that’s why I’m good at satire. I tease everyone including myself… even the last time I was ‘bounced’ by my crush. Lol

AMOAFOWAA: A whole Kobby, bounced by his crush? Can I be inquisitive enough to get more out of that?

KOBBY: Hahahaha. Life is some way, you know. It can’t be understood. That’s why it is called life. Those we love may not always love us back. Those who love us, we may not love back too. Life is just some way. Chai! But in all, we move on. If your love is turned down, you don’t give up on yourself, you still love. There’s a woman for every single man out there.

AMOAFOWAA: Christian?

KOBBY: Very much. I love Jesus!

AMOAFOWAA: What is the your most favourite quotation in the Bible?

KOBBY: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

AMOAFOWAA: Movies are popular, stage plays are not that popular in Ghana. In fact, they are mostly acted out in Accra and Kumasi. Uncle Ebo stands out, what do you think can be done to remedy this trait?

KOBBY: Investment. The corporate world shuns from investing in theatre. Theatre is very expensive, Amoafowaa. We can’t do it alone. You run out of business… and ideas… when you run out of money because everything is self-funded. We hope things change soon.

AMOAFOWAA: Do you battle stage fright where your actors and actresses are concerned? If so how do you do it?

KOBBY: I inspire them. I let them know their self-worth. I think motivating others is one thing that comes to me so easily. I am blessed.

AMOAFOWAA: Yes you are. Who do you look up to?

KOBBY: My dad. He hasn’t been to university before yet has seen all of us through it. It’s a big challenge to me. I have no other option than to change my world.

AMOAFOWAA: The biochemistry background, why has it been shelved?

KOBBY: Haha. It hasn’t. I think writing overshadowed it. I actually didn’t intend to read it. Fate brought me there but I am glad it did. I learnt so many things about life and met great friends and lecturers who have played a role in my writing career. One of such lecturers is Dr. Adjimani. He’s something else!

AMOAFOWAA: You were a teacher at St. Roses

KOBBY: Yes please.

AMOAFOWAA: What happened, didn’t like the company of the girls?

KOBBY: Hahaha. I very much loved their company. I was a kind of a darling boy because my alma mater was Pope John. Both schools have a thing for each other. If I were to ever have teaching at heart as a career, that school would have been my best option. However, my passion was calling. I felt I was wasting it. I got less interested in teaching as the days went by. I gave up. But… before I did, I made sure I had impacted as much as I could and I’m grateful to the school authorities for giving me the opportunity to teach there. At least, it helped me overcome my fear for girls. It feels great to teach Biology in a girls school. No silly thoughts though. Lol. Chai!

AMOAFOWAA: Well, thanks for putting a brake on my silly thoughts, but you were afraid of girls? Chai! This one I must ask.

KOBBY: You know attending a boys’ school has its own demerits. I proceeded to an all males’ hall in Legon, Commonwealth Hall. I barely associated with women in the major part of my early life. So intrinsically, I had developedn a fear for them. I had resolved to be a Catholic Priest at some point. Fortunately or unfortunately, I wasn’t a catholic so that became like a fairy dream. Being hurled to St. Roses after Legon was a heartache initially. I never imagined standing in front of many girls teaching Biology. Chai! Eventually, I got over it. Now, most of the friends I have around me are my former students or friends of theirs.

Kobina Ansah on amoafowaa.com
Kobina Ansah on amoafowaa.com

AMOAFOWAA: Lol. You as a house husband, your wife as a house wife, if you are to choose, which one will you choose and why?

KOBBY: House husband. I don’t know why. But… I won’t let my wife be a house one. The name only gives me headache. Lol

AMOAFOWAA: Wow! Way to go Amoafowaa. This is the second potential house husband I am interviewing. Lol. Women and power. Do you think they are a great combination?

KOBBY: Maybe yes. Maybe no. Some women can really make power look disgusting. Others do just fine with it.

AMOAFOWAA: Do you ever wish to cause a political kneeling with your stage act?

KOBBY: Haha. I haven’t thought about it. But you just gave me an idea. Thank you!

AMOAFOWAA: Lol. Who is your favourite politician of all times?

KOBBY: I think Akua Donkor. The crown ( sorry clown) fits her so well. She will be such a good president. Pun intended. Lol.

AMOAFOWAA: Lol. Pun taken. Single, secretly married or hawking girls on “apanpan”? Lol

KOBBY: Single. I have never dated before. Sounds strange but that’s the uncomfortable truth. I have been ‘bounced’ severally though. Hahaha. There’s still life after bouncing. Life goes on.

AMOAFOWAA: How old are you again?

KOBBY: 27

AMOAFOWAA: Wow! Which damsel can gain your attention?

KOBBY: A smart one. One who can keep a home. Producing babies makes one a woman. Keeping a home makes them a wife.

AMOAFOWAA: Which part of Ghana do you deem most beautiful?

KOBBY: Haven’t travelled much. I’ll maintain Accra is.

AMOAFOWAA: You should travel more, Amedzofe, Aburi, Kwahu Obo, my favourite places in Ghana. Kobby, are you romantic or a typical African as people call men who fail to express their feelings

KOBBY: For now I think I am the typical type. After dating, I’ll ascertain which I would be.

AMOAFOWAA: If you are certain that the world is ending today, what are the three things you would wish to complete before it ends?

KOBBY: 1. Preach Christ. 2. Repeat number 1 3. Repeat number 2

AMOAFOWAA: You want to go to heaven that badly? Nice. To end racial discrimination, some people believe we need to as it were “cross breed”. What is your voice on this?

KOBBY: I don’t think so. Racism is a thing of the mind. We even discriminate among our own tribes. Unless we change our minds, crossbreeding can’t do much.

AMOAFOWAA: Homosexualism and bisexualism, which one would you promote and why?

KOBBY: None. My Christian values don’t teach me that.

