This is second in our series of interviews with some Ghanaians on the longlist of the Golden Baobab Prize announced recently. Kwame Aidoo (KA), popularly known as Kwame Write, is famous for his poetry and street name within the spoken word community in Ghana. This time, he has broken the stereotype by making the list.
CWG: How did you hear about the Prize and why did you decide to enter this particular category?
Kwame Write and Deborah Ahenkorah on Writers Project on Citi fm
KA: I remember hearing Deborah Ahenkorah, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Golden Baobab talk about the prizes on Citi FM’s Writers Project Ghana radio show, and also on social media, especially twitter. I followed on to the website where I read more about how it functions. I actually wrote for all the categories and even entered the Illustrations category, except Rising Writers category, of course.
CWG: How did you receive the news about the longlist, where were you and how did you feel?
KA: Truth is, the Golden Baobab team sent me an e-mail about it and I was really excited. I was working from home, and I was actually shocked because I didn’t think I would make the longlist. I put in as much time as I do with some of my poems. I only attempted entering when the deadline was almost up, typed it out quickly in about an hour or two when the creative juice flowed, edited briskly and hit send. The media buzz about it; radio, Internet, newspaper and having friends and admirers call from all over adds to the honour and I must say I am very humbled.
CWG: Is this your first time making a Longlist? What are you writing at the moment?
KA: For children’s literature, this is the first time I’m making a longlist. I usually don’t work on just one item in a day. I attend to one writing at a time and give it as much focus and move to another, usually of a different genre depending on priority, deadline, drive or creative buzz. At the moment, of course I am working on more children’s literature and some may evolve into animations in the near future. I am, as well, putting together some works for a personal audio recording project under the auspices of Inkfluent (producers of Vocal Portraits spoken word series in conjunction with Akwaaba Music). Also, I am doing some music journalism for the Music in Africa project for Goethe South Africa. My debut anthology and a mini ‘zine’ that projects the Ghanaian street art and music trend as well as lifestyle of the popular not forgetting the underlying grapevine groove are also in the works.
CWG: In the past prizes, very few Ghanaians have made the Longlist. Are you confident you’ll make the shortlist?
KA: Yes, I am confident, because my work “The Tale of the Busy Body Bee” has the African folklore/storytelling touch and is carved out for the target age group.
CWG: Thank you for making the Writing community in Ghana proud. Any final words?
KA: I’m excited to be part of the writers making the longlist. Golden Baobab in its 6th year is ever passionate about putting blue-ribbons in the hats of African writers and illustrators of children’s stories. These are seeds being sown for this generation and progeny. I would say, particularly to fellow writers and the youth that we are unrestricted in any way to dream big but realistically; make focused plans, especially with our community in mind, achieve them and repeat the cycle.