Locomoting The Lɔgɔligi – Cover Design

The cover of my book Lɔgɔligi Locomotion is a forced selfie employing lɔgɔligi methods to capture my emotions with my sons train set.

But how did I arrive at Lɔgɔligi Locomotion as a book title?

Unlike fiction and non fiction books, poetry can be a confusing realm when it comes to titles. Many poems have been constructed without titles due to creativity deciding to close early from work. Leaving poets to live with the old faithful “Untitled” as a title.

You can therefore imagine my struggle in finding a name for the book. I liken it to naming a child. This however, is a child you want everyone to talk about and be attracted to. A child with qualities true to the poetry within.

With the poems within being … scattered. Scattered thoughts of Ghana, woman, love and Christianity. Poems with a medley of emotions.

I have been moving with these poems since 2005. Moving them from phone to phone in my notes and finally settling them in a book.

As an artist who loves to showcase Ghana and it’s beauty, lɔgɔligi was the best adjective to describe the movement of these poems.

It is an apt term describing the book and life.

But What Does Lɔgɔligi Mean?

In a Clubhouse event this week I described lɔgɔligi as having multiple meanings. Wriggly is one of the definitions of this interesting Ghanaian term. A term richly linked to how a worm moves.

In Ghana, seldom is the straight path taken. There are always turns, corners and shortcuts employed to get ahead. We also laugh at everything. We laugh at our predicaments and joys as if life is tickling or doing us lɔgɔligi.

Yes, tickle is the other definition of lɔgɔligi.

This is how we move as Ghanaians. This is how life moves. This is how MY poetry moves.

So I arranged my poems in one logologo line and turned it into the book, Lɔgɔligi Locomotion.

After this eureka moment, the next hurdle was to depict this title as a book cover.

Designing The Book Cover

The idea was to design the book cover using a train as a theme for locomotion. But how do we show that the train is moving lɔgɔligi?

With the help of software one could create a wriggly train or wriggly train track. But that felt cliche.

I thus took my kids train set, setup a tripod and started taking selfies. The idea was to take a picture of me looking confused trying to figure out how to setup the train and it’s tracks. This after all is what life looks like. Man trying to figure stuff out.

The many shots taken to get my cover design

After a number of shots, I found one I was comfortable with. It wasn’t the clearest picture. I had to use the front facing camera but it did the job.

I felt pretty accomplished at this point and nothing I believed could hold me back from achieving my dream of being a published poet.

That’s when Amazon started to test my nerves.

Lɔgɔligi or Lorgorligi?

The Chosen Shot

Locally I did not have an issue with my cover design. Internationally however, there were issues.

To enable my book to be available outside of Ghana I utilized Amazon KDP to enable the book be available on Amazon.

The Amazon KDP is a very AI led experience. It’s an experience that can be very frustrating. The AI sets it’s requirements and rejects books that do not adhere. I would be ecstatic if this rejection was instant but unfortunately 24 hours are usually needed to get feedback after submission.

Amazon KDP AI and I went through this dance because of my cover design. I would have loved my design to be consistent with the locally printed book. Alas, that would not be the case. If I was going to tow the line of a perfectionist I may not have my book up on Amazon.

So the cover design of my book on Amazon is different from the local copies. I wish that were all. Unfortunately my desire to have lɔgɔligi retain its authentic spelling became problematic.

I realized whilst previewing my new design on Amazon KDP Cover Creator that Cover Creator does not recognize the “ɔ” character. The character just vanished in the preview screen. To be sure that wasn’t an error, I sent an email to the KDP team to verify if the “ɔ” character appearing was possible.

After a couple of days they confirmed my fears. The Cover Creator doesn’t recognize the character. As such, I had to change the spelling of the lɔgɔligi to lorgorligi. This saddened me but made me realize that a whole lot needs to be done regarding our Ghanaian languages.

Amazon Cover Design

It’s sad to admit it but internationally, it’s best to keep the book title as, Lorgorligi Locomotion. It enables the book to be easily searched within search engines. Can you imagine folk typing “ɔ” on their keyboards?

