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

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!

Artist Bio….Hmmmm

Writing an artist bio feels like a forced assignment by a grade 2 teacher on a kid who just wants to play. The only problem is that playing alone doesn’t get one very far and at a point you have to get to the important stuff that just doesn’t feel like a holiday in Hawaii.
Over the weekend I stumbled upon an article about biographies that got me reviewing my sorry excuse for a tell the world about you –biography, which was nothing more than a glorified resume with a bit more text. I hadn’t realized yet that this affected my branding.
So I got around to making notes and working on them and I now have a short and medium bio I want you to check out. I will work on the long one this week and send it to you as well.
Tagline
Spicy Ghanaian black pepper poetry bumping to Hip Hop music
Short Bio
Whoever said Hip Hop was dead went to the wrong funeral and never gave Hondred Percent a thought. 
Hondred Percent expresses the raw humor and experiences of the Ghanaian lifestyle through authentic spoken word and rap. 
With inspiration from Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, Reggie Rockstone, Saul Williams, Common, Mos Def, Timbaland, Kanye West and Kevin Hart, Hondred Percent has created a distinct sound that can only be compared to Ghana jollof. 
A Manifest (Ghana) and Blitz Da Ambassador (Ghana) fusion or Tumi (South Africa) and HHP (South Africa) rolled in one, jamming to sounds from the Roots (USA) gives a hint to the sound, word play and realness that Hondred Percent brings to the stage.
The two time Ehalakasa Slam Champion (2014-2015) is set to release his debut album “WTF?” in June 2017. It is spicy Ghanaian black pepper poetry bumping to Hip Hop music.
Medium Bio
Hondred Percent aka Paul Forjoe jnr is a rising spoken word artist from Ghana who burst on the scene in 2011 fusing poetry and rap to make Hip Hop music. 
Hondred Percent is set to release his debut Hip Hop album “WTF?” in June 2017. He is currently working on a video for a single in the album and releasing his second single “Poet Rapper”.
Hondred Percent in 2014 and 2015 triumphed as the overall winner of the Ehalakasa Slam in which over 40 poets in Ghana contested.
While in Form 3 (Grade 9) in the early 90’s, Hondred Percent got introduced to rap and started writing poetry. It was his varsity days in South Africa that exposed him to Spoken Word and got him performing. 
He came up with the name Hondred Percent in 2010 as a way to distinguish and motivate himself in his passion on his return to Ghana. He has since performed at numerous events within Ghana and recently traveled to Kenya to feature as a guest artist on a French show and a Slam at Alliance Francais Nairobi.
He is inspired by Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, Reggie Rockstone, Saul Williams, Common, Mos Def, Timbaland, Kanye West and Kevin Hart.
He has been compared to Manifest (Ghana) and Blitz Da Ambassador (Ghana) by some. Hondred Percent is however trying to tap into the essence of Tumi (South Africa) and HHP (South Africa) bumping to the Roots (USA).
The artist has made quite a name for himself as a prolific wordsmith within Ghana. He plans to release his album for free as means to grow his fan base and crowd fund for the next album set for 2018. There are also plans to put together a band by the end of 2017 to enable him tour Ghana, Africa and the World.
Conclusion
Keep it One HONDRED!  and let me know what you think. Later in the year I will probably put together a workshop to help others see the importance of bios and branding. Look out for it.

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!

Ehalakasa Slam Final 2016

Ehalakasa is an organization promoting performance poetry since 2007. Since I begun my poetry journey in Ghana in 2011, Ehalakasa has helped in making me who I am today as a poet.
Ehalakasa runs an annual slam of which I have won twice. A slam is a poetry competition where slammers (poets) battle out by performing and having their performances scored by judges to reveal a winner. 
Ehalakasa’s slam takes place in three rounds with each slammer having three minutes to perform. Going above this results in a penalty. Judges are chosen at random and are given a quick tutorial on the judging process and given score cards to rate performances.
It’s a very interesting experience for both the contestants and the audience. Some of the best poetry is performed at these slams.
This year I have the honor of being the slam master (host) of the final. With the experience gained over the years I am sure I will do a wonderful job. I will also be publicly announcing my album release date on that day. 
I urge you all to book the date and be there to support the finalists and the movement all together.