Ghana’s King of stand-up comedy Kwaku Sintim-Misa (more popularly known as KSM) presented a sequel to “Confessions of a GH Girl” on Saturday May 3rd at the National Theatre.
The show, “Confessions Of A GH Man,” was billed as an expose of Ghanaian men embroiled in affairs with mistresses and girlfriends, guaranteed to produce non-stop laughter.
The programme started out with two musical performances and a short comedy act which lightened up the crowd and got them in the mood. Then onto the main act.
For over sixty minutes KSM was John Toyo – a self taught relationship expert with “experience rather than qualifications” who dispensed wisdom learned from six failed marriages, insights garnered from former patients in New York, all the while chewing on a pipe. And I have to confess I did laugh a great deal – sometimes till my sides hurt.
And yet I left the National Theatre feeling a little disappointed. Not in a huge way…but just a little.
KSM’s insightful and observant comedy shows, touching on socio-political issues in Ghana, have earned him a huge following, especially among middle-class and university-educated Ghanaians. I have been very impressed with his political satire and I think there he is at his best.
By contrast, this show engaged in an earthier type of Ghanaian humor – one that clearly hit the mark for a large demographic of KSM’s audiences judging by the peals of laughter. There was no doubt at all that the crowd was thoroughly enjoying the portrayal and pitfalls of stereotypical Ghanaian casanovas. At times I found Toyo’s antics contrived and the humor a bit cliched.
But side-splitting laughter is not easy to come by in these troubled times in Ghana and after the night I felt I had got my much-needed therapy. Also, goody bags containing bottles of gin bitters were handed out during the show, which went down a real storm.
Unfortunately, I was “shieing diplo” so I missed out on those treats.
Writers Project Of Ghana Monthly Book Reading:
I attended the Writers Project of Ghana book-reading series held on Wednesday April 30th, 2014. I was really looking forward to this event for a number of reasons: I badly needed a literary outlet; I had heard so many good things about this group and they were presenting readings by Ama Ata Aidoo – a lady who is widely regarded as one of Ghana’s finest writers, and who is a personal favourite of mine.
The Writers Project of Ghana (WPG) is an international literary organization based in Ghana and the United States, with the stated goal of promoting a literary culture in Africa and around the world. Their long-running public reading series enters its fifth year in 2014, and is presented in collaboration with the Goethe Institute in Accra.
The setting was warm and intimate as a small group of dedicated literary buffs sat in the inner courtyard of the main block of the Goethe Institute (Cantonments) to hear Ama Ata Aidoo read. The excerpts were from her published poetry and fiction works, and included An Insider’s View, No Grief, No Joy and one of her collections of short stories – Diplomatic Pounds. I thoroughly enjoyed all the readings, which she presented in her uniquely earthy, frank and gutsy style.
Ama Ata is a Ghanaian author, poet, playwright and academic, and a former Minister of Education in the Ghanaian government. “Writers need readings, audiences, students and readers to make their work alive,” she told the gathering. Describing her poetry as the “least known” of her published work, she says many of her poems are “responses and reactions, especially to her daughter Kinna’s questions. Fascinating.un
While the entire evening was heavenly, what struck me most was her poem Declaration At Independence – a fiery outpouring that spoke of idealism, let-down and abandonment. When I asked about its hints of an untold love story, she agreed, her eyes twinkling, but said some secrets were best left unrevealed. Of her poetry, the prolific writer says it is her least comfortable genre, but then again she says she has no real preference – “because of the way my imagination works.”
I enjoyed this event and connected with some lovely people. Feel as though I’m on the verge of discovering new things in Accra. I think my literary cravings can actually be fulfilled in Ghana. I’m already looking forward to their next event at the end of May.