So my plan was to make these changes on the cover only. Keeping the content and spelling the same internally. Unfortunately, this caused the book to be rejected. The cover title had to match the header and title within the first pages. Until I made these changes, my book couldn’t be live on Amazon.

Conclusion

So this is the lɔgɔligi road I traveled on to get my cover design locally and also internationally. I pray this helps someone on their book journey. Be creative m, never give up and ALWAYS keep it One Hondred!

P.S The book is now available for preorder locally. Those outside of Africa can order online. I encourage you to do so and give me a review.

Locomoting the Lɔgɔligi – Editing

Writing a book ain’t easy. I liken it to pressing out the last bits of creativity from a toothpaste container.

Writing Lɔgɔligi Locomotion, my first poetry book, presented numerous challenges. Though I am done with the writing process the publishing process is still something I am struggling with.

I want to use this platform as a way to talk about my experiences on the various issues I encountered to help others who are writing poetry books or thinking of getting into it.

Today I want to talk about the editing process and some of the things I used and did to help me during editing

Choose Your Weapon

As a poet I am always writing. In my early years my only option was a book but my creative process with a book is not the best as I am always changing things. A laptop or computer is not mobile to fish out my thoughts when they appear in the wild. My weapon of choice for writing poetry is a smartphone.

My first piece of arsenal for poetry was the Blackberry Curve. The qwerty keyboard device lended itself to my love relationship with words and I have all my notes till date. Though I now use an iPhone the process is pretty much the same and I prefer the iPhone because of the cloud features available for notes. Regardless of hardware loss my notes are always with me.

Choose Your Apps

Notes

Notes unfortunately is not the best place to edit ones words. As a spoken word artist the format of the words and your cadence lies within. The notes just provide the words but the pauses, punctuation and emphasis are layered in the performance and not on paper.

So while I had content, my content wasn’t formatted in a manner that read in the form it was intended.

Unfortunately poetry is not like writing fiction or non fiction. An editor may suggest a change in phrase or sentence with fiction or non fiction that works. With poetry that change may be well intended but will take away character, flow or emotion that the poet is trying to convey. The creativity is with the interior decor of the words in the room called the page. This was a process I had to be involved in. Despite the challenges it presented, it made me a better poet.

Microsoft Office 365 – Word

Microsoft Office 365 became a valuable tool on this journey. Me being able to edit on phone and computer was a blessing. (I however preferred editing on a larger screen)

Reading each poem using the Read Aloud feature helped in my re-education of punctuations. I however wish I had a Ghanaian voice.

You eventually realize that despite your best intentions as a human being, you will make errors. Reading a 100 poems back to back fishing for inconsistencies is no easy feat. I was continually amazed at the errors I had committed and worked for weeks on getting the pieces to a state that I was content with.

Dictionary.com & Rhymezone

Other apps or websites that helped with the editing process were the app Dictionary.com and the website Rhymezone.

I use Dictionary.com for spellings and synonyms. Rhymezone is for when I am looking for rhyming words. Though often I find that my knowledge on rhymes is at par with them. Rhymezone actually has an app but I have never bothered downloading it. It’s something you can however check out.

Sleep

Sleep should not be underestimated in the editing process. Sometimes you are just too tired to spew out any sense. Challenging nature at this point will only puke out gibberish. When tired just rest. Creativity is like the sea. At the right moment the wave will pour out the words and phrases you seek to complete your puzzle. Without sleep however you will be unable to catch it.

Read Your Poetry to Others

Feedback should never be estimated. Continually seek people and spaces where you can share your work and receive honest thoughts on your work. The keyword is honest. Friends help but make sure the friends you share your material with get the angle you are aiming for.

I often use my wife as a litmus test as she is not an artsy person. If I read out a poem and she likes it, I know I am onto something.

Virtual open mic sessions on Clubhouse, Zoom or Facebook are great outlets to share and get discovered. I used Clubhouse a lot during the pandemic to test out my edits to see if they worked.

Conclusion

So these are a few of the things that helped me in the process of editing. Honesty and humility are internal battles you need to settle during this time in your writing journey.

