PA GYA – Igniting Passion in the Literacy Arts
Rain cannot put out the ignite – for the 3rd time running over 3 days the Pa Gya Literacy Festival (https://writersprojectghana.com/pagyafest/) was a ray of entertainment, book readings, launches, workshops, panel discussions and performances. The programme was packed back to back, day and evening facilitated by creative artists from across the globe.
Day 1 – Friday 18th
People blog for different reasons – whether personal, business, professional or hobby. It has become inevitable that bloggers play an important role in todays society as social media storytellers, reviewers and promoters of products or services. It can be argued that Bloggers are validated as creative writers.
Therefore for the 2nd time – (check out Pa Gya 2018 blog post) I was actively involved in co-running a workshop alongside Babs Ofori.
Blogging 101: How to create content and monetize your blog.
It was a great interactive workshop with bloggers and enthusiastic newbies learning about topics and tips based around creating an affective blog post, attracting revenue & ways to increase your audience.
*Finding your Niche
*Identifying your reader
*Smart Interview techniques
*Content, editing and layout
*Images and Copyright
*Useful Apps and general tips
After a nice lunch of RedRed I spent the rest of the day chilling and catching up with friends and new acquaintances. Due to the rain the evening outdoor event was transferred inside where I was overwhelmed with the panel discussion led by Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy with Professor Ato Quayson – a scholar, Vice president of African Studies Association, academic, fellow of varies institutes – to name a few of his credits.
Everyone seemed in a high-spirited mood and it was good to catchup with Pelu Awofeso who was running a literature workshops and also the twitter chief for the event – thanks for the shout-outs.
Day 2 – Saturday 19th
My intention was to arrive by 1pm to attend at least 2 workshops – a talk and discussion on African Languages – but that did not happen, however I was able to support friend Epifania Amoo-Adare who led a discussion: The Politics of Storytelling.
She opened the floor with a question to the audience: Are you a Storyteller?
“Storytelling is especially political when we find ourselves speaking for others, as opposed to speaking with them”.
“We must first recognize that storytelling is not only a creative act, but also a sacred and political one”.
It was an interesting discussion where most people stated they were not storytellers – although we agreed everyone is a storyteller in their own right – The majority of the room felt the word ‘storytelling’ pictures a certain person – ie griot.
Check out www.abgodfreed.com for a breakdown about the discussion and Epifania portfolio. She gifted me her book – which I read the same evening. The Three Little Wolfettes – a fairly twisted tale for adults and children., about a wolf and his 3 ugly wolf cubs.
Poetry with Phillippa Yaa de Villiers
South African writer and performance artist Phillipa Yaa De Villiers, introduced a heart to heart story of discovering at age 20 that she had been adopted from age 9 months. Her biological Australian mother and Ghanaian father were depicted in her play – Original Skin. But her adventures in Ghana led to self-discover and integration with her Ghanaian family – which further poetry transpired. “Poetry is my first language”. Whilst citing her poetry her character truly came out during every word she performed from books: Taller Than Buildings and Ice Cream Headache in my Bone.
A great initiative making books accessible to empower children from the streets of Accra to rural areas – run by the Ghana Library Authority.
Yes there is always time to pose, vibe and educate with the sisters.
It was a shame that the attendance seemed lower than last year – I’m guessing mainly due to outbreaks of rain – But well done to the Writers Project and volunteering team – Looking forward to Pa Gya Literacy Festival 2020 – and this time the sun is going to shine.
bless Sister E (Naa Dzamah