Creative Writing: Interview With African Shakespeare

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Heyaaa!! It's your girl, #ThatEweGirl!!! It's 12th December 2016 already! Praise be to God! Today is the day we eat our first meal of creative writing. On the menu today is an interesting, educative and informative spiced up interview with one of the fast growing writer and poet. He goes by the pen name African Spear.
Now sit back and relax as I serve you with a mouth watering meal of interactive interview.

#THATEWEGIRL: Good day African Spear

AFRICAN SPEAR: Good day Madam

#THATEWEGIRL: Oh you can call me Senam. Anyway kindly tell us your name and a little bit of yourself

AFRICAN SPEAR: Correction noted Senam. Awuah -Mainoo Gabriel is my name, I hail from the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana, Techiman, to be precise. I'm currently a Senior high school graduate striving to attend college in Europe on a scholarship merrit through tennis. I'm a tennis player, poet and writer as well with the pen name( African Shakespeare).

#THATEWEGIRL: Oh a tennis player? That's amazing you know, you hardly come across young tennis players. It's all about football.

AFRICAN SPEAR: Yes a tennis player. The Ghanaian child syndrome "almost every Ghanaian male child in his early age is a footballer". I was once a footballer too, but it couldn't bring me what i wanted so i had to quit. My dad actually introduced me into tennis though.

#THATEWEGIRL: That's great. Anyway let's get on with the poetry aspect of you.
African Spear.... Mmmmm.... Why that name?

AFRICAN SPEAR: African Spear is actually an ambiguity.
1. A truncated form of African Shakespeare.
There's no way i can be Shakespeare, therefore I'm only Assuming his traits and virtues (scion). Shakespeare himself even said " Assume a virtue, if thou haven't got ".

2.The actual spear we all know of, with a shaft and a blade(symbolism).
I always want to be an agent of change and true justice. Hence i bore this name as a harmless spear to Pierce to smiling evils. In society. I do this through my satires to lampoon the ills of corrupt institution and classes. This spear represents my "penmanship".

#THATEWEGIRL: "through your satires to lampoon the ills of corrupt institutions and classes" Brofo! It's good to know you have a good command over the English language.
So why poetry? Where from the interest, how did you get into it, and how long have you been doing this?

#AFRICAN SPEAR: Thank you Senam, English language is a long process. I'm still learning. I do other literary stuffs too but poetry the most. Because i find poetry the easiest way to put a message across, Unlike other literary stuffs which are sometimes packed( prose, drama, etc) and require much time to complete reading. Poetry is only arranged in lines and stanzas yet expresses some deep thoughts and human experiences couched in an imaginative language.
My poetry career started in SHS. We were once asked to write a quatrain for an English project work, and I was one guy who always wanted to impress, so I hid myself in one corner striving to give out my best. As if a spell had been cast on me, all of a sudden i started writing beyond the quatrain. So after submission my teacher, Eunice Agbeve called for me and asked " Mainoo, who wrote this for you ?" I answered " myself". She then asked me to read the poem aloud to the class. And after reading, My teacher commended me and urged me on to write, the reaction of my mates were also positive and amazing, some named me "Baby Awunor" so that inspired my writing Odyssey. Somewhere March, 2014, our school was invited for a writing conference @ (TIS), Tema International School, I and 4 others  were chosen as representatives.
So there, we were enlightened deeper into poetry. That was where and when poetry actually grew root on my mind. The inspiration of "Martin Egblewogbe the host of writers project on Citi FM " and "Bernard Akoi Jackson" of TIS Theatre
Also triggered my writing. I've being writing for almost three years.

#THATEWEWGIRL: Wow. Amazing. So how far do you wish to go with poetry?

#AFRICAN SPEAR: Well, I want the world to know the African version of Shakespeare exist,
and also want to be recognized as one of the best African poets.

#THATEWEGIRL: Shakespeare Shakespeare Shakespeare. Is that to say he's your mentor? Or favourite poet?