AMOAFOWAA: Who do you think can turn Ghana into a developed country? Which personality and why?

KOBBY: Anyone can. Anyone with humanity at heart. Greed has eaten so much into our society that we have lost it for humanity. That’s our bane.

AMOAFOWAA: Kobby, in your own observation, what do you think can kill someone’s career in the fastest possible way and why?

KOBBY: Pride. If you are proud, you may have fallen long ago and would not even know. I always maintain my humble composure wherever I find myself. If my salary would always be someone else’s tithe, what is the essence of throwing myself on people. Chai!

AMOAFOWAA: Chai! Where did you pick that hesitation remark? I know you didn’t take that from me.

KOBBY: Loool. I don’t even remember. Before I knew it, it had become a part of me. I love it. It’s able to convey my exact reaction/emotion.

AMOAFOWAA: If I say fame corrupts and absolute fame corrupts the human character absolutely, will I be wrong or right? Why?

KOBBY: You are very right. Lucifer fell because of his fame. I don’t blame Kanye when he wants to show up like a god because of his fame. After all, fame corrupts. If you don’t have Christ in your life to tame you, you would be heading to doom. Most of us can’t handle fame. We get it and metamorphose into something else overnight.

AMOAFOWAA: A crying child, a mourning woman, a man divorced with no job and contemplating suicide, which one will you try to be close to given the circumstance and why?

KOBBY: Such a dicey one. I would get close the one contemplating suicide because he is a living man who is already dead. The thought of suicide is suicide!

AMOAFOWAA: Now you are showing off with your intellectual skills. Lol. Who is your favourite musician of all times?

KOBBY: I don’t think I have any. I love songs which exhibit creativity and originality. It should be able to convey a message, too.

AMOAFOWAA: Catapulting for birds, listening to grandma’s stories by the fireside, hunting in the woods with father for antelopes, which would you choose and why?

KOBBY: Listening to stories. It would challenge my creativity.

AMOAFOWAA: Women in politics, are they enough? If they aren’t, given the power, how would you solve the situation?

KOBBY: We don’t seem to have  lot of them. But… I think they are as corrupt as the men. Corruption is not gender bias. I prefer they stay out of it so, at least, we assume that they would have done better if they were there. Sometimes the best comfort is assumption. Lol.

AMOAFOWAA: Wow! Kobby! Well, as a woman, I don’t know whether to begrudge you or not but it sure didn’t sound pleasant no matter the paradox. Which country’s national anthem do you find most interesting, beats, words and all?

KOBBY: South Africa’s. I don’t know the words though but I know when we were kids we used to have a parody of it. It sounds nice to the ears.

AMOAFOWAA: Any play plans ahead?

KOBBY: A lot. Planning for Val’s Day next year God willing with our new hit ‘I Want To Sue God’. It’s a satire which mocks how we blame God for every evil that befalls us when we indeed are the architects of them. In the meantime, we would do a repeat of Season 2 of ‘This Family Is Not For Sale’ before that.

Kobina Ansah on amoafowaa.com
Kobina Ansah on amoafowaa.com

AMOAFOWAA: When exactly will the repeat of season two be?

KOBBY: In Christmas or New year God willing.

AMOAFOWAA: It’s been wonderful having you. Any sponsors you wish to acknowledge?

KOBBY: I want to acknowledge my business partner and friend, Abraham Arthur Otabil, who is Head of our sales, marketing and protocol department. He’s such a genius. Thanks to all my #TeamScribe members, especially Maxwell Agbagba of Radio Universe, and the entire Roses fraternity. God bless you all. Your support is worth more than a fortune to me.

AMOAFOWAA: What is your advice to people who wish to be like you?

KOBBY: Work hard. There’s no substitute for hard work. I have had to double as writer, marketer, producer, director and everything because I need to support myself before anyone else does. Your dream is your headache. Carry it yourself and stop assuming others would help you do so! They can follow me on my blog http://www.kobinaansah.blogspot.com.

AMOAFOWAA: Your final words to followers of amoafowaa.com

KOBBY: Stay glued to this site. You can’t go through this life without inspiration. It will be such a hard thing to do. This is where you will get all that inspiration you need!

AMOAFOWAA: Thank you for passing through

KOBBY: Welcome your highness.

 

KOBINA ANSAH

None can tell tales in a writer’s head

But all can sit under his wordy shed

His pen might be under his ‘spaceless’ bed

Which vanishes with him in body dead

Take heed and sit under Kobina’s shed

II

A body virgin, a brainy gigolo

Young in body, too old in brains

Loving in speech, his life does teach

Few flaws to breach, his mindful reach

Notice now Kobina Ansah’s shed

III

An example, an inspiration

Great heart, an adoration

Hard work, a sensation

A good workman has God’s best luck

Take heed and learn from Kobina’s chest

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

HIS TOUCHING TEARS

His road seem short
But his legs tell tales of tiredness
His unkempt hair
Ruling and hiding his handsomeness
Forcing his eyes to wear a mask of the mocked
This tongue had to beckon
After a great mind made him up
Plantain chips in a huge bowl is his burden
Day and night
A burden he needs to be rid of
Before the doors of his tiredsome home give way
To his tired feet
So I asked for his story

II
A mother cruelly taken by unsympathetic death
Has rendered him a burden
And his tears start to flow
His sorrow started to rain
Through the eyes which were needed for legs to
Ply long routes to hawk
From SSNIT Flats to Sagnerigu
And I can’t help but press his tired lean body to mine
Hoping to heal some broken dreams
His tears clouding the sky
He did no wrong
He has no fault
Ten or eleven or twelve
Life is too dark in the skies he thread
And I see myself lost in his world
And wonder if he will go through the same things as I
Prayers in my heart
Prayers for the pain to pass him by
Prayers, prayers to renew his tired soul
And make his aunt see him as his
For the Orphan Kofi
Is no name to keep in a rubbish heap
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

