Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers – Image via BooksLiveSA on Flickr.

I am happiest when I am able to make connections with other writers based on the work I do here on my blog. I should tell you this story.

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers is one of South Africa’s acclaimed poets. I say South-African even though she is Ghanaian/Australian by birth. There’s story behind that. I’ll tell you a summary as I have it from her wikipedia page.

Phillippa was born to a Ghanaian father and Australian mother but was adopted into an apartheid-era white South African family when she was 9 months. She grew up to 20 before she knew she was adopted, and did not meet her biological father till years later. Her writing has reflected her obvious internal struggles of identity. Phillippa lectures creative writing now at Wits University in Johannesburg. She has published two poetry collections, Taller than Buildings and The Everyday Wife, among a host of other featured publications.

Well, back in January, having discovered this blog, Phillippa got in touch with me and we begun discussing literature and the common language of our poetry. After so many emails back and forth, guess what? Phillippa is in Ghana! And we are going to be on radio together on Sunday reading and talking poetry on Writers Project on Citi FM 97.3. That’s more exciting than I just made it sound..haha! Please tune in to us at 8:30pm GMT on Sunday 26th April or online at http://www.citifmonline.com.

And not only that! She will take Dr Mawuli Adzei’s writing class at the University of Ghana on Monday 27th at 3pm and then we have the German Goethe Institut hosting her for a reading of her works and book signings on Wednesday 29th at 7pm. Good immersion into the arts scene in Ghana, this should be. All times are in GMT. Thanks to Martin Egblewogbe and Nana Yaw Sarpong of the Writers Project Ghana for making all this possible.

Please tune in online to the radio event if you’re not in Ghana and attend these events if you are. I am happy when blogging jumps from the screen and translates into tangible realities of literary adventure. I will be back to share the fun with you when the week is through.

Mercenaries.

Mercenaries.

April is National Poetry Month in the United States. I am not joining the American National Poetry Month Write A Poem A Day Challenge because this blog is sinlessly African only. But I think it is a worthy challenge and writing a poem a day for a month may not be too difficult a thing to do. In place of missing out on the Challenge, I’ll do my best to flow with the spirit of poetry and blog more African poetry this month. Maybe, I should set a personal challenge to update this blog everyday of April. That is quite a Challenge in itself. I have written poetry for the first two days of April already, the first being my April Fool’s Post and then this one written yesterday. Hope you enjoy it somewhat.

LIFE AND DEATH

Life and death.
We trudge on
From one to another.
Mercenaries. Bound.

If only death was life
And life was death,
Then we’ll die first
And live forever

Still we rise..

We breath.
We live.
We live.
We breath.
We sleep.
We wake.
We live.
To die.

Yet we live still…
To die soon…

This poem is actually a response to the epidemic of lost lives the world has seen in only three months of this year. An earthquake in Haiti, floods in Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan, an earthquake and tsunami in Japan, revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and other countries across the globe, brutal after-effects of elections in Cote d’Ivoire and bomb explosions in Afghanistan and many other countries. The list is endless. I am sure I have missed something still. But it gives a though to the contemplative: how valuable is life today? We have collectively cheapened the value of life through our misdeeds. But even if we did not, wouldn’t we all die? The poem says it all that life and death are the cycle we all shall experience. We trudge towards death, whether by quake, tsunami or revolution, each day brings us ever close to our graves. Yet we trudge on. I hope it made for thought.