Foster Toppar was born to Mr. Victor Dela Toppar and Jennifer Tetteh in 1990. He lives with his parents and junior brother at Adenta, a suburb of Accra. He grew up separately with his grandparents at Alajo, then returned to live with his parents to attend Ghanata Senior High School. It was there that he discovered his talents and developed his creative writing.
Five Questions with Foster Toppar:
1. How long have you been writing poetry?
I have been writing poetry for the past two years. My first ever poem was written in mid-September 2006 when I was in Secondary School.
2. Who are your favorite poets? Which poets have most inspired and informed your work?
Personally, I appreciate good works and I believe every rational human being also does. I read all kinds of poetry published by various poets around the globe especially those originating from Africa, some of whom are Kobena Eyi Acquah, Lade Wosornu, John Pepper Clark, John Milton, William Cowper and William Wordsworth. However, Cowper, Milton and Kobena Eyi Acquah have inspired and influenced most of my works.
I hope that someday when I am away or perhaps retired, someone in the audience will take my poetry, wrap it nicely and present it to the generations to come after me who will in turn appreciate my works.
3. What do you hope to accomplish with your poetry?
Most often in life we do not recognize our potentials and therefore are unable to respond to our inherent calls respectively until we’re suffocated by the environment that extracts such resources. The day after I got the mail that my poem was going to be published in the next edition of this journal, I gladly told my mother about it and she was like - ‘So what are you going to get after your poem has been published?’
Deducing from the tone from which she asked that question, I was convinced that she was referring to monetary issues for the fact that I have also contributed to the journal. But neither gold nor silver have I targeted for my works. The greatest achievement I hope to accomplish with my poetry is to awake, quicken and provoke hidden and dormant talents in every individual especially within the youth, to the tremendous development of not only the art of poetry, but to every profession in Ghana, Africa and the rest of the world.
4. Was there much poetry-related activity at Ghanata Senior High School? If not what inspired you to take up poetry?
To tell you the truth, there was not much poetry-related activity when I was in Ghanata Senior High School except with the teaching aspect which was included in the school’s curriculum. But all of a sudden I fell in love with poetry and was completely overwhelmed by it, especially with the poets that I studied over there. This overwhelming feeling kept blazing within me day by day until I felt it was time for a breakthrough. Then one day I took a pen and a paper and I said to myself "today I am going to compose a poem" and like magic I wrote an interesting poem within some few minutes. I was thrilled and stunned by this experience, and since then I have been developing my own poems.
I think that if organizations, clubs, schools and the general public, especially those who are already in the business, would commit themselves to organizing frequent poetry related activities like poetry competitions among the young ones, it will go a long way to producing great poets here in Ghana and the whole African continent.
5. How many of your classmates were, or are, interested in poetry? Do you have a feeling if your generation is more interested in poetry than those that came before them?
As a matter of fact most of my colleagues did not take much interest in poetry. For some, it was more of a headache to discern poetry but due to excellent academic prospects they had to maintain certain limits. And for this reason I cannot quote a specific figure as to who had or did not have interest in poetry.
I believe that this generation and those to come have immense interest in poetry, just that they lack the motivation and the necessary assistance. And it is for this reason that am much grateful to Prince Mensah for his “lectures”.