HELP THEM HIGHER

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We were little witches
Those only mouths hooted
As thoughts revered
So got away without being murdered
For fake gods who lived in the minds
Of men whose egos were at stake

II
We are the stubborn ones
Ones society uglies for the kingdom of marriage
Too strong “Maame Gyata”
Too opinionated “wo ka a na waka”
Too conceited “onim ne nyinaa”
But we live on strong in your minds
You know your hope to get to cope

III
We need you to help them higher
Those with clean slates
Slates that female genital mutilation has not tasted,
Trokosi has never been exhibited on
Forced marriages are alien to
Slates which know no segregation
Or lower beings
Or shadows
So let them be
And help them higher

IV
Help them
Please help the little angels higher
Help them
Help the saviours of this world climb higher
Help them
Help the soldiers of humanity soar higher
Help them
Help the beautiful pots get stronger
In order to host the waters you seek
Purify and make them heal

V
Let the beauty of the dark skin shine through
Let the pleasure of the beautiful curves be seen in intellectual strength
Let the glory of the sun
Have their hosts at the center stages of success
So all can call the piper of life
And have the chance to request a tune
For all to dance to
For we were one
One people
One soul
One body
One blood
Even before labelling was born
In thoughts captured by fear and evil
Help them
Help girls succeed
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

NOT ON THIS TATTERED MAT (EXCERPT)

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Goats are animals
Animals with no known souls
Animals who mate as they want
Even so, growth is imperative
So why must thoughts of superiority
Sink so low
As to create a cage
To arrange such rage
As forcing soft green leaves
Into the burning sun?
I won’t be a weak leaf
If you push me with culture
I will grow into a flower
And not just a flower
But a flower with thorns to hunt you
My thorns will sink into your brain
By forcing my determination to live and grow
Down the greedy throat of your brains
I will learn harder
I will bring down an army of soldiers
By biting with my thorns to have you scream
I will not …
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

FLOWERS

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Blooming flowers
Refreshing scents
Smile weavers
We are like the lotus
Which disinfect the world
No matter where we grow
We get the flow
II
We bloom in kindness to put out gloom
Work to light all doom
We run this world
Weaving in crafting
For this exhibition of humanity
To continue

III
We are God’s eyes
His heartbeats
His soul
His messengers
We are the chambers of fragile souls
We are simply the light
The sun the world seeks
So cut our clouds
And help us make you smile
Miles and miles in your journey
Turning all bile sweet
In this carnivorous streak
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

THAT GIRL I AM ON THIS AFRICAN SPOT

Today is International Day for the Girl Child. So I wrote my sentiments while growing up. Thoughts that made me a woman instead of a girl. Thoughts that helped me see I had to work extra hard to break through the chains to have my voice heard. I hope for a future where girls will not have to break bones for recognition in Ghana and Africa as a whole. DSCF9045

I came as a human being

With no tag

No feelings which are like rags

Never knowing my future has an added name “hag”

In a pained heavy bag

That society has specially prepared to have me gagged

And to tag me a nag

If I so try to scream

II

I came to this spot

Hoping to bless

Not to curse

But my first name was “an animal”

An animal who slowed down the celebration of a born being

And is regarded as a pot to shape for water fetching

Painfully they waited to have me grow

So I could be exchanged for things

Like cloths, cows, monies or debts or positions

Poor me! Poor us! Poor Creator who made us!

III

I am sure God specially built us

Like men specially build His church

No wonder we are human buildings,

Sacred places for fragile future to be in safety

Sharp intents for protection 

An unquenchable love

But how can these important beings be subjected to so much?

Caught like a goat and sold

Bought like a doormat for doors

To step on for ins and outs

Used like a cheap tool to trap and tarnish

Operated on to remove the voice which beg to be heard

Oh God!

IV

I am the gate of creation

The fate of man

In the shape of adoration

Not a beast for cessation

So why the parcelled pain?

Why do I have to carry burdens I help to carry

Only to make them my burdens in worry?

Why do I always have to hide?

Why do I have to grow like an uncooked yam?

Soft on the surface

Hard within to withstand torture

And eventually fall like a weak plantain

Leaving stains of my life for more torture?

V

What will the world be without my kind?

Why are these hands caged by mouths which need my waters to live forever?

What do they wish to attain by making me a thing?

Why is it taking so long to have them 

Take off the shroud of low self confidence

To see their creators and hail

Rather than make them pale to wail?

A world like this is stale

A world where I am like a possession is no place for me

And without me you are not to be

So please look

Look past the horrid façade of your superiority

And be sane to quench this insane  train of pain

Let the crying society

Which hates dynamism wail in change for the better

Than making we partners divided to eventually fade

Into the unknown

I am a girl to lady in womanhood

A promise for your future and mine

With a head which can battle on thought ground

Please cut my chains

And walk your walk as I walk in mine

Until death hawks hunt us in serenity

After all our wishes are birthed 

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

GONE DAYS

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(Picture by Matilda)

Gone are the days
When I was part of the flowery flock
Which hugged the falling rains,
Whispered at the straining sun
Kissed the raging storms
And played “pi-lo-lo”
With nectar-chasing pests

II
Gone are the days
When I was like the waters abroad
Having waiters wait
Hoping to have a swim
A drink
Or a peak at my gentle flow
As I took my time to look
Before leaping

III
Long gone are the days
When I was the shinning moon
With no following-visible distractor
No whinning star
No shielding cloud
Nor a calendar for appearance

IV
Gone are the shiny days
Gone are days this leaf was green
Gone are the days when time could stand
And cheer on
As eyes adored the flirty rainbow
Begging for a peak at its naked feet
Now the end slowly pulls its veil
Off the hidden dark path
Suspence forbids observations
And brand chasers hovering ghosts
Hmmmmm
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

The First Outreach of the Autism Help Foundation: A Date with Pupils of the Yumba Special School

It started as a fantasy, to help create awareness of people with neuro disorders across the lengths and breath of Ghana, starting from the northern region. Now it is a reality, one that has gotten the attention of many including the Northern Regional Minister, Directors of Education, Lecturers and the general public. It took place at the Yumba Special School on October 8, 2015 with the abled Tamale team: Mr. Charles Atia; Co-founder, Mrs. Afia Larbi; Member of the Executive board, Zubaida Isma-eel; Northern Regional PRO for the project and Programmes Coordinator, Miss Adeline Zin-yen Nyabu; Workshop Coordinator, Abdul Swalihu Zaapayim; Member of the Organizing Team, Member of the Organizing Team.

