In keeping to one of our major themes of showing the best of Africa, and the rest of the world, we caught up with an artist on the rise, from Ghana’s Eastern Region.
Accra based POETRA ASANTEWA is a strong example of human and artistic metamorphosis. She has come a long way from the shy girl who was hesitant to take the microphone at an event we attended at Nubuke foundation in Ghana almost 7 years ago, to a fully fledged poet; writer; singer and more.
Poetra is evolving into an artist whose endeavors cannot be tamed. Her lyrics are unafraid; unbridled; passionate and yes, explicit – this lady owns her womanhood and sexuality hundred percent, a necessity for the progress of women, and women artists in Africa and elsewhere.
We are also proud of her entrepreneurial spirit. Her fashion label, ALIKOTO Clothing produces authentic and exciting Ghanaian fashion that matches all kinds of personalities and pockets. When Ama Asantewa Diaka isn’t being Poetra; the fashion designer and singer, you can catch her doing geeky tech stuff with computers. AFRIKAJUMP caught up with her to ask about some of her plans in 2017 and her wonderful work, in 7 questions. Enjoy.
AFRIKAJUMP- When did you realize you could make magic with words?
POETRA- I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember; my earliest memory of writing was when I was in class 4 and my classmates gave me empty exercise books to fill it with short stories. I always thought it was ordinary, I never thought my writing was a big deal until I started getting huge feedback after sharing my work on social media. So I guess, that was the moment of self-actualization; that was when I realized I could make magic with words
AFRIKAJUMP- In your piece with Akan, ‘Vote for me’ you were very vocal about corrupt Politicians in your society. In a world where many feel it is safer to keep quiet, why is it important to you to use your art for activism, and in speaking against societal ills?
POETRA- All we have is art, to be very honest. Art distills, art reveals, art hides in plain sight when needed, art tells the truth. And as an artist I am obliged to be honest with my art, and for my art to be relevant to my community. I cannot imagine creating work that does not directly or indirectly affect my community. There is nothing safe about being silent or turning a blind eye on issues.
AFRIKAJUMP- What challenges in your work made/make you throw your hands in the air, in a rage? And how do you deal with it?
POETRA- In Ghana, I don’t have the luxury to be just an artist. I have to be artist, promoter, organizer, sponsor, event coordinator – I have to be it all. And it is frustrating having to be all these things in order to get your art out there. But the desire to just create is an urge that never goes away. And that keeps me going.
AFRIKAJUMP- In 2015 you released your first spoken word EP ‘Motherfuckitude’ and it clearly announced you in your home country and beyond. What inspired it?
POETRA- Motherfuckitude is the result of coming from a place of struggle and emotional imbalance. It was a project to override my limitations, insecurities and ineptitude.
AFRIKAJUMP- You are a tech person who designs, edits, floats a fashion label amongst other interests, how has having several skills impacted your work as an artist?
POETRA- Having different skills means that each interest or skill seeps into the other. It means that my attention for detail is seen both in my writing and my designing; it also means that I struggle to juggle all these interests, but the struggle ultimately feeds into inspiration for more art.
AFRIKAJUMP- Any past, present or future project(s) you would like us to know about?
POETRA- Working on releasing a lot of new material this year, and working on my album!
AFRIKAJUMP- Can you try to describe your city in one word? Okay two words max.
To get lost in the words and voice of this artist check her Soundcloud page. You can get updates, LIKE her Facebook page. ❤