Five Questions with Andy:
1. How long have you been writing poetry?
I have been writing poetry for as long as I remember, since primary two. I used to be picked to recite in school plays and functions. I think this triggered my love for the art.
2. Who are your favourite poets? Which poets have most inspired and informed your poetry?
My favourite poets are Mutabaruka, Maya Angelou and D.H. Lawrence. However, I must say that I have been most inspired and influenced in my poetry (mostly the performance aspect) by my primary two French tutor Monsieur Kousalima. Though not on the international scene, that teacher was a great poet and performer to me by all standards (wherever you are Monsieur, merci beaucoup). I am also fond of the writings of Martin Egblewogbe and Kojo Laing.
3. What do you hope to accomplish with your poetry?
I hope my poetry first of all inspires interest in the art by "non-believers". If not for anything at all, I like a well appreciated piece of art. Creativity should not be a rolling stone, we can rest it on the minds of all who hitherto wouldn't have any interest in poetry or art. I hope that people will learn to appreciate art when reading my pieces, because there are so many ways to tell a story and stand for a message through poetry. With different views and takes on your piece, in the end, you say more than you intended to.
4. Tell us a bit more about the editorial board at PRESEC. What activities did this group get up to?
In PRESEC, the editorial board was the main literary stronghold of the school. Apart from seeing to the publishing of a school magazine, we were like the school's own whistle blower. With carefully chosen pseudonyms, we posted weekly articles exposing clandestine activities, unfair policies, and gross student misbehaviour. There were many times that the editorial board would get into trouble for telling on a master, but it did not deter our course. Sadly, I have currently gotten wind that its efficacy is waining.
5. How do you find the poetry scene at Legon? Is there much activity these days?
I have met so many talented writers and poets in Legon. I think the platforms for performance are gradually on the rise. You can hardly say it's an area of great interest at Legon, so I believe to gain recognition and exposure it is up to us the writers to be sturdy on our course. We have a few shows periodically and I can say that things are starting to look up.
Fortnightly, there are shows at Nubuke foundation (the talkparties), and weekly poetry shows on Radio Universe. Also, the Academy of Young Writers-Ghana (AYW-G), a 360 degree Creative Arts network for young people in Ghana, organizes shows periodically on campus. I'm a member of the academy and our goal is to tap into the creative abilities of young people. There is more work to be done and I believe we are taking a step in the right direction. I believe that one day, poetry and the arts will be taken to the next level in Ghana. It begins with us.