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Some students of University for Development Studies represented with their lecturer who has an interest in inclusive education
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Inspecting the new bungalows being put up for the teachers thanks to the Regional Minister.DSC00220  DSC00221 DSC00222  DSC00223DSC00123 - Copy - Copy - Copy (2)   DSC00131 - Copy  DSC00131  DSC00158 - Copy - Copy (2)

There are mostly those times we faced some tormenting moments of seizures, but we sailed through quietly withing a few minutes.DSC00158DSC00159 - Copy  DSC00160 - Copy  DSC00160  DSC00161 - Copy      DSC00162  DSC00163 - Copy   DSC00163  DSC00164DSC00165 - Copy  DSC00165DSC00166 - Copy  DSC00167  DSC00168  DSC00169  DSC00170  DSC00171    DSC00173   DSC00174  DSC00175  DSC00176  DSC00177  DSC00178  DSC00179   DSC00180

There were dancers among them who really entertained us. DSC00186  DSC00189    DSC00190  DSC00191  DSC00192  DSC00193  DSC00194  DSC00195  DSC00196  DSC00198  DSC00199  DSC00200

The Northern Regional Minister on their exhibitionDSC00204  DSC00206

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The talented children weaving their foot-matsDSC00209DSC00221        DSC00222DSC00223

DSC00224      DSC00225Some dancing time.DSCF7091  DSCF7092 Puzzle time as I tried to make meaning from the priceless conversation.DSCF7093  DSCF7094DSCF7095 DSCF7096DSCF7097 DSCF7098DSCF7100 DSCF7101

Their beautiful crafts were exhibited and were well patronisedDSCF7102DSCF7103 DSCF7104DSCF7105DSCF7107DSCF7109  DSCF7110DSCF7111 DSCF7120 DSCF7121 DSCF7122DSCF7140 DSCF7141 DSCF7142 DSCF7143DSCF7153  DSCF7152

The great team who worked so hard to see to the organisation of this outreach in the north.

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The main purpose for this outreach was to create awareness in the northern region and to spend quality time with the children to make them feel as special as they are. Here i the north, most of these children are silently murdered only to be heard of as rumours later. Althout it is done in most parts of the country, up here in the north, it seems worse as even children with cleft palate are rumoured to be called tilapia and are silently eliminated. Our hope is to make every one aware of the very fact that they are humans with dreams and aspirations as all of us. We were able to achieve this thanks to our team and our bigger team among whom are Hon. Dzifa Gomashie, Mr. Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, who was part of the sponsors, Mr. Alfred Kpodo, Kwabena Gyamfi, Yaa Asabea Asihene, Juvian Osei Bonsu, Shirley Banafoe, Patrick Kofi Marfo, Charity Batuure, Joshua Alhassan Gariba, Philip Sarpong, Sylvanus Bedzrah and Sandra Sefa. A donation was made by the Regional Minister to the headmistress for school materials for the children.

Heart to Heart with Reuben Griffith Bekoe

Our guest post, Reuben Griffiths Bekoe, is a determined soul with a heart of gold. He is a cyclist who is cycling to raise funds for the Ghana Cleft Foundation. He describes himself as a jealous romantic who loves passionately. I say he is a young enterprising young man who might do deeds which the Guinness Book of Records might gladly chase to capture. Let’s relax and enjoy a tour on his mind.
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AMOAFOWAA: You are welcome to Amoafowaa.com

REUBEN: Thank you for the opportunity

AMOAFOWAA: If I may ask, why cycling?

REUBEN: I am bike-sexual

AMOAFOWAA: (Laughing outloud) Why not bike-prostitute?

REUBEN: I just chose bicycle because in our culture, though people use bicycles to commute, it’s not our thing to just ride for a longer distance. If you’re riding and wearing a jersey they think you’re doing  cycling or racing but racing and touring are two different things.

AMOAFOWAA: So you are on a mission now, when did you start?

REUBEN: I started on the 10th of August from Takoradi to Tamale but in between I’ve been sleeping and having programmes as well. For me, I’m a cyclist. I never had a bicycle so I just learnt I didn’t even train for this I just got on a bicycle and started paddling

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AMOAFOWAA: Ok so you started riding when you were age?

REUBEN: I think twelve but since then I never really sat on a bicycle for a very long time

AMOAFOWAA: Until now?

REUBEN: Yes, revisiting my passion yet again

AMOAFOWAA: Tell me a little about Reuben

REUBEN: Reuben is a 21year old high school graduate not the normal kind of boy

AMOAFOWAA: I’m interested in that too, the “not normal” thing

REUBEN: I think differently and I just don’t swim I swim to meet the waves. I know you know what I mean. I am the first of three boys</em

AMOAFOWAA: What was growing up like?

REUBEN: Very very challenging not the normal childhood

AMOAFOWAA: What is the normal childhood?

REUBEN: Having parents around, playing, having friends, those kinds of things but I never had that.

AMOAFOWAA: How come you never had that?

