Rejuvenation: A Commentary on The Village Thinkers’ Black Panther

August 8, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

 

Two Reviews

By

Zakaria Abdul-Hakim and Effah Elvis

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Zakaria Abdul-Hakim

Zakaria Abdul-Hakim IS A Writer, Blogger, Spoken Word Artiste, Student and an Activist from Tamale, Ghana. Abdul-Hakim who spend most of his time on literary writings and freelance journalism.

He is an Editor for https://sanatuzambang.com and Campus 24/7 News.

Hakim is a literary advocate who has over the years worked to nurture SHS students in literary art, specifically; Poetry, Short Stories and Spoken Word. He has also moderated social media discussions and interviews.

Abdul-Hakim is a trainer with Hopin Academy where he handles Online/Social Media Marketing. He also served as administrator of the Youth Speak Up project and moderated social media discussions in their ‘Idea Platform’. He has also served the position OF administrator for other organizations.

He is the projects and programmes lead for ‘Poets from our Savannah’ PFOS – a literary hub that gatherers writers together whilst perfecting their crafts and promoting literary writing.

Hakim has been running his SHS Poetry Tour in Tamale and seeks to make it more innovative. In January, 2018, he organized blogging training at the PPAG clinic in Tamale, introducing people to practical approach to blogging.

Abdul-Hakim is the coauthor of Obibini Te-Ase; a poetry anthology by Afridiaspora which was published in honour of Ghana@60. Some of his poems were recently translated into Bahasa – Malaysia. His works have been featured for publication in an anthology which will be published in Europe.

 

 

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A Review of The Village Thinkers’ Black Panther (The Poem). Produced by B2 (DopeNation)

 

 

It is a truism that the only way to be satisfied as a writer or a poet is to write great works that will inspire humanity to self-discovery. “The Black Panther” by “The Village Thinkers” is undoubtedly one of the greatest works of poetry that all lovers of poetry can gullibly consume.

 

The Black Panther is beautifully written and recited in English and interspersed with the Fante language. It is historically and artistically subtle in a unique way that a normal poetry can’t capture- it is simply fascinating.

 

This poem is not one of the numerous poems to tickle our feelings and scrap the surface but this thought-provoking poem demonstrates how it is imperative to listen to our inner voice of Africanness and the need to identity ourselves as true sons and daughters of the land.

 

From the very beginning of the poem, The Village Thinkers carefully and wittily induce us to realize that we should always choose our personal path and live it proudly as Africans.

 

The poem has a symbolical meaning which is expressed in the opinion that our lives as Africans should be our hope and pride.

 

Candidly speaking, the poem is definitely worth your last dime and personal reading, especially for those who stand at the crossroads and cannot figure out what to do with their lives in the quest to live the African dream. Deep in the very heart of the poem, one could hear the lapping sound of the ocean at every hour as the poem posits that a strong army with the speed of a cheetah is rising from the dying embers of poetry in Africa through the creative arts.

 

The narrators’ tone in the poem is nostalgic, dreamy and demonstrates a staunch desire for new Africa which will revolve around the unifying wheels of poetry. All lovers of poetry can gather the fruitful bounties quoted in this poem to catch a glimpse of what an ideal personality as a true African should be like.

 

This didactic poem ” The Black Panther”, woven and brewed from the unfailing pot of “The Village Thinkers” is devoid of pretention and glamour but stirs a variety of feelings of awe, inspiration and admiration for Africanness. The Village Thinkers’ wit and passion becomes more lively and poignant in the poem which makes ‘Black Panther’ simply irresistible.

 

Talk of poetry revolutionizers and the village thinkers will surely come to mind.. ,Just anticipate…Don’t miss this poem when it’s out…

 

 

 

 

Effah Elvis

My name is Elvis; from the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. I deal in writing as my hobby with the sole aim of sharing a part of myself with the world. The last born of my siblings and the last of my kind and breed. Born to a man and a woman but well-brought up by only a woman in a small town of Sampa- I have so many dreams. A dark African with the dream of emancipating the world with my experiences and saturating the world with the musings of my evergreen ink. no doubt, my kind is getting extinct. Originality is my bedrock. From the bottom and unrecognized but follow my lead and enjoy an avalanche of my experiences.

Editor review

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