Ibrahim Saani at Babi Slam Festival

I was invited to participate in the 2nd Edition of the International Slam festival in Abidjan, Ivory Coast as part of my reward for winning the Ehalakasa SLAM in 2017. The event took place between 5th -7th April 2018.

We took off from Accra on the 4th April around 6:36 am and arrived safely to our destination around 7pm. The President of the organization, popularly known as Bee Joe warmly welcomed us and took us to meet the other guests from other countries and those within. It was a refreshing moment to meet amazing folks from other countries. The day ended with dinner. We were served ‘akyεkε’ with fish and chicken, their favorite meal.

Day One, 5th April was the launch of the festival. A conference was held at Goethe institute. Lectures were delivered by dignified persons from the immigration service who informed the audience about immigration and urged citizens to stay in the country to contribute their quota for development rather than illegally travelling outside the country at their peril. The conference was well planned with some poetry recitals from some of the Ivorians.

At mid-day, we embarked on a flash slam to create awareness about slam poetry. My group visited the University of Abidjan, we stormed the University reciting poems to attract students attention and invite them to the show that night. It was a great experience.

The night saw great performances from the slammers from participating countries at the Goethe institute. It was a great joyful night. It was my first performance at the francophone country and it was well received.

Day 2, 6th April was the master class. We visited an institution where we interacted with the students and educated them about poetry. We continued to observe the well-equipped mini library created by the headmistress of the institution.

Thereafter, we were taken to Institute Francais. This was the venue for our show that night. Institute Francais is the state of art theatre not even the National Theater in Ghana would compare itself to. The audiences were amazing that evening. They received us with cheer and smiles during our performances.

Day 3, 7th April, marked the final day of the slam. We had a tour that day to the museum. We were educated about how the colonial masters from France ruled the Ivorians and how the ivorians fought them for their freedom. It was an interesting moment to know about the history of our neighbors. We continued to the beach were we had more fun. Swimming was an interesting adventure. The day was a joyful one.

In the evening, we journeyed to the University for our final performance to veil the slam festival. The students couldn’t hide their joy by the spectacular performances we served them. It was a great night with mixed feelings as it was the final performance and an event to veil the festival for the year.

The next day we left the hotel around 7am to catch our bus back to Ghana. It was time to leave as planned even though we’d wished we could stay longer. Babi Slam was an epic event that would remain in my memory for years. It has been a great privilege for me to travel outside my country for the first time and to perform as a representative for my country.

My Gratitude goes to the Almighty for His Favors, Ehalakasa for this privilege to exhibit my poetic flare, Sir Black for his support, encouragement and guidance and not forgetting Jewellking, the 2016 Ehalakasa slam champion for his encouragement. It was a great time been with you all. It is my prayer that more of such opportunities come our way for us to embrace.

I would recommend that the organizers of Babi Slam should award slammers a citation that would someday prove their participation and also serve as an honor for their efforts. I would also challenge Ehalakasa to bring up such initiative in the coming years because Ehalakasa is the best poetry movement I know in Ghana and it is always here to make great impact. God Bless Ehalakasa! God bless Babi Slam!



April TalkPARTY

The second Ehalakasa TalkPARTY is on Sunday 30th April, 2017, at the Nubuke Foundation. Our first edition was spectacular and a great way to kick off the tradition that Ehalakasa is known for.

Last month we had Kwame Write, who dazzled the crowd with poetry accompanied with music. A performance that is worth seeing again. This month we host the 2016 Ehalakasa Slam Champion, Jewell King. 

Jewell, who recently performed in Ivory Coast is our guest artist for the month of April.

In addition to Jewell, Ehalakasa is blessed to have the following acts performing on the night as well,

  • BMM
  • Josh Infiniti
  • Derrick
  • Treva Reings
  • Wordrite
  • Philipa
  • Chas Boat
  • Lansah
  • Erzuah
  • Dzidefo
  • Ama

Ehalakasa is proud to paving the way for upcoming artists and hopes that more will come to participate and be part of the show this month. Tickets are 10 GHC. 

For more information about the event and directions to the venue, visit our website at


A Jewell in Ivory Coast

This was my first trip to Ivory Coast.In my mind I wasn’t bothered about an English boy visiting a francophone country, all that mattered to me is that I got there.

I was accompanied by Sir Black who I was to meet Tuesday 28th February,2017 around 9AM. I was late. I arrived at Accra-Madina, Zongo junction to be precise at 12 noon. Talk about making a good impression.

Upon meeting Sir Black, he asked whether I had a yellow fever card. With no as my answer, we had to visit the 37 military hospital to get the yellow fever injection before departure. 

I told Sir Black that I hate syringes so he scared me into believing that it was going to be painful but it wasn’t lol.
From there we called the 2 idiots, met at the STC station in Accra, got our tickets and went straight to Busua to lodge at Africa Rainbow hotel.

We were up early the next morning. As we took off to catch the bus at Takoradi, I sketched a short love poem which was an inspiration from our beach visit. 

