Kumi William DuBois: “This book called ‘Beautiful Africa’ is the beauty of Africa painted in words”

A young and rising Ghanian poet

  • The people, the natural resources and the culture is enough to say Africa is beautiful.
  • Readers who visit his blog always find good poems on daily basis.
Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and WordPress

By: Alberto Berenguer and Frank Osei Nyame

Kumi William DuBois

Kumi William DuBois, Ghanian poet

First, briefly who is Kumi William Du Bois? What are you about?
I am a young man in my 20’s who loves words and art in a bigger perspective. From Kindergarten, I have been known as a poetry lover. I decided to start writing in my Junior High school days due to a poem I read; the poem was that of David Diop “The Vultures”. The poem really fought its way into my heart and made me start writing. I am now pursuing a Degree in communication at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. Day dreaming is one thing I cannot live without for a moment. It keeps me going and writing.

Tell us about your book and your literary style of writing. How effective do you think infusing the local language, TWI, into your poem will be to a foreigner who does not know the language?
Beautiful Africa is an anthology I published at the age of 19 with other featured poets from Ghana and the United States of America. The book is not just an anthology but an anthology with 100 literary devices. There are 20 poems in the book which 12 of those poems are mine and the remaining 8 poems are those of the featured poets. The book is available online only.
My writing style is very unique due to the way and topics I usually write about.
Poetry is the native language of the heart you don’t need an interpreter for your heart to understand the poem. Twi in Ghana is one of the most used local languages even when foreigners come to explore Ghana, they fall for the language and since I was born in this language I am very fluent in it. Infusing twi in my writing helps me to create a connection between my reader who less understand English I always have a glossary column where I explain all the local dialect  I used in the poem so this serves as a guide to the foreigner who does not understand the langue. Also doing this makes the poem more indigenous.

When did you decide to share your thoughts with everybody through writing and why did you choose anthology (poetry)?
I have always wanted to publish a book since my Junior High School days. I had a book that I wrote in, it had the format of a publish book thus with table of content, dedication, forward and all you could think of in a book. This dream died out because the book got lost. In 2012, I was listening to a radio Poetry program and as I heard the poet read something in me pushed me to share my thoughts with everybody I could get in touch with so from there, I started posting poems on Facebook. In 2013 I decided to do a self-publishing online with create space. I published the anthology when I was 19 years, I shared my thoughts when I was 18 and I decided to have a project for myself each year, the anthology was a milestone for me to accomplish in 2013 and with the help of great people and God I was able to come up with it. I wish to record an album instead of anthology in my next project if God permits.

Cover of his book

Cover of his book

What does this book mean to you? What motivated the making of this book? What motivates you to write and what topics do you like to write about?
When I look back to the days I was dreaming of being a young writer, who really doesn’t care about what others have to say about thinking outside the box, I can smile and say I made it, I am making it, I will make it again. This book is a springboard for me to step on to greater heights. I was motivated to publish this book by this words I always asked myself “where you there? What did you do? What happened?” I was young, I was able to publish an anthology with other poets, it was a great experience and I learnt a lot from it. I write on a lot of topics, the natural environment keeps me motivated in writing, good music and good books arouses my feeling to write.

Why should anybody read this book?
This book called “Beautiful Africa” is the beauty of Africa painted in words. I will recommend it to everyone with doubts about the beauty of Africa. Besides the horrible things happening Africa is still beautiful.

I understand this book is co-authored by other writers, can you tell us why you decided to make it so, what brought you all together and what impact does it have on the book and therefore your readers? Who are the other co-authors?
Beauty has not one definition; Me only defining the beauty of Africa in my poems in an anthology would have been bias. We were brought together by love of poetry and commitment to the art. Imagine someone from USA sending poems about Africa, telling his side of Africa’s story in his own perspective. It was a beautiful experience. The impact the togetherness will have on readers will be that one which makes them think in “teams”.
“When you walk alone, you walk fast and scared. When you walk in group you walk slow and safe”- Kumi William Du Bois

Personally I really liked poems like UNFORGETABLE MOTHER OF AFRICA, UNTIL THE END OF TIME, FUTURE, and TELL ME to SILCHAGUMA and a lot of others from the book. Which of the poems in will you call your favorite and why?
Beautiful Africa is an anthology having a poem titled “Beautiful Africa”. Beautiful Africa is my favorite poem in the book. Why? Because the poem talked much about how I dream of Africa. As beautiful as beauty could ever be.