REUBEN: My parents separated, not for divorce but my mother was transferred to Kumasi when I was in class 2 so I lived with my dad who was a land surveyor. He would wake up around 6am, go to work and return around 8pm because he was the metropolitan surveyor for the Sekondi Takoradi Assembly. So we didn’t have mother around to take care of us but during vacations she came around. Was the good times but I lost them while in class 4 and 5 simultaneously.

AMOAFOWAA: Sorry to hear that but how did you lose them?

REUBEN: They died within a year. I don’t know, it just happened that was the will of the Lord so to say. When I was in class 4, my father died then a year later, perhaps because of heartbreak my mother followed. That has been my life but it helped shape me to think wide.

AMOAFOWAA: So who took over taking care of you.

REUBEN: Let me say those who loved us.

AMOAFOWAA: Senior High School graduate huh?

REUBEN: Yes

AMOAFOWAA: Which school?

REUBEN: Shamar Senior High School

AMOAFOWAA: When did you complete?

REUBEN: Two years ago, that’s in 2013

AMOAFOWAA: And why are we still not seeing any continuation?

REUBEN: Ok well after school I just wanted to do the cycling across Ghana and raise funds for the foundation and in between I cycled with Latitude ICS UK for 3 months in Cape Coast. So this has been my plan, volunteering to give back to society from what I learnt. Afterwards, I have 1 year to volunteer in the UK and finance so if I get to volunteer in the UK I’ll earn a weekly allowance throughout the year, I think that will be enough to finance my tertiary education if I save. After 1 year in the UK, school continues.

AMOAFOWAA: So this volunteerism thing is also for money?

REUBEN: No it’s not for money but for myself but this cycling is for the Cleft Foundation.

AMOAFOWAA: Why did you choose the Cleft Foundation?

REUBEN: Well initially I chose The Ghana Amputee Team and The Cleft Foundation but since I’m not a well-known brand, the Amputee Team didn’t want anything to do with me but the Cleft Foundation, because of what they are doing which I think is amazing; operating on children free of charge and running on people’s donations it’s worthy to support them

AMOAFOWAA: Yes that’s true, they are doing so well. So apart from continuing your education after going to the UK and all that, any special ambitions?

REUBEN: Being a father and a husband.

AMOAFOWAA: Most men have that ambition but any other?

REUBEN: I just want to be a father and a husband

AMOAFOWAA: Can you be a house husband and watch your wife go to work while you take care of the children?

REUBEN: Yes, exactly

AMOAFOWAA: Seriously?

REUBEN: Yes. I said this a year ago and I’ll continue saying it, I’ve written about it too.
image

AMOAFOWAA: Wow!

REUBEN: I just want to be that father that will attend PTA meeting and watch my children grow just love my wife and be there for them. I don’t want children that will be like I need to be religious to be morally upright. I want to be a father who will raise responsible children.

AMOAFOWAA: I’m looking at you very well because this is the first time I’ve seen a man like that. Anyways, do you have any role models in cycling?

REUBEN: Though there are many cyclist, I’ve never wanted to be like anyone. I look up to Reuben.

AMOAFOWAA:  No world class cyclist as a model, nothing?

REUBEN:  No. I’m my own role model

AMOAFOWAA: You know some people do things for their passions, I write poetry when problems call, at every need, every heartache, every wish, every dream I put it all in my poems, that’s my passion. What is your passion for cycling Reuben?

REUBEN: There’s much freedom on the road. You enjoy nature and you learn the stories of people as you ride unlike being in a car. You might want to capture something but before you realize you pass by and cycling to me relates to life. Sometimes I’ll be cycling but I wouldn’t know how close I am to my destination and such is life; you might be struggling and yet wouldn’t know how close you are to your victory at other times you see forms of hills but as you get closer you realize they aren’t. Cycling relates to life and the freedom on the road keeps me going.
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AMOAFOWAA: Wow! There’s freedom on the road that is true but aren’t there dangers?

REUBEN: There are. Getting dehydrated with no water in sight, cycling in Ghana is very risky you can’t risk it if you don’t want to because there are no cycling paths, drivers being so abusive they refuse to share the road with us and people don’t understand the culture of cycling but some people are generous enough to offer you water or food on the road. These are some of the challenges. Even some police personnel don’t really understand their work, to even give you a place to lodge overnight is challenging.

AMOAFOWAA: So if you meet such police personnel what do you do?

REUBEN: I explain as much as I can before they give me a place to mount my tent. For instance at Nkwanta, the police weren’t willing to give me a place so I had to perch with a friend for that night.

AMOAFOWAA: What do you do when it’s raining?

REUBEN: I look for shelter but if there’s none, I ride in the rain.

AMOAFOWAA: I heard you rode with Wanlov Kuborlor

REUBEN: I just twittered at him and he responded so we did some few rides together but before that I wasn’t even following him I only twittered at him “Would you mind doing some few kilometers with me?”, I had sent so many messages to people but got no attention. At the time I sent him the message, I was on my way to the Volta Region so I just twittered that I was at his junction but he wasn’t coming so I took off then 5minutes later he twittered back and asked where I was and I told him I was at the mall then he rode to the place.

AMOAFOWAA: Wow! I hear he’s cool like that

REUBEN: Yes he is.

AMOAFOWAA: Wow. What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done? No lies please.

REUBEN: Adding digits to my school fees.

AMOAFOWAA: Seriously? What did you use that extra money for?

REUBEN: I got myself a new phone.

AMOAFOWAA: What is the most interesting book you’ve ever read?

REUBEN: Purple Hibiscus. I just love the way Ntiamoah wrote the book. How the characters played their parts and how it relates to my life.  I read it over and over again without getting bored.

AMOAFOWAA: Do you love politics?

REUBEN: I do enjoy politics but not much into it now

AMOAFOWAA: So who is your favourite politician?

REUBEN: I don’t have any because I don’t think I can trust anyone now

AMOAFOWAA: None at all?