It’s a tiring process but a rewarding one. A process that humbles you and pushes you towards the truth about your process.

Locomoting through this process definitely took me on a lɔgɔligi path. I have shared some of my experience editing. Next time I will share my cover design journey.

Keep it One Hondred!

Lɔgɔligi is a Ga term used to describe a wriggly nature, behavior or attribute

One Love

One of the reasons why poetry is so powerful is because it’s multi dimensional. People often limit it to books or performance but there is more to poetry than just words.

I have begun to explore the different dimensions of poetry with social media and art.

Yesterday being Ghana’s Independence Day, I decided to try sharing my poetry differently. So playing with graphic design applications I posted my poem “One Love” on my Instagram feed.

27 individual posts made up the poem. Majority of the posts have an individual message but play a role in the big picture which can only truly be embraced by viewing my profile page.

The poem though short touches on Ghana and her desire to unite its people under the banner of love. The piece touches on how the concept of love is interpreted to mean different things and asks questions as to whether we are truly seeking love as a nation and people.

Over the month of March and more, (depending on how long it will take) I plan on using my blog to break down the poem and discuss the elements within. I will touch on why I used certain images and why I used certain lines to further expand the details in the poem and show people how powerful poetry is.

A screenshot of one of the 27 posts of the poem “One Love” on Instagram

I urge you to search me up on Instagram @hondredpercent to view the poem and share your thoughts. This is quite the experiment I am embarking on so I am unsure as to what will result from this and what both audience and I will learn from this process. I however look forward to it.

Keep it ONE HONDRED!

Here is the poem:

One Love

Ghana raised Wanlov but we don’t have one love

Our independence made us free to allow one love

We fell in love with democracy and not one love

Corruption came along with that and that’s one love

to the one bud that got the power

To him that’s one love

Selfishness is his curse and that breeds love

But not the kind we need to make it as he does

In Ghana the real question is how do we love?

Cos we love to talk a lot and that breeds doves

of hope and conflict. The parties know it. Yes we love

a back and forth but that’s our fault cos we lack enough

as it is already to stay as we are

I am tired of this already but that’s not enough

Cos maybe its only me and that’s not one love

Maybe you are tired too and maybe that’s two love or true love but time will tell if we are really all for one love

Happy Birthday BoBo

In your first year you are unaware of your consciousness.
Your foot steps grow more confident each day.
Your smile is a refreshing drink of water and your curiosity knows no bounds.
Your uniqueness continues to intrigue me and though I am to blame for your creation, I wonder how I am credited for the greatness that lies within you.
You are eager to learn and always in a hurry.
Your entrance on earth alone is enough a lesson to ensure that patience is a compulsory course.
If I didn’t believe in miracles now I do.
For there is no other way to explain your beauty than to say you are a miracle.
Happy Birthday Sean Kwaw Miezah Forjoe aka BoBo

Happy Birthday BoBo

In your first year you are unaware of your consciousness.
Your foot steps grow more confident each day.
Your smile is a refreshing drink of water and your curiosity knows no bounds.
Your uniqueness continues to intrigue me and though I am to blame for your creation, I wonder how I am credited for the greatness that lies within you.
You are eager to learn and always in a hurry.
Your entrance on earth alone is enough a lesson to ensure that patience is a compulsory course.
If I didn’t believe in miracles now I do.
For there is no other way to explain your beauty than to say you are a miracle.
Happy Birthday Sean Kwaw Miezah Forjoe aka BoBo

I Have Been Robbed

I woke up at 4:40 AM and found that I have been robbed.My recent treasured asset that I gained unexpectedly the day before has been stolen.
I didn’t get to enjoy it much.
How did the thief get into my house?
Was it through the back or front door?
I believe it was through the window.
I slept on the couch whilst watching a movie on the tele.
In hind sight I should have just gone to the bedroom.
Should I call the police?
What will they be able to do about this?
I don’t believe they are qualified to deal with my unique case.
God being so good my phone was not stolen.
I guess I should be grateful.
If you find the thief that stole my sleep this early morning, please contact me for I am not done with it.
– Hondred Percent
Inspired by my waking up today unexpectedly and being unable to go back to sleep

