Author Profile - Vida Ayitah


Vida was born in a small farming village in the Volta Region of Ghana on July 19th 1978, into a family of five children. She went to the local primary and secondary school and was later admitted into OLA Senior Secondary School in Ho. She studied Chemistry Biology and Physics as electives for two years, as was the wish of her parents. Her main interests, however, was and has always been creative writings such as short stories and poetry. For that reason, and because of financial difficulties, she left school at the end of her second year.

Since the age of 15, Vida has written a lot of poetry and also short fictional stories which she dearly hopes will be published. In this way, she hopes to get the chance to share her passion with the reading public.

Five (Six) Questions with Vida Ayitah:

1. Who are your favourite poets? Which poets have most inspired you and informed your work?

Mr. Kobena Eyi Acquah (Ghana), Ms. Erica Jong (USA).

2. What do you hope to accomplish with your poetry?

To inspire people to get in touch with their inner beings. Poetry is such a sensual and emotional thing. We live each day on emotions and senses and it’s my hope that my work can make people identify something within themselves.

3. What is your opinion on the state of African poetry today?

Well, I think more markets should be created for African poetry. There are so many unknown poets in Ghana today, for instance, young people with great talents who have no avenues to showcase their work. The beauty of African poetry is that it tells a great deal about the African culture, our hopes and dreams. Reading just one poem is like reading a bit of history. The African mind is rich with the voices of the past.

4. What do you think needs to be done to promote and strengthen poetry in Africa?

The following steps can be taken to promote and strengthen poetry in Africa: organize workshops for writers, starting from the local scene, create a platform where writers meet and discuss their work, establish poetry magazines to feature new poets (like One Ghana, One Voice) and perhaps a market should me made available to sell and promote our work, thus encouraging us to be more passionate and dedicated to our work.

5. "Mama" can be read as being very critical of the perceived role of women in Ghanaian society. In this sense, do you consider it to be a political poem?

I never thought that ‘Mama’ could be seen as being political in regards to women in our society. The whole idea of the poem was to put across the fact that maybe our mothers should focus on the happiness and welfare of their children rather than on expanding the family tree.

6. Any other comments?

I think that One Ghana, One Voice is a giant step towards promoting Ghanaian poetry, giving the otherwise hopeless writers a chance to believe in their work and in themselves. May this dream become bigger and may all Ghanaians benefit from this good gesture.

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