REUBEN: None at all.  I will trust a politician only when we have national plans or policies that stipulates the types and number of projects to be done in a term. Without this, I don’t think we’re making a headway in development. So the nation must tell them what to do and not the other way round. That will help them gain my trust.

AMOAFOWAA: Wow! So they then compete to convince us on how they can help. Cool thought. Do you think politicians who have come and gone and still are are not doing those things?

REUBEN: I don’t think so.

AMOAFOWAA: Is the Ghanaian living well?

REUBEN: From what I’ve seen, the answer to that question is no.

AMOAFOWAA: Some have really nice cars and are living large

REUBEN: It doesn’t matter

AMOAFOWAA: Why not?

REUBEN: If you have a car and you can’t afford to pay utility bills you’re not living well. One out of ten people can afford a three course meal and two can afford a three daily meal.

AMOAFOWAA: So who do you blame for this?

REUBEN: I blame us

AMOAFOWAA: Why?

REUBEN: We don’t reach out for more; we go like we’re okay with the little we have. Nobody applauds the postman for delivering letters neither the baker for baking bread so why do you have to applaud a politician for providing basic amenities like pipes, electricity, schools etc. That’s their duty but if they do something beside what the citizens expect, that’s when we can applaud them. If we keep praising them they don’t do more
image

AMOAFOWAA: So you think Ghanaians praise politicians too much?

REUBEN: Yes

AMOAFOWAA: Which kind of “politricks” disgusts you most in recent times?

REUBEN: This Eastern Corridor thing and the no schools under trees. I believed it until I rode from the Volta Region to the Northern Region and realised there’s nothing like eastern corridor, they haven’t invested in the project yet you have people talking about it. You hear people talk about no schools under trees yet such schools still exist. Bad roads, students having to carry chairs to school, no potable water yet politicians tell us stories. I don’t think development is about building big shopping malls and airports but tending to the basic needs of the people, we’re not developing in my view.

AMOAFOWAA: What do you want to see in the political arena of Ghana? What do think can bring change?

 REUBEN: When we are honest with ourselves and when we vote on policies not politics.

AMOAFOWAA: Let’s get social. Do you have a girlfriend?

REUBEN: No but it gives me some space to understand myself

AMOAFOWAA: Have you ever been in a relationship?

REUBEN: Yes but I think I was too young then to understand exactly what relationships really meant

AMOAFOWAA: But now you want to be a house husband?

REUBEN: Yes. I didn’t really break up with my girlfriend but she travelled to the US and that was it but at times I miss boasting about having a girlfriend and telling friends how beautiful she is yet it’s all good because I’m enjoying some freedom

AMOAFOWAA: You’re still very young so it’s not a problem. You’ll have so many of them to even choose from

REUBEN: Yes

AMOAFOWAA: But have you thought about the complicated things that come with being a house husband? Doing all the chores, how do you think you’ll feel when your friends see you?

REUBEN: It depends on who I call a friend because a friend is someone who understands you and accepts you just as you are. The woman I settle down with must accept there should be a balance in executing the house chores and settling utility bills. I don’t want to be an authoritative husband. I want an independent woman, one who has her opinions.  Guys are afraid of independent women so if you are with one, you gain a lot of respect. So we’ll run a democratic home.

AMOAFOWAA: What do you look out for in a woman?

REUBEN: An educated woman, one who can keep a home, someone who is beautiful but inside out and someone who can talk well and looks presentable.

AMOAFOWAA: Lets do entertainment. Any celebrity crushes?

REUBEN: No

AMOAFOWAA: Who’s your favourite singer in Ghana?

REUBEN: Singer: Kwabena Kwabena and musician Amakye Dede

AMOAFOWAA: What’s the difference between a singer and a musician?

REUBEN: A musician to me is someone who is a show man and a singer; one who is vocally and lyrically good.

REUBEN: I love Wanlov’s song “I am a human” too

AMOAFOWAA: What do you do when you’re not cycling?

REUBEN: I just listen to music or get engaged on social media though I don’t have a social life as I said earlier, no personal friends, all my friends are on social media. I think it’s time I make friends, one of the reasons I cycle. It’s difficult though trying to live a normal life so sometimes I write.

AMOAFOWAA: What is your favourite food?

REUBEN: I’ll go for boiled plantain and garden eggs stew.

AMOAFOWAA: I see. What do you think about discrimination in general, from racism to tribalism and all the labeling?

REUBEN: It slows development and lowers self-confidence. I think it’s discriminatory to ask of my religion, nationality and tribe when filling a form or in an interview because above everything else, we’re all human. I’m human first from Africa, then a Ghanaian before seeing myself as an Akuapim and being a male or female. This is how I describe myself. If we all come together irrespective of our backgrounds, religion or sexuality and accept diverse opinions, we’ll go far rather than judging people by where they are from. Travelling on my bike, I’ve learnt to erase so much stereotypes about the various tribes because as you travel, you realize things are not really as people say.

AMOAFOWAA: That sounds paradoxical. Strong women are witches do you agree?

REUBEN: If the man has low self- esteem then the woman will definitely be a witch

AMOAFOWAA: Do you believe in witches?

REUBEN: I’ve never seen any before

AMOAFOWAA: But do you believe stories about them?

REUBEN: Well I’ve read so many fairytales about them thanks to my parents but I’ve never seen one so I am not sure how I feel about them.

AMOAFOWAA: Are you a Christian?

REUBEN: A Christian but I’m not so good. I’m a sinner

AMOAFOWAA: So what are your sins?

REUBEN: They are many, I can’t tell. With how I grew, I think I’ve lost some of the Christian morals I really cherish

AMOAFOWAA: Like?

REUBEN:  I don’t pray anymore

AMOAFOWAA: So if you don’t pray you become a sinner?