World Poetry Day Celebration 

Today 21st March 2017 is World Poetry Day. So everything I write in this post must rhyme with day. Thus I will say, that I lay, in the arms of poetry’s bed made with hay.
There is a lot about poetry that people don’t know about. Its purpose in the world is sometimes ridiculed as a dying art form for hopeless romantics and bards seeking attention. 
History
In 1999 the celebration of poetry was instituted by UNESCO. UNESCO believed that poetry had a unique way of capturing the minds of people and encouraging creativity. 
Part of its objectives were:

  • To support linguistic diversity through poetic expression.
  • To offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

The day is also meant 

  • To encourage a return to oral tradition of poetry recitals.
  • To promote the teaching of poetry.
  • To restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting
  • To support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.

– UNESCO website
What Poetry Means To Me
Poetry is another form of expression. I have used it several times to express myself in a different manner to get people to see things differently. 
It can be personal or expressed to the public. It can be used for entertainment or pleasure; inspiration, social commentary and many more. 
A good number of songs without their instrumental can be viewed as poems. Yet the world today still doesn’t seem to recognize the importance of this artform.
I see poetry in everything and urge others to encourage this art form that once used to be held in high esteem.
Importance
From my recent travels to Kenya, I saw the power of poetry being emanated through slammers at a spoken word event called Slam Africa.
Each of the slammers tackled a social issue and got the audience to view their message in a manner that got them thinking. The poets tackled topics such as femininity, discrimination, rape, ignorance, Christianity and many more. 
I was awestruck by the their performance and more than ever realized that as poets we are blessed with a gift to reach out to people. Communicate with them on issues that will add value to their lives.
This is similar to marketing campaigns only that words are used orally. Id marketing campaigns are sometimes worth millions and often times incorporate visual artists, musicians and actors why can’t poetry and poets be respected as such?
Disregarded
Unfortunately poets are not respected for their craft. Corporates and small enterprises see the creation of poetry as ‘easy-peasy’ and don’t value the creation of the content. 
Thus the industry is raped by EXPOSURE. Believeing that we are being offered an opportunity whilst truth be told, it usually doesn’t get far. 
How Can This Change?
In my opinion poetry in Ghana has a marketing, reputation and unity issue. Our art is not packaged in a manner that makes it attractive to the public. People seem to be doing the art form a favor rather than actually patronizing and giving it a chance based on merit.
The other aspect involves reputation. Good reputation should see poets rise to unimaginable heights. Unfortunately anyone can get up and claim to be a poet; and while I don’t doubt their zeal, a lot more goes into this art form than meets the eye. 
Thus competition for poetry is often times non existent as organizations or individuals usually stick to who they know or are exposed to only a small number of poets who sometimes are not packaged well. Making a decision on who to choose difficult.
We are also not united as poets in Ghana. This is no fault of ill malice on the part of anyone but rather the lack of interest by all to come together for the common good of benefiting the industry.
Conclusion
We have come a long way as a country with regards to poetry. We still need to do  more. Rome however wasn’t built in a day so maybe this year we will try and build the Colosseum.
Happy World Poetry Day!
Keep it One HONDRED!
P.S In celebration of World Poetry Day there is a poetry show at PAWA House, Roman Ridge, Accra, Ghana 

Mufasa The Poet

Mufasa is a spoken word artist, actor and singer born and raised in Kenya. He popped into the spoken word scene after winning a spoken word slam competition. Since then Mufasa has been performing in all major poetry events in Kenya. Raised by a single mother, Mufasa is a passionate performer on stage and hides no emotions when he speaks about his life and disturbing issues in the society.  –Mufasa Biography – Badilisha Poetry
Just so we are clear, this is not another Lion King Story. Its funny but people actually play with him like that. I guess sometimes its due to the popularity of the Disney flick. The best one I heard was 
So when you were born did Rafiki hold you in the air and cry, Nants ingonyama bagithi baba! (the cry from the Circle of Life at the beginning of the Lion King)?”
Well though that never happened to the poet, it might as well have. For when Mufasa is in town its as though a graceful king is amongst his people.
Walking down the streets of Nairobi with Mufasa it is clear he is poet loved by many. This poet has a thing about him that makes people just call him out to show love. Always dressed with a beret and a smile that makes you wonder why a toothpaste brand hasn’t made him a brand ambassador, it is easy to see why people gravitate towards this poetry sensation.
I have had the privilege of living with Mufasa for the past few days and I must say that I have never met an individual like him before. He calls himself the son of the sun for a reason for it is hard to see him without a smile. 

