Ghana’s National Theatre in collaboration with EHALAKASA and KGL Foundation, has celebrated this year’s World Poetry Day with Senior High Schools in the Eastern Region on the theme “Always be a poet, even in prose.”
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established the day, which is observed every year on March 21.
Its objective is to encourage and inspire young people, as well as to appreciate the role of poetry in the world’s development and enlightenment.
Poetry is a type of literature that elicits a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience or a specific emotional response through language that has been chosen and arranged for its meaning, sound, and rhythm.
Mrs Amy Appiah Frimpong, Executive Director of the National Theatre of Ghana, noted that “poetry can have a positive impact on the social and emotional learning of children by offering them a new way of thinking about something, as well as building their grammar and listening skills.”
She said instilling poetry writing in pupils and students was in line with one of the National Theatre of Ghana’s goals,”to engage and enrich our communities. This engagement, we believe, will go a long way toward sharpening the students’ public speaking and writing skills.”
The partners for the day’s celebration visited schools in the Eastern Region, including Ofori Panin Senior High School, Oyoko Methodist Senior High School, Pope John Senior High School, Ghana Senior High School, and Oti Boateng Senior High School.
The members shared their poetry writing experience with students, teaching them some writing techniques and how to ‘weave’ words beautifully.
Mr. William Ashong, Programmes Manager at the National Theatre of Ghana, mentioned that the day was also observed to inform governments all over the world about the importance of including poetry in all levels of education, from primary to higher education.
He advised students to become acquainted with various departments to discover areas of interest that may be useful to them, particularly in arts and culture.
Mr. Yibor Kojo Yibor, Co-founder of EHALAKASA, a community of spoken word poets and performers, and a platform where poetry intersects with music, stated that “poetry is part of our society, part of our daily living; the way we speak, the way we express ourselves are all poetry.”
“It is time poetry becomes one of the things we give more emphasis to, because we do not pay much attention to it when it comes to the area of using it as a form of entertainment or as a form of revenue.”
Ms Mabel Asare, a Form One student at Oyoko Methodist SHS, stated, “It is good that World Poetry Day is celebrated in the school because some of us have interest in poetry writing but we are unable to advance because we do not have any help.”
She stated that the experience and teachings she received in poetry writing today had inspired her.