REUBEN: Not really but I don’t practice religion I accept what the Christians, Muslims and the traditionalists. I put it all together and see how I can apply them in my life so that’s it.

AMOAFOWAA: That’s nice, so no religion. Do you think human rights groups are working hard in Ghana?

REUBEN: They work for those they know

AMOAFOWAA: You think so?

REUBEN: I don’t know how to put this but I’ll try. Human Rights groups fight for those already in the news instead of going down to search for the people who really need help. Some are trying though but on the average most of them go in for those who are already in the news and try to rescue them and add that up to their CV. Talking about human rights, it hasn’t got to do with those who are abused sexually alone, think about those who are fired because of religion or sexuality. We should also concentrate on the issues that are not making the news. Human Rights group should educate people more on the various forms of human rights abuse, even a mother denying her baby breast milk is a form of abuse. They should be a way of telling such stories and curbing them.

AMOAFOWAA: On the lighter side, are you for or against Anas?

REUBEN: I’ve never met Anas but I love what he is doing

AMOAFOWAA: Don’t you think he abused the judges?

REUBEN: I don’t think so.

AMOAFOWAA: If people are really suffering in Ghana as you said, what is your advice to them?

REUBEN: Grab opportunities, work hard and believe in what you believe in

AMOAFOWAA: What about those who are being abused as you said?

REUBEN: They should come out and say it just as it is.

AMOAFOWAA: What is your advice to all followers of amoafowaa.com?

REUBEN: Nothing was done before it was done and out of impossible we get the possible. You can do everything if you believe in yourself and also in your dreams. There’s nothing too late or too early in life
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AMOAFOWAA: Thank you for your time

REUBEN: It was a pleasure.

Please donate to the Ghana Cleft Foundation
Ecobank, Harper Road Branch, Kumasi
Account number 0213074414843601

OH REUBEN

Determination can wield a nation

And passions can flourish in action

On paddles which drain knees

Wheels which drink sweat

Reuben rides his bike and likes

II

He tries the new and sighs

Sees what is and races to grab

His future with force as his bible stipulates

A head with many a thoughts so golden

On legs with strength to die for

 

III

If life is strife and strife does strike

I am sure it’ll find all but one

And that will be the untouchable Reuben

Always protected

On his wheels on flying heels

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

 

THIS PRAYER!

The bird whose nest

Nestle in the palm of the mountainous tree

Was forced to look down to painfully see

How heartbreaking weak little birds lived

After having such a one

II

And after her tears turned to determination

She flew in hovering like a protective mother hen

Surveying, praying, hoping for a good thought of help

She knew not how to begin

All she knew was thought and scribble

Until it dawned on her to scribble her way through

A journey from the top might have caused a stir,

A misunderstanding

A fright of her claws needing blood

So she surveyed for long

Pulling coachers of flying and sensitizing

III

Now she is saddened in victory

Now she is saddened

After she is accepted

Saddened that she is incapacitated

For what she saw on the mountain top

Is worsely seen in a close up

And the tears of some even in joy of recognition

Touches her to the core

She wants to do it all

She needs to strengthen what has been subdued

To save those being killed

To help bring life to wings clipped

But she is the sad one whose needs pile

By the breath of the second

IV

Oh God of Host!

If Ye be there and fair and share

Hold Thy word and rain on her team

Sew her seams and fill her to the brim

This is a prayer from a heart so expectant

And for this in her life this bird can’t be failed

Help

For only you can

This prayer, is a prayer you must readily answer

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

UNKNOTABLE ROPES

Once, some ropes
Lived in single streams
They fought over many things
Like enemies competing for space
Until Odomankoma got angry
And made a decision to knot them together

II
Those who claimed allergy to others’ sweats
Those who wanted to murder others to feel better
Those who sat on fences
Were all given a naval
So hurt of one affected the other

III
It so happened that Odomankoma’s appeal chambers
Became full
Complaints unfounded
Complaints never planted
He harvested in bountiful yields
Calls of pain paraded naked
In His chambers like a mob of angry protesters
So He made another decision
To untie the knots
After they were untied
Another complaints started
Discrimination
Insults
Murder among others
Fearing another complaint stampede
He knoted their problems
And flew abroad the sky
And here we are
Single ropes with knoted problems
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

COLD AND HOT

As the sky tears thunderously
In many spirited drops from its vast eyelid
C
I am ten thousand hot minds and one
Forced into a little boxy shivering me

II
Which strand of thought is it going to be?
Will the right one pop up for me to see?
Is there a true mind-teller who can work it like maths for a fee?
My head rebels like an angry teenager
Who can blame it?
No peace soldier dares to intercept
As the heart is blocked from entry
Shutting the creator up
To stay away from the mess He has created
How every living thing the eyes see shiver in cold
And how this little head has thoughts at war
Is like an unsolvable puzzle
Too cold and too hot
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

THE SUN DAWNS

sunrise

After setting for so long

The sun’s head is casting its shadows

Showing its grand arrival

Hoping hope sits in hearts for anticipation

Instead of towel throwing

II

After setting for so long

Its coming is palpable

But its heat drains sweat needed for hydration

The sun is a king wicked in absence

Gracious in person

And like one who has the sun for eyes

I sit in darkness, waiting for my sight

And my lord to smile

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

COOL AND CRUDE

Sometimes your veil is too thick
Too thick to brand eyes impotent in sighting
Oh love!

II
Sometimes your faith is too fierce
Too fierce to think it can conquer all bad
Oh love!

III
Sometimes your voice is like an angry thunder
Too loud that ears behave like cut nails
Useless and careless! Oh love!

IV
Sometimes your skin is too thick
Too thick to feel the pain which knocks in death
Oh love!

