Dela Black Bobobee is a Ghanaian writer. He was educated in Ghana and Nigeria. He holds a B.A (Hon’s) English, and a Masters of International Law and Diplomacy (MILD), both from the University of Lagos. He is currently studying for an MBA degree in Management.
His works have received much commendations, recognition and had won him several awards. His hobbies are writing, studying foreign languages, and cinematography. He is a Life Member of the prolific Theatre 15 (University of Lagos), Abuja Literary Society (ALS), and the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN).
Five Questions with Dela Bobobee:
1. While this poem was written before last week's post on the "brain drain" to Accra from the rest of the country, it is definitely part of the same discussion. Is the "brain gain" this poem talks about happening now, or is it an aspirational thought - something you hope to see in the future?
Indeed, this poem is an aspirational thought. Yes this is something I hope to see in the future. I guess the future begins from today, though.
2. Can a "brain drain" and a "brain gain" occur simultaneously in Ghana, or do they cancel each other out?
Yes, I think a "brain drain" and a "brain gain" occur simultaneously in Ghana. In my opinion they may not necessarily cancel each other because since the variance would only be seen in its geographical locations, it would rather make it look more like a concurrence and not as a conflict.
3. The next two are questions Rob brought up during the discussion of last week's post: In areas outside of Accra, how can we stimulate more interactive poetic awareness in youth?
In areas outside of Accra, we can stimulate more interactive poetic awareness in youth by tackling it from the grassroots. I would suggest a partnership with the existing schools to embark on interactive poetic awareness, Poetry Clubs, Poetry Week, Poetry Prize Day, Poetry Contests etc. I guess things like that would go a long way in achieving that goal.
4. In Accra, how can we take advantage of the "storehouse of ideal poetic brains"?
Yes, Rob actually asked some very vital questions in that forum. It is a pity that the participation was rather lukewarm. Now coming to his question, in my opinion, I believe this would not be too much of a problem because the “storehouse of ideal poetic brains” are already there. The only problem is that they exist in form of sleeping fires that need only a little bit of stocking to turn them back into real smouldering coals. The ashes cover the hot coals and make them appear as dead fire. We can stock the fire by starting something like an Accra Literary Society which would be a forum whereby those with creative talents can come together to express their creativity. We can start from one reading in a month, then maybe later increase it depending on the response received. We can also graduate to an open-microphone reading, which can later on be diversified into different readings. I also suggest Accra Poetry Slam, lectures on various poetry topics which can be delivered by well resourced persons who would be invited, and reading sessions. After each reading, the participants would discuss the suitability or otherwise of the writer’s themes, diction, mechanical accuracy, form, imagery and other literary and poetic techniques. We could even move on to other literary genres since it would not be restricted to poetry alone.
5. You are currently living in Nigeria. Can you tell us your "brain drain" story? And do you think of yourself in that way, as part of a "brain drain"? Why or why not?
Sure. It would be untruthful if I say I don’t have a brain drain story to tell. I guess all the suggestions I am making here would have found actual expression in my physical presence in Ghana. I would have actively participated in forming the nucleus of an Accra Literary Society. Thank God, however, that Lagos is just about four hours drive from Ghana, and about 45 minutes by air. I guess I can always dash home to put some mechanism into action to make that dream materialize. I can contribute financially and would also look for an ideal venue for the meeting, registering the association’s corporate entity, and all the groundwork stuff in creating the awareness. It would be a bit easier because of my previous knowledge gained from Abuja Literary Club here in Nigeria which could turn my "brain drain" story into a “brain gain” tale by moonlight. Many thanks go to OGOV for putting these ideas into my brain. Thanks.