Edith N. Faalong was born to Mr. Joseph Y Faalong and Madame Hellen Tanye in the Upper West Region of Ghana. She currently lives in Accra.
Five Questions with Edith Faalong:
1. Is it important for you to focus your writing on African themes, or are these just themes that are easily and/or naturally available to you?
I do not deliberately focus on African themes. But I have come to realize that in my heart burns a strong torch for Africa.
2. Your poems featured on OGOV are always politically charged. Is all your writing political, in a sense, or are our readers only seeing one side of your writing?
I am a writer and so I write on diverse issues. So far however, only my poetry on political themes have been featured. I am positive that readers will see and hear more of me on other issues.
3. You always manage to integrate political themes into your writing in subtle ways, avoiding becoming too polemical and bashing your readers over the head with your beliefs. Do you do this intentionally?
Being polemical is something I seriously avoid. I believe everybody knows the strong and wrong issues of our world today. But we all have different stands for various reasons. So I try to pull my reader first into the poem before I do the integration process. Then I leave it hanging for him/her to conclude (in as logical a way as possible). In this manner, I ensure that I do not impose my ideas, nor am I the source of your conception or misconception.
4. The line "the sound of metal life against itself" is a wonderful one. Could you discuss it more?
When I talk of "metal life against itself", I mean that money, although vain, has been made to take up so strong a quality that it has become the ultimate - it has become "life".
And so people/Africa, even in the face of loosing dignity, pride, resources...will endure in the name of aid, money. So although Africa foresees clearly the repercussions of accepting these alms we go to beg for, we are willing to take the "pressure and complexities" for that aid.
5. Is there a way to shake what the butler left clinging to the beggars? How can this be done for Africa?
There is no sure recipe to shake off what the butler brings in. No one can do it for Africa. We have to do it on our own. In many ways we all need to work towards it. It's time every man, irrespective of skin colour and tone, developed a conscience towards his fellow man. It's time we changed "Zero Tolerance for Corruption" to "No Corruption!". Maybe then the African pie would be able to go round every home so we would not have to assume beggarly positions to balance our budgets.
African leaders should learn to continue ideologies even if they belonged to their enemies - our leaders must adopt an "Africa First" attitude before self interest.
But in the light of all this, let us keep our development plans within the walls of achievement and avoid over-ambition. It is a long process, but as the bird patiently builds its nest, so will Africa grow from strength to might.