Five Questions with Andy:
kpokplomaja.com, akwantuo.org and The Writers Project of Ghana, and in a few anthologies. He enjoys having a good laugh and always has 'playful' thoughts. His other interests include football, movies and nature.
Five Questions with Andy:
1. You wrote this poem in preparation for the 2012 election. How fearful are you, really, that what the "future writer" describes might come to pass?
I was initially more afraid when I had a nightmare concerning those things described than I am now. However having said that, chaos, however small should be prevented. Who knows what it can develop into in the near future?
2. What cracks and pressure points do you see in Ghanaian society, leading up to this election, that drove you to write this piece?
The media first of all keep reporting highly controversial issues, some of them being provoking. People are saying all sorts of things on the radio, which can easily be interpreted as promoting violence. Political rivalry in Ghana leads to various pressure points as each party seems capable of doing or saying anything against the other in the name of competition - these acts go against the country.
3. Forgive my ignorance, but there are a few references in this poem that escape me, such as "too gb33" and "Toshii Maame". Could you explain these references (if they are meant to be understood, that is)?
I am a Ga, and usually draw my imagery from my roots. Anyone who understands the language will grasp the concept easily. To help you, "too gb33" literally means "Goat balls" but refers to 'bofrot' which is a ball-like Ghanaian doughnut. Toshii Maame refers to Toshii's mother, the down-to-earth, poor, humble woman who sells simple foodstuffs and items (She represents the proletariat, the true ambassadors of peace). I used to buy 'adun lee' ('monkey tail') and 'bofrot' from one little girl called Toshii (but she was rude and arrogant when selling to you, the very opposite of her mother).
4. What effect do you hope for this poem to have on the reader? Do you think poetry can influence attitudes around an election one way or the other?
I hope for a reader to experience a nightmare whilst digesting the poem, wake up at its end and realise how important peace is to our nation even with all our problems. I believe poetry can influence attitudes towards an election and even attitudes towards the promotion of peace. Anyone who experiences my nightmare should realise that peace is priceless.
5. Are you still at Legon? If so, how are your studies going? If not, what are yo up to now?
I completed Legon this year. I am now doing my national service but I'm still a student. I'm currently studying Accounting and soon to add I.T. to that as well. It's challenging and time-consuming but I'm for it.