The spoken word scene is taking root in Ghana, allowing both men and women to bond together and promote community development and self expression. If you have ever been to a spoken word performance, then you know how intense, emotional, and real those words can feel. In the early 2000’s, EhaLaKasa was leading the spoken word poetry movement in the country.
Major Players of Ghana’s Spoken Word
EhaLaKasa has had a major impact on the spoken word movement in Ghana, and supported a variety of community functions, including school outreach programs, a weekly radio show known as the Writers’ Project, and many other youth activities.
In 2011, EhaLakasa published a poetry anthology showcasing students attending their outreach school programs. In addition, they also host an annual poetry festival, the EhaLaKasa Megafest. On average, this festival brings in over 1,000 visitors from all over the country, and is a common ground for artists and admirers to enjoy a full day of spoken word.
As the spoken word art continues to gain momentum, artists such as Vanessa Akua Medie, a.k.a. Dzyadzorm, use this platform to discuss social issues and bring to light the challenges that many people face on a regular basis. Starting her spoken word career in 2013, Dzyadzorm hopes to contribute to this emerging art while making a name for herself.
The Impact of Spoken Word
In recent times, the growth and increased frequency of spoken word events have given youth a venue to perform an art that offers them the ability to communicate through poetry and music. Overall, the spoken word scene offers an alternative to the socio-politico cultural environment, while providing creative ways to contribute to the betterment of their country.
With the emerging spoken word scene of today’s society, the impact of one’s speech can be heard not just within your local community but across the globe. Having such a medium to share, discuss, and bring to light the social, economical, and political unrest that people face is key to leveraging this platform.
As spoken word continues to develop in Ghana, more and more artists are finding a way to voice their struggles and challenges in a way that is productive, affective, and creative. “What we say and how we say it not only makes a difference in the reaction we’ll receive, but it also determines whether conflict or peace will result. Many arguments could be avoided and tense situations relaxed if we understood this truth.” – Richard De Haan