Why Me? – My Birthday Prayer

Dear Lord,
I am humbled by your gift of life.
Years into my life on Earth I realize I need you more than ever.
I am unworthy of your help and mercy yet you shower me with grace and blessings which always lead to the question, “why me?”
If I ever doubted your love today you have shown that I am special.
A thank you is not enough.
All I can do in my helpless state is to depend on you and praise your Name.
You love me not because of what I have done but because I am your creation.
Thank you Father for this wonderful gift of life.
I am truly humbled.
Amen

Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message – Word N Sound Performance

I performed two poems at Word N Sound in Johannesburg on Saturday, September 1st 2018.
The first poem, “Bitch, Nigga, Shit”, I put out the week after I performed. The second one, “Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message” I released on Founders Day.
Remembering Kwame Nkrumah and this poem I believe go hand in hand. Here it is for you to watch and share

Poet Rapper GIF Video Out!

Last year I made this video as a creative option to express my art. It took a lot of time screen capturing the GIF’s in Quicktime followed by editing in iMovie. The end result is, however, a beautiful video that I can use as a backdrop whilst performing or as a stand-alone video to enjoy.
I have been investing time, creativity and other resources towards video. You should be expecting more videos from me in the near future so if you have not subscribed to my blog or YouTube channel, now is the time to do so.
Keep it One Hondred!

Bitch Nigga Shit Word N SOund Performance

What do you get when you toss a Ghanaian Poet Rapper with aladdin pants, black shirt and bow tie into a circle of books on a stage in Johannesburg, Market Theatre Labs with rows of itching ears, smoke or fog (I can’t tell the difference), lights and an amazing background?
Well you are about to find out.
I have to say this is to date my favourite performance caught on video due to the angle and effects caught on camera. The look is legendary and gives the respect that the art form of poetry deserves.
Big ups to the Word N Sound team for creating such an amazing ambience. Enjoy and share the video and remember to keep it One Hondred!

Hondred Percent at Word N Sound #PoetryLeague 2018

For those who do not know I spent five years in South Africa pursuing degrees. On that journey I acquired a love for spoken word poetry of which I was eager to pursue seriously once I got back to Ghana.
It’s been over five years since I left South Africa. Through work I was fortunate to return and extended my stay to explore performance opportunities in Johannesburg.
A friend blessed mewith the opportunity to perform on one of the biggest poetry platforms in the country, Word n Sound poetry league.

I have learnt a lot over the years regarding performance. From delivery, eye contact, improv etc every opportunity to be on stage is a lesson. The applause that comes with a good performance is humbling and interaction with members of the audience who were touched by my words always encourages me to do what I love doing.

I was happy to connect with the organizers and learn from them also. The more you perform the more you understand the statement “no man is an island”. I need all the help I can get to be successful as an artist. Networking is so important.

The poetry I experienced during the show was beautiful. We have some work to do in Ghana to get to the level of what is happening in South Africa and Kenya.

I performed two poems of my album WTF? “BNS” and “Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message” and it was magical. The crowd reaction was awesome and humbling. Even after the show I got compliments and love from both poets and members of the audience. It’s always inspiring to get such feedback. It serves as a testament to your work.
I have had a beautiful time in South Africa and will be heading to Kenya for another performance. I look forward to more blessings, experience and connections to aid in my success as an artist.
Keep it One Hondred!

Bible vs GOT – Reality or Fiction?

Last Friday, I posted a clip featuring a conversation between Ria Bossman and me relating to Game of Thrones and its sex scenes. It was based of an interview at Oxford between two of the shows male cast and a student audience. Kit Harington who plays the part of Jon Snow in the series commented on the sex scenes and their necessity in telling the Game of Thrones story.

I for one do not know how the show will have progressed without the sex scenes depicting the nature of the characters and its impact on the narrative. It is clear that the show though graphic has a greater goal than pornography with its raw images of sex and nudity that are displayed.

Interestingly enough I read an article on the internet that suggested that the Bible and Game of Thrones share a commonality especially with regards with the raw blunt nature of each script.

As a Christian, it is difficult to deny that the Bible is a very graphic text containing evidence of sexual immorality from the beginning of time. The sexual immorality and violence is comparable to that of Game of Thrones and begs the question, “is this reality or fiction?”

I guess the Internet and Social Media have to be given credit for exposing our true nature. We seem hypocritical in our assessment of reality and are unwilling to accept that our morality as a race has been in a constant state of decay. Though the Bible reflects this more accurately, many do not view the Word as a reflection of man but just of his past.

