Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia is a Ghanaian from Kwahu in the Eastern Region.
She is a passionate writer and whose hobbies include reading and writing. She is a high school teacher at Tamale Senior High School, president of the The Autism Help Foundation and CEO of Cee’s Foods.
Her book, Poetry Excursion on an African Mind was selected for study at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, for a course titled Female Writers of Africa.
Cecilia writes about everything that catches her fancy and is a celebrated poet in Ghana because of her apt metaphors and deep and resounding word of art.
She is 34 years old and hopes she grows to see her works have more impact on the world.
She spoke towww.nation.co.keabout her literary favourites.
How would you describe the poetry scene in Ghana?
It is very good now. There are so many poets doing so well and many spoken word artists too with great initiatives.
We are not yet in a space where poets are recognized for their efforts but we are gradually getting there, I think.
We so have the likes of Nana Asaase, Oswald Okaitei, Sir Black and his Ehalakasa Group, Fapempong and his local performances, so many of them.
As a literature teacher, would you say your students enjoy reading in general and poetry in particular?
I would say modern children love to surf more than reading and I love the fact that they are not allowed to bring their phones to school because of their interest in social media.
Social media is taking the fun out of books and most students read their texts only to pass examinations.
Few enjoy reading though and there are many reading clubs around which are encouraging them to.
Who are the three poets you look up to and why?
Atukwei Okai for his local imageries which pop out in your mind’s eye when you read his poems, Koku Anyidoho for his realistic artistry and apt metaphors where words are concerned and Shakespeare for his depth and archaisms which make readers think deeper to fetch meaning.
Well, if I am given a fourth, I would choose Maya Angelou because she is a lady whose writings encourage other females to come up with their art.
Which two books do you hold so dear that they can't possibly be lent out?
Certainly, Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Peter Abraham's Mine Boy. There is something about books of black segregation that inspires me to aspire to be better and strikes my sympathy for my ancestors.
Your childhood favourite read?
Well, where I do remember some books by Peggy Oppong, Light at the End of the Tunnel, that I loved reading when I was in Secondary School and definitely loved reading Shakespeare.
What are you currently reading?
Sue Miller's TheDistinguishedGuest.
If you were to dine with three writers dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Shakespeare, E L James, Ama Ata Aidoo. Shakespeare, to be able to see how a prolific writer like him lived poorly and how his poverty affected his writings or brought out his artistry at first hand, James because FiftyShadesofGrey is a thrilling read and Aidoo because she is a pioneer and a celebrated writer from Ghana with such flawless discipline whose writings have touches of moral lessons.
She is also good with satires and transliterations.
Which book do you wish you had written, why?
Actually, that would be my autobiography because I know it would encourage so many young and struggling girls to aim higher and reach for their dreams. Many who know me have called for it but it seems to take much more than zeal to write about the past you would wish to forget although it shaped your present.
If you were sent off to Robben island for a year, which three books would you take with you?
Rodney Nkrumah's FaceoffwithanInternationalMP, Nana Awere Damoah's SebiticallySpeaking and George Orwell’s AnimalFarm.
Are all poets performers?
No. Not all poets are performers. Some are only writers, some are just performers who can’t write and some are performers and writers.
BY THE BOOK is a literary series that covers authors, bloggers, actors, academics and poets of note in the African continent. For comments or inquiries, e-mail: [email protected]