Juanita Tsikata is a 16 year-old [ed. note - 18 now, as this bio is two years old] Ghanaian and an upcoming poet who prefers to write at night with a torch in hand. She attends St. Johns Catholic School, Year 12 and is pursuing three courses, Biology, History and English. At the moment, she's thinking of further studies in Creative Writing and writing for friends during their "I can't afford a gift" moments. She writes songs and stories as a hobby to pass time and to express herself. Currently she lives with her father in the UK.
Five Questions with Juanita:
1. How long have you been writing poetry?
I began writing about three years ago to convey my moods, opinions on life, and personal experiences.
2. Who are your favourite poets? Which poets have most informed and inspired your work?
I have no favourites but the majority of what I read is from Efua Sutherland, Kwesi Brew and Ama Ata Aidoo. I enjoy noting how the poets put their messages across in different voices and styles.
3. What do you hope to accomplish with your poetry?
I intend to entertain people with the poems as well as bring awareness to the fact that no matter your age or background whatever you put down can transform lives.
4. You are writing at such a young age. What produced in you this early interest in poetry?
My mother, all credit goes to her. Two lessons I've never forgotten from her are the inspiration to write selflessly and the ideology on how words influence people and places.
5. What does the average student in your school think of poetry, if they think of it at all?
Unfortunately, a greater number see poetry as a mess of pointless lines and have not a care in the world for it. There are a handful with the talent and passion, yet they're in hiding for fear of being branded "maximum brained students".