V
You burn for action citing pleasure
You whip for yearning in deception for treasure
You churn for happiness connoting foreverness
Then like an angry lion in a sheep mask
You burst out biting into hearts
Chewing the trusting parts
And leaving the torn parts
To mend themselves
You are all that is cool and crude
And I await your haunting Satan
Oh love!
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

IN THE SHADOW OF THE UGLY

What do you do?
When mouths quiver
After eyes and minds inform them of your presence

II
How do you live?
When you fall into the perfect line of societal uglyhood
Do you get scared
When you see frightened eyes
And find your image in the mirrors if their eyes?

III
Do you own a mirror?
Has your mother ever praised your handsomeness?
Has anyone seen you in a glorious light?
Sorry to ask this
But do you own a mirror?
If you do, does it also get frightened when it catches your reflection?
What a question!
Amoafowaa behave!

IV
I cry foul
Crying life is like a rotten wound being tended to
By wicked hot water
Arrested by a rag
Both caught by a metal
In the hands of a mindless healer
Then I see you
I think I am you
And I retreat like a tortoise in fear,
Into the shell of my real self
After tasting your skin in just one bite,
You must be the hell on two legs
You must be the one God created
In His bid to scare naughty birds
From His prized rice farm
If so, He did you wrong
For by achieving His aim,
He did make a horror terrorist
With a heart calling on love
Too bad these lips can’t part
For these words and rhetorics to reach your wronged thoughts
All the eyes say, I know though that you hear
You unfortunate thingy
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

THAT COOL UNCLE

image

Like a chick without mother hen
Struggling to peck at anything
I came accross that cool one
A god uncle like gold
One who took me in
And cared at any of our time crossings
Never minding what I needed
Never caring how embarrasing getting that for me could be
Never caring what tongues could make of it
Always that support wall
That perfect,  that cool
That calm and that sweet
There is never a chaotic moment with him
Of all uncles,  he is the best
And only one
Ebenezer Banafoe
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

NOW

image

Death has been shamed
It took a loved one and sought our harmed selves
But here we are

II
Death has been destroyed
It cracked our hearts
And sought sad faces forever
But here we are

III
Eating and merry-making
Humming and dancing
Eating and loving
Chatting and socializing
Here we are

IV
No sad face to let you boast
No sounds of tears to make you gloat
No sickness to make you smile
Here we are
Like the tricked turned tricksters
Death, you have lost
Big time
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia

ON THE MARKET (MONORHYME)

www.e-celebrities.org
http://www.e-celebrities.org

An eye flash

And I feel like part a star, part trash

Eyes are harsh

Those who are in a rush

And those ready to bash

Those needing to stash

And those showing their cash

Ah! There are those who got missing in a flash

My mind gives me a lash

Chai! particular hands show they need mouldings to mash

Some are stealing glances showing “them they gnash”

But their confidence refuses to push

Retreat, retreat, the market goods, like a snail retreats in a little rush

No sheep in clothes of a lioness deserves a crash

Just in pursuance of a blush

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

IN THE HANDS OF THE POWERFUL

image

God is not a 419 Nigerian
To cook sand into singletons
And send to eyes of the helpless
To plant and bear tear fruits
So as to steal a thing of a pained blind

II
He who plants tears
Havests tears even without eyelids or cheeks
Even repentance is like a heated rod
In a frozen hand
It melts the ice until the hand is normal
For God is a reasonable God
He is no blind forgiver
He is no crazed man waiting to win
He is awesome like He should
And knows no scamming
Just so you know
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

NEGLECTORS

Sea shells

When seas beget shells

Some sands’ fear of capturing

Flies care abroad

Sands’ prayers call for legs

To bury their threat

Forgetting they will be the coffins

Balls on walls deflect

Minds mostly forget

Sad

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

TEACHING (IN SEMI SONG)

DSCF9050

Chorus

Teaching

Is enlightening

Is Loving

Is cariiiiiiiiiiing

It is giving for giving

In liviiiiiiing

It is life in entirety

 

I

I know God is a teacher

He is a teacher who produces great teachers

Great teachers to let his world be explored and known

So all those who step into his shoes

Are those anointed to help uncover

To help lead

To help build all nations

 

Chorus

Teaching

Is enlightening

Is Loving

Is cariiiiiiiiiiing

It is giving for giving

In liviiiiiiing

It is life in entirety

II

Who says one can do the work of God

Without any suffering?

But who says one’s work must be done on a crying stomach?

Even Holy Books ask for humans to live and feed right

In order to honour God’s will

If knowledge is like a palm plantation

Teachers are like trainers of humans to tap

Heads lead and rule beings

And so teachers are head workers

Head workers who must not be taken for granted

If a hungry man is an angry man

And an angry man is a fearful man

Let’s not play with God’s anointed

Turn not the sweet palm wine into gin

Help heat fresh foods to keep them edible

Let no dust settle on any alphabet to keep it hidden

If the society is built by teachers

And societies make up a nation

Who needs a sage to know their needs need to be tended to at all times?

Who needs a soothsayer in order to polish them up

Satisfy them and make their jobs one to smile in doing?

 

Chorus

Teaching

Is enlightening

Is Loving

Is cariiiiiiiiiiing

It is giving for giving

In liviiiiiiing

It is life in entirety

 

 

III

 

A teacher is a life saver

A teacher is a digger and polisher of knowledge to be handed down

A teacher is a preserver of knowledge

An unsatisfied teacher can be poison who will give poison

And transferable poison eventually corrodes

Thanks to a teacher

Every living being thinks

So thank a teacher, even if all you do is read and write

And help him or her be comfortable to deliver

In praise of our maker

 

Chorus

Teaching

Is enlightening

Is Loving

Is cariiiiiiiiiiing

It is giving for giving

In liviiiiiiing

It is life in entirety

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

PREYERS

pawn

People pray like pawns

Preying on paupers like pests

Picking peppers and pocketing peace

Pieces like prints put in pairs

Show swines sweeping their slimes on saints

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015