Kwofie Matthew is a professional teacher, and a student of the University of Cape Coast. He enjoys creative writing and hopes to be a great author or journalist in the future.
Five Questions with Kwofie Matthew:
1. Where are you most exposed to poetry: on the internet, in newspapers, in book form, or in something else?
I'm equally exposed to poetry through all the media above. I am principally exposed to poetry through books (course books and the Psalms of the Bible) and the Internet (One Ghana, One Voice).
2. Do you religious beliefs have any impact on your writing? If so, how?
I am not very sure myself, maybe they do. Do my style and line of thought suggest so? Well, my writing is clearly influenced by my dream of equal opportunities for all humans (no matter the class, creed, color, location and age) and the wish for a day when leaders shall show proper commitment and responsibility towards those they rule.
3. In your poems, you seem to identify strongly with lower-class Ghanaians (the majority) in their struggle against rich and powerful forces. Do you do this very intentionally? In other words, do you identify your writing as part of a lower-class movement against oppression from the powerful? Or instead do you write what you see and feel, without consideration to wider polical or social movements?
For now, I write freely in expression of what I see and feel around me. Though I have always hoped and wished for a change in the way things are done, I have never conceived of the idea of a movement.
4. Building off the last question, when you write your poems, who are you writing for? Is it mostly for yourself? For the average Ghanaian? For those in power?
Hmm! Who am I writing for? I guess I write, first of all, for myself as a way of dealing with the depression and disappointment I go through whenever I think about what is going on. Secondly, I write my poems for any person who shares my emotions, to the average Ghanaian, to those in authority and above all, anyone who enjoys poetry and is willing to assist in changing things for the better.
5. In you last profile, you spoke of the hard work needed to keep a creative writing group going. If a full group like your Komenda club is too great a task for some people, do you have any other suggestions of smaller actions poets can take to connect with one another and work on their writing?
Yes, what we did at Komenda was a bit challenging but I don't think it was such a difficult task for us. I also don't think it should be so difficult for anyone who wants to replicate it. However, talking about smaller actions that can be taken up by up-and-coming poets to connect with one another and work on their writings, I think some sort of smaller networks could be productive. These could be correspondence networks, a few poets writing to each other from different parts of Ghana and perhaps the larger world, as well as the creation of small groups in the same locality. Also, I think projects such as Miss Emma Akuffo's will play a very important role [ed. note - Emma Akuffo, in conjunction with Julian and myself, are currently working on a project to see some of the poems and poets featured in One Ghana, One Voice published in print in the UK. As the project progresses we hope to be able to provide readers with more information].
Kofi's Past Profiles:
Issue 1.23, August 25th-31st, 2007