Despite the menacing challenge in poetry and other related arts in the North, EHALAKASA pulled a massive turnout at their ‘2017 FINAL EHALAKASA SLAM’. The event which took place over the weekend on Saturday, September 16 at Hopin Academy, saw nine poets; three each from Northern, Upper West and the Upper East regions, compete in a poetic battle with spoken words.
The nine poets were selected based on the previous slams that took place in Wa, Tamale and Bolga respectively. Three poets were selected from each region to challenge in the final slam.
The slam started at exactly 2pm. Northern Region was represented by; I.M Saani, Ibn Do Gud and Bluebird. The Upper East region was represented by Blessmond, Jamil and Bertrand. Unfortunately, Bertrand could not make it to the event due to some pressing issues that needed his attention. The all female squad from Wa, were; Shirley, Rabi and Patience.
The slam saw an interesting and challenging competition from the poets, as they brewed poems so artistically. Though tough, an overall winner was chosen, with the help of the supporting judges. At the end of the three-round competition, the overall marks of poets where summed. I.M Saani became the overall winner, followed by Ibn Do Gud; second, then Bluebird; third. It was interesting to know that, all the top three winners were from Northern Region.
Packages were given all poets, including; bags, T-shirts, and EHALAKASA notebooks. The three winners in addition, were given a carton of drinks each and an amount of money. The overall winner was also given a product by Wear Nation, as well as a free ticket by Samakose to attend a stage play by Latif Abubakar. The winner was also presented a crystal trophy as the 2017 slam champion. He shall also be an ambassador to EHALAKASA for a year.
During the slam, the stage also saw guest performances from some of Ghana’s favourite spoken word artistes. Among them were; Crystal Tetteh – MadaGhana, Jewell King (2016 slam champion), as well as Poet Pobee.
The slam saw two young Junior High School students recite poems before the actual competition. This was done to expose them to a big spoken word audience, as well as inspire them as budding artists. They were also given a confidence-building book each to help build their ability to make good stage performances and presentations.
At the end of the slam, Sir Black (Co-founder of EHALAKASA) explained the need to organize events of such in the North. The Tamale organizer, for that matter the 2017 final slam Tamale Organizer; Zakaria Abdul-Hakim, called on organizations, schools, the government and individuals to come in and support this initiative. He also called on the public to grant them a venue where they can use continuously for their monthly poetry gathering. After acknowledging the supporters, Hakim explained the need for people to show interest in poetry and performance arts in general.
It was a lively, and warmly hosted event, that saw many people come in to have a feel of beautiful spoken words nursed on the savannah soil.
The event was proudly sponsored by the Goethe Institut, Hopin Academy, Global Shapers Community – Tamale Hub, Rush energy drinks limited, Samakose, Deep Heatz studio, Sanatu Zambang blog, Savannah Lifestyle blog, Tamale Film and Television Academy, Wear nation, Fiila fm, and the Graphic Communications Limited.
About the Writer
Zakaria Abdul-Hakim is a poetry enthusiast and one of the organizers of the Ehalakasa Final Poetry Slam.