Poems like THE GOLDEN STOOL OF FRIENDLINESS and GIRL WHO HATED RAIN are based on African legends. We see how western writers tap into Roman and Greek legends and history and many others of their oral literature. Ghana has rich legends , folk tales and history. In what ways do you think these rich sources of literature has contributed to our written literature? Do you think the writing community in Ghana and Africa in general has abandoned their history and legends?
This question? Lol..  As a human being, your place of living should have influence on you in some ways thus your way of life. Our history and legends has influence on our literature. Hmm not all Africans have abandoned their history, but most of the Africans of my time are gradually doing away with the rich history.

The books title is BEAUTIFUL AFRICA; to you personally, how is Africa beautiful and what does being an African mean to you?
Africa is beautiful in her own ways. The people, the natural resources and the culture is enough to say Africa is beautiful. Being an African, some people sees it to be a challenge but it’s one of the unique things about me. Being an Africa doesn’t mean “Black”. It means the kind of zeal you have to accomplish tasks beyond perceptions. I love being an African.

Reviews from readers are always very important for an author. What are some of the opinions you receive on you book and poems in general?
It is quite unfortunate I haven’t read a lot of reviews but the ones I have read are very encouraging. A great woman in USA for instance sent me a picture she took when she got her copy online. Her views on the book were “it is inspirational”. Others also just send me emails to tell me about the poems they like in the book. The few who has it are talking good about it.

Where can readers find you book?
One can get his or her copy on Amazon.com, in kindle format or hard copy. Also one can get access to the book when he or she types “Beautiful Africa by Kumi William Du Bois”. Some online promoters who I will not be able to mention their names have it in stock. It is online for you.

The poet was doing spoken word poetry

The poet was doing spoken word poetry

Apart from the fact that one is spoken and the other written, how different is spoken and written poetry? As an artist who does both spoken and written poetry, do you think one is more effective than the other? Which of them do you prefer?
Now I can say, Spoken poetry or spoken word is very effective than the written poetry. I have been performing spoken word for 3 years now and I can say it that it sends my massage well for me. Written is also important but Spoken word is more effective. I am looking forward to record an album.

What can readers find on your blog ‘Inky African’? How has blogging helped you as a writer?
Readers who visit my blog always find good poems on daily basis. It’s all about good poems. I started blogging in 2013 April, and It has not been an easy journey for me, there were sometimes I couldn’t blog for about seven months due to connectivity and accessibility issues but I have made more than two thousand views on my blog since I got the things I needed to make it booming. The traffic on the blog encourages me to put in more effort. I love my readers especially those from Spain, USA, England and Ghana. They always read. The blog helped me indirectly to be listed among the 100 influential Ghanaians on Twitter for the years 2014. Thanks to WordPress.

Do you think that e-book will be competing against the paper format in a few years in Ghana?
No. I will say no again. I will only say yes when Ghana starts to get online marketing houses ready to promote books or promote published books online.

Do you read a lot? What other writers inspire you?
Yes I read a lot. Maya Angelou, Efo Kwadwo Mawubge, Prof Atukwie Okai, William Wordsworth, Ngugi Watiango, Prof Kofi Awoonor and many more.

Do you have any upcoming literary projects we should expect? Would you want go into novel writing sometime in the future or you plan to stick with anthology?
I am now compiling spoken word poems of my own to record. I will like to use this platform to call for sponsorship in the producing and marketing of the album. I am working with worldreader  on a poetry program. Check it out on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the name “Trotro Poetry”. I am not planning of another anthology yet but may be in the near future.

Finally, would you recommend a book for followers of DE LECTURA OBLIGADA and  THE FANATIC READER?
Of course I will recommend books and links but the first book I will recommend is “Beautiful Africa” on Amazon.com and the link will be williampoet.wordpress.com (Inky African).

You can also follow me on twitter at @deOnly_Koo_Kumi, like my page on Facebook at Tyba Poetry, and on Instagram at @kookumi.

I will also recommend “In the chest of a woman” by Efo Kwadwo Mawubge due to it rich culture of Africa. Readers please any book you get your hands on by Wole Soyinka should be read. Peace. Thanks for having me.

Publicado el noviembre 19, 2014 en África, Entrevistas, escritores, Frank Osei, Ghana, Inicio y etiquetado en , , , , , , , , , , . Guarda el enlace permanente. Deja un comentario.

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