Maame Esi Abassah is a Fanti who was born at Ajumako in the Central Region of Ghana. Due to her father's occupation as a missionary she has traveled a lot enabling her to know more about her country and culture. She attended Swedru Secondary School. In 2007, when this interview was conducted, she worked as a journalist for SKYY TV bureau in Tarkwa. Her hobbies are reading, writing articles and poetry, debating, and acting.
Five Questions with Maame Esi Abassah:
1. How long have you been writing poetry?
For the past three years, since junior school.
2. Who are your favorite poets? Which poets have most inspired and informed your work?
Kofi Awoonor and Leopold Sedar Senghor.
3. What do you hope to accomplish with your poetry?
Try to be a member of the negritude to bring out all that's good for which Africa stands for: our culture, values and heritage.
4. Living in Tarkwa, do you feel isolated as a writer? Are there other writers in the community, or interested people with whom you can share your work?
Naturally, yes since it seems most of the folks are not so much interested into poetry. To them it does not fetch quick money so it isn't really a necessity but I believe poetry is the soul of life because everything in life is centered around it, especially to us Africans and our ideas for emancipation. At the moment I'm only inspired by my mentor, Mr. Ralph Menz who also shares the idea that anything is possible with poetry.
5. During the current power crises, the terms "light" and "darkness" carry whole new meanings and weight for Ghanaians, an idea you've captured well in "Dreams". How big of a barrier do you think the power supply problem is to the country, and do you think Ghana can truly "awaken to a bright new morning" any time soon because of it?
Light on its own has an impact on every individual. As it is even believed light holds the key to any successful development, that is why in our African society darkness is shunned and frowned upon and seen as evil. As such, the power supply problem is posing a threat to effective national development in the light of industrialization, education and the likes, but I believe strongly Ghana can awaken to a new day through unity, working as a team and our leaders forgetting about divisional vices such as backbiting, obstructive criticisms and corruption.