Its a shame Game of Thrones is not an African story (I can imagine how that will play out with African countries). Nevertheless, it strikes parallels globally because of familiar themes that reflect the true nature of man. The greed, violence, sex, immorality, wisdom, kindness and other colors of the human behavioral spectrum are similar to what we find in the Bible. (With the exception of dragons of course)

The Bible, however, is more than a story of fiction. For many, it is history and inspiration. Game of Thrones, however, is a fantasy novel. Within it lies no prophecies relating to the real world. Both touch on the nature of man and relationships and should be seriously considered for the reflection on reality both throw at the human race.

If the content of the Bible is similar to that of the Game of Thrones narrative then why is it not consumed with such fanfare? After all, what difference is there in Meschach, Shadrach, and Abednego surviving the furnace of fire to that of Daenerys Targaryen aka Khaleesi being immune to fire?

Budget and Hollywood is surely part of the reasons for the fanfare but it also seems to mask the idea that the events told in the story are closer to reality than meets the eye. Winter is coming is about terrifying a term as global warming.

The Bible and Game of Thrones serve a purpose in the world today. Be sure to take away wisdom and lessons from the words these documents provide than just awe and entertainment.

Keep it One Hondred!

My breakup with Social Media

Hondred: Thanks for meeting me on short notice. I have been trying to have this conversation with you for a while but it’s been difficult getting the words out of my mouth.
SM: Y didn’t u just link up on Whatsapp or DM me on twitter or something?
Hondred: I could have but I prefer doing this face to face as opposed to sending messages and stuff.
SM: K so wassup?
Hondred: There is no easy way to say this but here goes. I don’t think this relationship thing is working. There is too much going on. Every minute something is happening and let’s face it you hog and demand attention.
SM: Gimme a min. Sori I didn’t get dat I was responding 2 ma gal on Twitter. Say that again.
Hondred: (Shaking my head) your attitude just confirms it. I don’t see you adding any value to my life right now. At first I thought I did but lately I realize that I am too connected to you. So I know things I shouldn’t know and I feel obliged to respond and act a certain way online with you. I don’t believe the impact I want to make is what we have right now so I think we should break up.
SM: WOW! I definitely didn’t see that comin. But can’t we work things out?
Hondred: I don’t know. When I think about everything and add your bad grammar and spelling to the mix. It makes things even more complicated. I mean don’t get me wrong I see the importance of having you with me, it’s just that right now I need some space. Maybe when my head is clear and I am less stressed I will find a way of making this relationship work.
So the conversation above never happened but in a fantasy world somewhere, this could have been the way I broke up with social media.
I don’t know about you but sometimes the notifications, information and updates feels overwhelming and stressful that one needs to take a break from social media.
For a couple of weeks now that’s what I have done and honestly it has given me clarity and insight on the toxicity that social media can cause in ones life.
Constantly being on your phone and being out of touch with reality has its negatives. Without the right perspective and balance one can end up prioritizing their phone and social media than family or personal life. Peoples lives on social media rarely mirror their reality. The selfies at the malls proclaiming life is good do not reflect what is in the fridge or what one is having for supper that night.
There was a time where every morning I woke up I would check my phone for updates on how many likes I had received or how many people have read my blog post. Is this what I live for? I feel sad even thinking about it.
As a Christian it affected me because I was not spending time in the Word as I wanted to due to me prioritizing activities on social media and leaving no time for God.
As an independent artist it’s crazy because you have to develop content to put up to keep fans and potential fans informed and interested in your brand. Without a team to help you it becomes extremely difficult especially when you are juggling a 9 to 5 as well.
Welcome to my world. At a point I was blogging about something each day. It was quite the challenge and I rather enjoyed those times but being realistic it took up a lot of time and often I felt like I was forcing and rushing the content than actually talking about stuff in a manner that will bring about impact.
I guess it boils down to the question of “why bother?”
I mean I could choose to be an observer and not contribute on social media. However, I take the gift that God has blessed me with as an artist and realize that part of being the light and salt of the earth is to share information that helps, encourages or brings about positive change.
Keeping quiet for me is quite selfish for there is a lot I experience daily that I believe the world can benefit from. This specific blog post is an example and I am doing this to connect with others who I know go through emotions similar to those which I have shared in this post.
I just have to plan my social media life better in a way that doesn’t bring about stress. I should do it for the love and not for the likes. For the impact and not the stats. Remember, just because the stats do not reflect your desires doesn’t mean your work has not impacted someone.
People have walked up to me and reminded about some things I had done in the past on social media which I never thought gathered any attention. You will be surprised the kind of offline action that social media has. It’s just difficult to report on but it does happen.
So if you are like me and broke up with social media or are considering breaking with her/him. Try reflecting instead on how you can make the relationship more meaningful and less toxic.
Keep it One HONDRED!