AFRICAN SPEAR: I'm the scion of Shakespeare. He's my mentor

#THATEWEGIRL: That's to say you enjoy the use of old English. Which I can affirm to because I've read quite a number of your poems and most of them have this old English use

AFRICAN SPEAR: Exactly senam! That is the traditional way of Writing and i prefer going the traditional way. It brings out the organic beauty of the art.

#THATEWEGIRL: It's good to know there are people willing to keep a good tradition going. But you know, most people aren't good with the old English especially the youth. It might be difficult for most of the youth to understand old English. So how do get your message across effectively?

AFRICAN SPEAR: Poetry itself is sometimes not meant to be understood, however I've adopted different ways/styles of writing wherein I consider my audience before doing any style. I've some poems which solely belong to the youth.
As a poet you must know your audience  and feed them with what they actually want as in the case of "a mother and child "

#THATEWEGIRL: Mmmm. That's some good advice over there to all poets, up and coming. We are gradually coming to the end of this interview.
So, African Shakespeare, tell us what inspires you to keep writing, to keep doing poetry. Because in Ghana here, the interest is very low, people don't have much interest for arts you know, as compared to outside IE Europe and America. So what keeps you going?

AFRICAN SPEAR: Well, my passion has much flame in literature (poetry) and I don't mind earning nothing from it in Ghana. my love for poetry is unique and nothing can make me quit. People beyond our boarders read my work appreciate it so much and inspire me to keep going. Especially Paul E Pinnock from London, Beatrix Yaa Mensah my assistant headmistress administration( who's also an amazing poet), Sir Eric Tetteh, Gertrude Kassene(my literature teachers). and others also inspired me greatly.

#THATEWEGIRL: Aawww. I'm moved and touched. Lol
Your final words to poets, upcoming poets and spoken word artists.
Wait, is spoken word the same as poetry?

AFRICAN SPEAR : To the poets; let their words heal, influence(positively), bring change, and finally give life.
To spoken word artists;
Let the power of their voices heal, influence ( positively) bring change and finally give life.

And to answer your question, No, Spoken word is not the same as poetry.
 I'll say spoken word is a performed/performing poetry(usually plain, has power, and sometimes not deep as poetry).

To the upcoming poets and spoken artists:
1.Let humility lead.
2.Be always glad to be criticized and be tolerant.
3.Offer the maximum respect to your folks.

#THATEWEGIRL: OK. Mr. Awuah-Mainoo Gabriel, thank you very much for honoring our invitation for this interview. We wish you all the best and God's blessings as you pursue your dreams of reliving Shakespeare in Africa.

AFRICAN SPEAR: Welcome Senam, I'm very grateful. Thank you too.

Aaww lovely readers, we've come to the end of this interview and knowing very well that this meal is going to take you about three days to finish eating, your dessert of chilled iced poetry by African Shakespeare will be served to you right here on Wednesday God willing.
Thank you all very much. Have a graceful week.
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Creative Writing

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  1. Superb and educative interview
    Thank you for the revelation from Genesis.
    Keep on firing
    It's worth it.
    Senam, great one there
    Keep the spirit

  2. Gabriel is so good at poetry. I love his peoms and I urge Ghanaians to give him more support. And Senam keep it up.

    1. Thanks for your support. Kindly keep following, there's more in stock

  3. Great interview. Gabriel is a genius

    1. Thank you very much. Keep following us for more geniuses

  4. I have actually read your poems and I know your name is yours . Kilimanjaro is a step over.

  5. wooow.. i love the interview... i wish i could have polished my skill too
    i miss Mrs. C. S. Acheampong of PRESEC, LEGON. She enacted poetry so much that i felt i was in the poem itself... i like african spear too... he is creating great lines... but i am sure there will come a time for rebranding your pen name to be more in tune with your culture. i must confess, the outer world will love poetry wholly cooked from the african pot though the adaptation of the classic and shakespearan style is appreciated.

    i like your interviewer, please tell #thatewegirl that i have some unfinished lines with her... i really have to get that done...


    1. Thanks Emma for your support. And no worries we will surely finish those lines

    2. Thanks Emma for your support. And no worries we will surely finish those lines