Mufasa and Hondred Percent
Mufasa and Hondred Percent
 
Unlike me also he doesn’t talk too much. He seems reserved but always greets me in the morning with such excitement that you look forward to the day. Kindess is his brother and as often as possible he chats with him.
Unfortunately I will miss his show Blame My Roots, which is set for 1st April, 2017. I have however had the chance to listen to his poetry via the internet. 
His poetry is emotional but not soppy. It has a way of creeping into you like a girl strategically trying to get close to cuddle. It is warm, true and straight from the heart. 
So today as my stay in Kenya draws to an end I want to put the spot light on one of my hosts, who is now my Kenyan brother.
For more of Mufasa check him out on Facebook @mufasapoet
Here is a video of the poet doing what he does best.

Keep it One HONDRED!

Mufasa The Poet

Mufasa is a spoken word artist, actor and singer born and raised in Kenya. He popped into the spoken word scene after winning a spoken word slam competition. Since then Mufasa has been performing in all major poetry events in Kenya. Raised by a single mother, Mufasa is a passionate performer on stage and hides no emotions when he speaks about his life and disturbing issues in the society.  –Mufasa Biography – Badilisha Poetry
Just so we are clear, this is not another Lion King Story. Its funny but people actually play with him like that. I guess sometimes its due to the popularity of the Disney flick. The best one I heard was 
So when you were born did Rafiki hold you in the air and cry, Nants ingonyama bagithi baba! (the cry from the Circle of Life at the beginning of the Lion King)?”
Well though that never happened to the poet, it might as well have. For when Mufasa is in town its as though a graceful king is amongst his people.
Walking down the streets of Nairobi with Mufasa it is clear he is poet loved by many. This poet has a thing about him that makes people just call him out to show love. Always dressed with a beret and a smile that makes you wonder why a toothpaste brand hasn’t made him a brand ambassador, it is easy to see why people gravitate towards this poetry sensation.
I have had the privilege of living with Mufasa for the past few days and I must say that I have never met an individual like him before. He calls himself the son of the sun for a reason for it is hard to see him without a smile. 

Mufasa and Hondred Percent
Mufasa and Hondred Percent
 
Unlike me also he doesn’t talk too much. He seems reserved but always greets me in the morning with such excitement that you look forward to the day. Kindess is his brother and as often as possible he chats with him.
Unfortunately I will miss his show Blame My Roots, which is set for 1st April, 2017. I have however had the chance to listen to his poetry via the internet. 
His poetry is emotional but not soppy. It has a way of creeping into you like a girl strategically trying to get close to cuddle. It is warm, true and straight from the heart. 
So today as my stay in Kenya draws to an end I want to put the spot light on one of my hosts, who is now my Kenyan brother.
For more of Mufasa check him out on Facebook @mufasapoet
Here is a video of the poet doing what he does best.

Keep it One HONDRED!

The Ghana Education System-Elidior The Poet

Elidior The Poet is a remarkable poet with interesting views on everyday issues. I met Elidior in January 2015 at the first round of the Ehalakasa Slam. He struck me as a powerful confident performer and definitely inspired me that year.
In the finals that year, Elidior performed a piece titled, The Ghana Education System. The piece focused on the relevance of the system and its impact on students. Most importantly it emphasized the need for the system to change. I was amazed at the content and creativity involved in the poetry. I also felt it deserved a better score than was given.
Anyway, what use is it if I tell you about the piece without giving you an opportunity to listen to it.
Here is Elidior’s Ghana Education System You Tube Video

Keep it One HONDRED! and support the arts.