Superman Birthdays

I recently found out that I wore the same red Superman t-shirt on my sons last birthday gathering. I did not plan on giving this item of apparel the “birthday t-shirt” status but considering I chose it twice and literally as I came out of the shower, I guess it deserves that title.

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Me and my son on his 1st Birthday

As a father raising a young son, I am learning how to deal with a kids birthday in the current social media, internet crazed world we are in.
Privileged as I was growing up, I didn’t have the luxury of my dad being around on my birthdays. I thus make an effort to ensure that I am around for my little man and pray that I will not be too busy in the future to being with him to celebrate the day my wife and I were blessed with his presence.
My son on his first birthday just wanted to run around and was excited to see other kids playing together. He had just figured out how to walk and was graduating to running and seeking the new freedom his limbs gave him. My family, in laws and close friends were around to celebrate the day.
As they arrived, I begun to realize the disadvantage of having more adults than kids at a toddlers birthday. Don’t get me wrong they are a great crowd however the day was about my son and I realized I had not made plans for entertaining the kids that day.
Kids also need space to express themselves, run around, play and perform other interesting activities like eat sand, mimic adults and the uncanny art of spoiling things. The space though large enough, didn’t afford the kids that opportunity.
Making matters worse it rained that day. The rains came down hard and moved the little party inside. Needless to say, the party spirit of the kids was dampened and we had little room for both kids and adults to move around in.
I thus advised myself to stick to kids around his age range for his upcoming birthdays. Adults and kids together is a bit too complicated for my hosting abilities and takes away from the little man having his fun.
I think I can handle a day dedicated to kids calling me Uncle Paul and cross crossing between being a judge at a small case court handling toy disputes, a police man shouting “STOP IT!” at 10 minute intervals or less, being a face painter and dj.
Wow! That’s a lot. That however was me on my son’s 2nd birthday.
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Me and my son on his 2nd Birthday

I guess that’s why I wear the Superman shirt. Aside acting like a Superman in this party job that doesn’t pay cash, the real reason for multitasking and providing fun memories and love to kids is because of hope. Funny enough hope is the meaning behind the Superman symbol and not the letter “S” for Superman.
It’s all about hope. The hope that love will surround our children. The hope that they will remember the love we have for them. Most important is the hope that they focus on what’s important.
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My son’s tractor

Important could mean many things. For my son on his 2nd birthday, important was a green tractor with eye balls that after a year suddenly became his favorite toy and was only interested in driving it on the floor and imitating the engine sound “vroooom!”.
 
He could not be bothered about losing at musical chairs neither was he interested in cutting his cake. That’s why when the wind was against us when lighting the twenty four plus one candle I got him ( I thought blowing candles for the kids will be fun) I just left them in the cake. The birthday boy wasn’t interested in making wishes today.
As I said earlier being Superman for the day ain’t that bad when you are dealing with a son like mine. As long as it’s less than 20 kids, a few kid loving adults around and a couple of cute babies to play with I am down. Ice cream helps a lot too. Nothing gets children in a logo logo line like ice cream.
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My Thoughts on my Rehearsal 

Preparing for a show is a lot of work that sometimes I even take for granted. From logistics, sound, fashion, marketing and more it is safe to say that experience goes a long way in getting one accustomed to ensuring that an audience gets the best service.
Of all these elements involved in preparation, what catches me off my game is rehearsals. 
I do lot of these in my car as I drive. That however just ensures that I have my poetry or lyrics memorized. The other side of rehearsals involves interacting with the crowd and creating a sense of flow which I tend to forget to do due to my day job.
This time around I am doing rehearsals twice. 
I started yesterday and ended up turning the rehearsal into a deep conversation about Africa and our selfish attitudes that find us in our deprived state.
This was due to my “Africa Sent Me A Whatsapp Message” poetry performance. 
I sometimes forget how powerful words are. A friends brother heard the poem for the first time and was deeply moved by the it. 
I must admit the poem takes me by surprise sometimes due to the impact that the words have. Its surreal because I find myself in awe and asking how I got around to piecing the words together. 
The glory goes to none other than God!
Its inspiring when your art touches people and gets them thinking. It motivates you to keep pushing. I for one now seek to perform to touch people. Impacting one person is enough to making me feel fulfilled.
I hope however that today’s rehearsals goes as planned without interrupted intellectual debates.
Keep it One Hondred!