Darko Antwi was born in Kumasi in May 1976. After his secondary education at Bekwai SDA, and National Service at Adiembra Junior Secondary School, he embarked on a five-year teaching career in local kindergarten and primary schools.
Antwi is the brain behind the development of the concept of Miss Akoto Education, for Ahenkro Literature Foundation – an NGO in Ghana. As a co-founder and executive member of Ashanti Writers Association, he served as the Administrative Co-ordinator (2000-02) under the patronage of the elite literary veteran, E. K. Kwarteng and Akosua Gyamfua Fofie.
Two of his eventful titles: Cyberfutriphobia and Slogans of Hope have had successful broadcast at native Otec Radio, 1999 and Fox Radio, 2002 respectively. His We Blacks has also been drafted for an anthology to be published by the Ghana Poetry Project.
His epic, Nkrabea, was adapted in 2006 by the Pan African Festival, as part of performances for their annual Emancipation Day. The 137-line historical account is also having a regular reading feature at Britain’s Black History Month events.
His written tribute to the Pan-Africanist, Marcus Garvey, Ayekoo!, is assembled among an archive of memorabilia at the Marcus Garvey Memorial Library, London. In August 2007, during the 120th birthday of Garvey, Ayekoo! appeared in The Voice, Britain’s major black newspaper.
He is now working on District, an electronic magazine for children.
Five Questions with Darko Antwi:
1. How long have you been writing poetry?
I was 18 years when I wrote my first sonnet and a few wretched lines. But I started publication-bound manuscripts in 1998, at 22 years. Counting from the latter age - which I recognise - I have been writing for 11 years.
2. Who are your favourite poets? Which poets have most informed and inspired your work?
Many. So many of them: Donne, Marvell, E.E Cummings, G.K. Chesterton, etc. But Dennis Brutus stands-out as the most inspiring.
3. What do you hope to accomplish with your poetry?
I wish my poetry entertains. To make someone laugh or smile about something strictly silly/funny within a line. I may end-up educating or informing, but I prioritise light humour.
4. You've become a regular critic here at OGOV. What do you think is the role of the critic in the development of Ghanaian poetry?
Once we have come to understand the importance of literary criticism, it brings home how crucial the role of critics is to the development of Ghanaian poetry. In playing his part, the critic should be a laboratory of litmus tests. Theirs is to accomplish excellence by guarding the arts through sound and expert judgement. Analysing a creative work is something I'll feel so much honoured to do - just as much as I enjoy commenting here. Hoping I'll turn professional if I should have the chance to attend University to offer the right course.
5. How has working overseas affected your perspective on your homeland? How has it affected the way you write about it?
Working in practically democratic England has helped me to write a few courtesy poems for some leaders in Ghana who believe in rancour and hostility.
Darko, This is a good poem and demands a lot of thinking but what is the link between the contents and the title, apologies to witches please??
Good piece though
Thanks Prince, for been gracious, and I agree with you that there are no perfect political systems, at the same time some are more equal than others, as they say.
China of course is rated no 1 in life expectancy, but I'm not sure we can attribute the reason to communism. There other more immediate reasons like diet. The Chinese are prosperous today, because Deng Xiaoping opened up China's markets.
Cuba has free health care I agree, but if a Cuban contracts HIV, the govt takes upon itself the right to quarantine that person. That person, no longer has control over his freedom of mvt.
But yea, as you say, this poem is deeper than it looks. Unlike you, I've fixed myself on the final couplet, because I think that is where the narrative unwinds itself, probably because the poet intended it so.
I beg to disagree on China--which is the biggest example of unbridled capitalism in the World today.It has mass unemployment due to severe industrial reconstruction.Often leaving those involved without any social security--to fend for themselves.
Environmentally--the whole country resembles a giantic dump.Industrial omissions are uncontrolled.comment--1
Futhermore China refuses to sign any climte control treaties available.
China actively pursues policies of oppressing minorities on political and religioius grounds--recently 6 Uigurer sentanced to death for simply demonstrating.
Tibet invaded by China in 1959? the Dalai Lama forced to flee into exile.Today China still does not allow religious or cultural freedom in Tibet
Kampuchea who supported economically politically The Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot--in his killing fields--China.
Last but not LEAST--Darfur-A blight on and a shame to all humanity.China vetos any resolution in the U.N.in exchange for cheap oil from Sudan--shameful?
The Jangaweed continue to rape,murder,plunder and pillage--WHO? the Black section of Darfurs population.
Funnily enough in my youth I was a rip roaring communist--romantic Cuban style--been to both China and Habana.However what wisdom has what tempered me--lol.
A word of advice hope China does not gain a major influence in Ghanas oil production then you may really be up shit creek witout a paddle--or really doing yourselves-cheers--Silverzorro comment 5
Darko---when im in another frame of mind will comment on the poem-Silverzorro.
climate--spelt so guess im a stickler..SZ.
and gigantic--so see I live abroad--forgetting me English---SZ.
The idea of a politically united Africa, Pan-Africanism, has been around for over a hundred years. While the pan-african movement has been involved in anti-slavery and anti-colonial struggles and the fight against Apartheid South Africa, there has never been any significant movement towards a political unification. However, recent historical events, quite unexpectedly, may provide an impetus in this direction.
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