Africans are identified as an expressive people. Ghanaians are certainly no exception. From the colourful folklores through which the older generation passes on ancient traditions, to the deliberate intricacies with which today’s Ghanaian dances the azonto, there is no denying our affinity for expression. It is how we connect. It is how we live. It is who we are.
Little wonder it is then, that in recent times there has been an eruption of the spoken word genre and a surge of appreciation for this art form in Ghana. From Ehalakasa to Mode Concepts, Nana Asaase to Akotowaa, whether big or small, male or female, socially-driven or religiously-motivated, various groups and individuals are pushing the spoken word agenda in Ghana. One such group is SASA – Speakers and Singers Association.
Birthed on the campus of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in 2011, this group of Christian poets and singers has consistently served relevant and refreshing art dipped in the wine of communion and fellowship. Their art is designed to heal the hollow soul of its emptiness, question existing answers society claims to have and give answers to silent questions many whisper in the dark.
SASA turned five this August. So on the 13th of August, they had a birthday party at Rockstone’s Office! A night of music and spoken word under the theme: SEASONS. If you missed it, well, sorry! You really missed! Those in attendance were treated to a scrumptious buffet of heart-pleasing poetry and spirit-engaging music. With such a mega line-up of poets and singers, nothing less was expected.The event began with SASA poet, Anokye, reassuring the audience of God’s guaranteed presence in and lordship over life’s storms. Anokye reminded everyone, that God is indeed God over all the nations – condemnation, stagnation, procrastination and every other nation existing or yet to exist!
Clad in an exquisitely well-tailored blazer, the Messiah’s own campaign manager – Dela the Inker – stepped up to the mic. With bold clarity (the kind usually absent in a doctor’s handwriting and a politician’s speech) and the scathing honesty of Apostle Paul, he described the times we live in and the futility of governments to manage crises like wars and natural disasters. By the time he was through, faces revealed a new conviction to “Vote for Jesus’.Beautiful melodies become a bonus when the lyrics of a song reach into the depths of our soul. When David of SASA sang his psalm titled “All I Ever Want Is You”, accompanied by the mellifluous strumming of the guitar, the lights seemed to shine a little brighter and the hearts present felt a little closer to understanding love in its fullness.
For the sake of decorum and orderliness, the audience snapped their fingers in admiration and appreciation of the various artists instead of actually clapping. But when Eli Sabblah, in explaining why his life is “heliocentric” because it revolves around the Son, spoke of how the fish in the Red Sea having seen several fishermen’s tricks like baits hooked on line and net flicks, were confounded by the splitting of the Red Sea, snaps turned into cheers of amazement. Who says spirituality kills creativity? You have clearly not been to a SASA event if you think this way!
Guest artists like Laud de Poet and Psalm One drove the audience to the point of a pleasurable overdose. Both artists delivered freestyle poetry. But you would never know they were freestyling based on the wit and finesse they spewed.
The co-mc for the night, Emma, shocked the audience with the kind of freestyle delivery best experienced for oneself. Emma requested for three random and unrelated words from the audience. The audience telepathically conniving to challenge the beautiful mc, threw the words “volcano”, “antelope” and “love” at her.
What happened next was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Like a chef on Chopped Canada provided with a mystery basket containing absolutely no related ingredients, she diced and spiced, fried and baked the words given her with expert poetic culinary authority. The calm poise with which she served the audience with an instantly cooked yet unforgettably delectable dinner, was the best bon appetite any chef has ever said!
SASA’s SEASONS seasoned the audience like the seasoning that salt is expected to be in and out of season! (I had to!). Being the party that it was, there wasn’t only music and fellowship, there was cake and drinks! But before the cake was cut and champagne was popped, Emmanuel came through with the last ministration of the night – “Fortify My Will Power”. A song that got everyone in attendance jamming to its dance-worthy tempo.Many more artists ministered on the night, each a crucial instrument in a meticulously organised orchestra. Their poetry and music oozed with grace and style. They drew the audience in, inviting them to connect and fellowship on a whole new plane.
People say poetry is musical. It is the language of the soul. People say music is poetic. It is food for the soul. They are binding agents that draw people together as life whips and beats them up. They go through the oven of life with these two binding agents. They are joyful and cheerful in the midst of fear and despair because of poetry and music. They are tasteful company among those who share their love of these two flavours of art. Like the taste of good cake on the tongue, they give others a lingering memory. Music and poetry. They keep us connected. And proper connections are not easily forgotten. SASA’s buffet was unforgettable!
Article Source: Akyempo, threesixtygh writer
Image Source: SASA