For a very long while, I’ve not heard a purely organic, African-brewed spoken poetry; a truly African roots poetry.
Even though the essence of performance poetry was to preserve poetry in its truest form for the latter-day literary world, the majority of contemporary spoken words I’ve listened to these days as a writer and performance poet have totally lost their ‘poetical ingredients’.
Poetry is pristine and must be well kept. One can only feel the true nature of poetry when it is embedded with literary devices. And no way will it appeal to your audience if it loses sense of the subject matter, rhythm, harmony, metaphorical conjunction of thoughts, personifying lines and characters, etc.
Many people think poetry is just a piece of work with a particular rhyme pattern. Alas, rhyme is just a subset of the literary ingredients of a poem.
The first time I saw the flyer of ‘Black Panther’, my sight got hold of the record label first. A sight of the ‘Village Thinkers’ logo gave me more reason to have a clear look at the flyer. As a student of the arts from the Thinkers hut, I know quite what they can do.
But what surprised me was, I know the Village Thinkers to have been fighting against contemporary spoken word. So why has Kofi decided to release another piece after he had done a marvelous Spoken word poem for the last RTP Awards ceremony?
Truly, their course was to bring back the conscious of spoken word artistes to write and perform pure poetry, not just mere conjunction of words, and call it a poem. Not every piece of performance art is a poetry. This must be noted and spoken word artistes are totally different from poets.
Kofi Acquah is one writer who fully submerges his readers into a hypnotic sense – where one closes the eyes and concentrates itself in contemplation with the inner self; asking questions, rediscovering oneself…
In fact, the whole crew of the Village Thinkers have made a name for themselves as a den of ancestral tongues, literary musings, and creative arts.
I’ve been busy these days due to the ill health status of my dad, but when I received the audio from Kofi, I told him I’ll try and dedicate a night to listen to the piece since it is worth more than a few minutes listening.
Of course, I did listen and was taken aback… In fact, ‘Black Panther’ really took me on for the night. Maybe if I die today, I’ve at least accomplished having the honour to be part of the first listeners of this masterpiece.
Black Panther starts with a very nice choice of introducing song. The listener, upon hearing the powerful echoing voice from the background, will automatically sit up to listen as it arouses morale into the listener. The song, which is of an ancestral roots, also instantly tells everyone the origin of the literary piece – Africa.
The poet hasn’t boosted the ‘aphrodisiac’ of the listener, then takes him immediately to a wonderland with a very BIG voice and stunningly sways the audience away.
The poem is linguistic in nature and reveals a very fascinating identity of the African. Black Panther convincingly tries to let the listener know his worth (if African), but first of all, he tells the listener his identity, his worth as black and how the black colour exudes beam of light, glows and outweighs dark.
In fact, to tell you, the multilingual dynamics in this spoken poetry reminds me of Professor Atukwei Okai who sometimes used the merge GA, English, French, Twi in his works. A writer’s diversity in language tells lot about him and since Abeiku Arhin Tsiwah, Kofi Acquah, Kumankoma and the rest are Linguists, it serves a better explanation for such great work.
Kofi has creatively merged English with Fante and Twi together. The transitioning has been well calculated both by the producer and the two artistes; Kofi Acquah and Ekow Dodd. The fall and rise in tempo and pitch was just on point and could not have been done any better than that.
Check Out : Kwesi Arthur – Anthem (Mixed By JayFyn)
The two artiste have been able to keep their listeners glued to the masterpiece till the end and will dare to repeat a couple of times.
Black Panther is a must-listen spoken word poem and all must get hold of it when it escapes the tides of cervical fluid.
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