The bus to Ivory Coast was 90 minutes late. Lateness however wasn’t going to spoil my little adventure. In three hours we were at the border about to cross over to Ivory Coast. I had to pay to get an injection for meningitis,then another amount for not having a passport. 

A man named Saed picked us up and took us straight to the Goethe Institut. I met a couple of people from different countries there.We stayed in a hotel where I had my own room. There I marveled at Abidjan’s beauty under the night sky. That night I ate my first Ivorian meal, aky3k3 and chicken.

Not long the morning was here. I attended a conference about entrepreneurship. Three ladies during the conference recited their poetry. The first one was Line from Ivory Coast, second was Nira Blessing from Burkina Faso and third was Lydol from Cameroon, they were all great.

From there we went to a school to have The Master Class. It involved poets teaching the students the importance of poetry. I performed a poem called “The Harm” and even though the students didn’t understand what I was saying, they were screaming so much that I had to pause for a very long time before I continued. It was awesome.

That evening I alongside other acts had to perform. We each had fifteen minutes to deliver. Sir Black introduced me and I exploded on the stage. I did 4 poems non stop. I heated the place up even though they didn’t understand my words. The audience were shouting and clapping. Actually they called me the fire man lol. It was a great night to be a poet.

On Friday we went to the theatre to prepare for a show. I performed two poems and nailed it with some robotic dance as I performed. It was crazy. The place was all fire and lit you just won’t understand. I was surprised and confused as to whether it was the speaking that did the magic or my movement. Like Lydol from Cameroon will say, “You are full of surprises because anytime you climb the stage you do something different”.We give thanks to God.

All I will say is that if you get the chance to be involved with slam take it. Don’t do it for winning but you might not know, you can tour the world with poetry. I know some are scared to get involved but just come and play, it even helps you write better more poems. For me I will always slam. I did one collaboration with ma Cameroonian friend called “They Can’t Imagine”, it’s coming out soon watch out.

Ehalakasa Slam winners for Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya.

Spoken word artistes, Jewell King and Hondred Percent, will next month travel to Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya respectively as part of their prizes for winning the Ehalakasa Slam Championship between 2014 and 2016.

While Jewell scooped the crown last year as Ehalakasa Slam champion last year and will participate in the Collective Slam Abidjan event from March 1 to March 5, Hondred Percent will be in Nairobi for the Slam Africa programme from March 10 to March 15 for coming up tops in the Ehalakasa Slam contest in 2014 and 2015.

Jewell King-Speaks, the reigning Ehalakasa Slam champion 

The Ehalakasa movement has been prominent on the Ghanaian creative arts horizon over the last decade in this country with the promotion of poetry, music, dance and theatre.

The poets will attend the two different programmes by courtesy of Cultural Crossings, a platform that enables eligible African artistes to travel on the continent to share experiences.

The brains behind Cultural Crossings are Liberian-born, England-based artist Sarah Gusten-Marr and Ghanaian spoken word artiste and founder of the Ehalakasa movement, Benedict Kojo Quaye better known as Sir Black.

(from left to right): Sarah Gusten-Marr, Hondred Percent (Ehalakasa Slam champion, 2014 & 2015), and Sir Black.

Gusten-Marr who owns GalleryGM in Yorkshire, England grew up in Liberia, Germany, USA and Italy. She’s a well-travelled woman and has a deep passion to see African artists explore more of their continent. She believes traveling is essential because it opens passages to our world.
“Traveling enhances knowledge. So the more we travel, the more we are exposed to different things. When people travel they celebrate likenesses and learn to respect differences,” Gusten-Marr said.

The Ehalakasa name represents words from three Ghanaian languages: ‘Eha’-(Ewe) song; ‘La’-(Ga)sing; and ‘Kasa’-(Akan) talk.
Founder, Sir Black said the movement is determined to bring enlightenment and life to the poetry scene in Ghana.
“We want to challenge our poets to dream, not only at night in bed, but also help them dream across the man-made boarders of our continent,” Sir Black stated.

Cultural Crossings also has an artist-in-residence programme for creative folks from across the world in Yorkshire.

source: Kouame Koulibaly

Ehalakasa Website Launched! — It Lives In Us!

The home of the birth and growth of contemporary performance poetry and spoken word in Ghana has some good news for the arts community and beyond.

Ahead of Ehalakasa’s 10 years anniversary next year (2017) the organisation has launched its website ( This happened on Monday, 19th December, 2016.

You’re invited to visit the website and update yourself with information about Ehalakasa and also for subsequent updates on our activities.

We are excited about this and would love you to continue being a part of it or join us on this journey.

Our final event for this year —The Ehalakasa Grand Slam 2016 — comes off on Boxing Day (Monday, 26th December, 2016) at Nubuke Foundation located at East Legon. The gate fee is GHC 15 and the time is 6:00 p.m. prompt. See you there!

Ehalakasa — It lives in us!