Published: 31 Oct 2016 Source: University Relations Office (URO)
From Left, Dr. Mary Durr, Dr. Carol O’Connor and Okyeame Kwame
Dr. Mary Durr, author of A Cry in the Night in the City of Light has advised the youth to convert their own experiences into good writing so as to earn good money for themselves. She made this statement at a symposium dubbed “Do We Still Have the ‘Shakespeares’ In Our Community?” organised by the Department of English, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The symposium which brought together both local and international scholars was aimed at addressing some modern trends in poetry with specific reference to hiphop pedagogy and the expression of social reality in hiplife.
Dr. Durr stated that having a degree was not good enough as companies were more concerned with their own standards and needs. She reiterated that the government could not be solely depended on for employment and challenged students to do things for themselves. She advised students never to think writing was insignificant as the more they wrote, the better they became.
Dr. Carol O’Connor, Guest Speaker and lecturer from Jackson, Mississippi, said that most youth shared their unique stories and emotions through hip hop. They mostly use hiphop to educate and entertain the public. She added that education nowadays was about interaction with students and encouraged students to write more stories.
Dr. Peter Arthur, Head of Department of English, specified that hiplife is the Ghanaian version of the American hiphop and that there was nothing like “Ghanaian hip hop.” He added that hiphop was indigenous to the American culture. According to him, hiplife is a musical culture dating way back to the 1970’s.
In ending, Dr. Arthur said that the Association of Students of English, KNUST (ASEK), believes there is a new age with people who can solve problems and added that the new age started with little ideas which got bigger. He said, “Whatever talent one has is marketable. Know how to manage and market your talent and to be special, one has to pay attention to his or her talents, train oneself and commit to it.”
Okyeame Kwame, a renowned Ghanaian hiplife artiste, speaking on the topic, “Creativity and Entrepreneurship” stated that the influence of education on culture and art was very important. He advised that as young and upcoming artistes, the youth must first find themselves so as to be different from others. They must have a plan, an objective and whatever one created must benefit the society. He added that an artiste must set up products to suit the audience, know how to pick and sell the products to the audience and evaluate the potency of the product. This, he believed, could only be done with the knowledge acquired in school.