Ama Asantewa Diaka - AKA Poetra. A name you may recognise from her incredible spoken word storytelling, or as a co-founder of Black Girls Glow the all-female Ghanaian musical collective and platform. An inspirational woman to say the least and someone we’re really excited to have teamed up with for our first ever collaboration - Ama having designed our two new screen-printed t-shirts currently on sale to raise funds for OAfrica and Dream Big Ghana.
No stranger to Dream Big Ghana, having met the team through volunteering there six years ago, Ama travelled down last November to spend the day at Meet Me There - the home of the NGO. Alongside soaking up everything that is at the heart of what they do she also headed over to see Aunty and Rita at the Fashion Home, all to provide inspiration for her design. The illustration is a snapshot of life in Dzita - fishermen heaving in their early morning catch, children playing in the street, market workers chatting and selling to passersby, captured perfectly in Ama’s beautiful style.
As always, we asked Ama to pull together a short playlist for us to share. Her beautiful selection feels like a celebration of women worldwide, featuring the likes of Ria boss, Tems, Jorja Smith, Koffee and Blac Cousins. Listen here on spotify.
We asked Ama a few questions about her influences:
Asime : What do you do and why did you start?
Ama: I do many things: I am a poet, writer and singer. I consult as a communication strategist for brands, and I own a small greeting card company in Ghana. In short, I’m a storyteller.
It’s hard to pinpoint when each of these titles started for me, but it’s been a nurturing process for me, everything I have been doing over the last two decades has led to who I am - and continue to be.
Asime: Is there anything exciting your working on at the moment? Or anything inspiring you?
Ama: I’m not sure it’s the same as excitement, but I’m nervous about building on my visual practice this year. I haven’t actively worked on it since 2019, and I’m equal parts nervous and excited to see how I ease back into it.
As much as it’s been extremely tasking, the pandemic is forcing me to be extra creative, or to find new ways to function well as an artist, in some ways, it’s been an inspiration.
Asime: Where do you tend to find inspiration/motivation for your poetry?
Ama: Life and living it. I find inspiration in my life, environment, current news, current frustrations, unresolved issues, desires and expectations. My poetry is fed by existing within a community.
Asime: Have you been in Ghana through the duration of this pandemic, how have you coped?
Ama: I have been in Ghana since the latter part of 2020, the attitude of Ghanaians certainly doesn’t match the risk of the virus. And that’s both good and not so great; good because there’s less panic, less anxiety, a little more room to reimagine our lives around a pandemic. Not so great because COVID is still here and it will take a level of seriousness for we as a country to survive the pandemic.
I’ve been coping by mainly staying indoors lol, but still committing to maintaining relationships. Consuming and making art has also kept me grounded
Asime: Thanks so much for your playlist - where do you tend to find the music you listen to?
Ama: I find my music mostly online, - from Instagram to YouTube. I listen to the top 100 songs in different countries monthly to see if something snags my heart. I find music off the playlists of friends and family, and from movies too!
Asime: Why did you choose to support OAfrica?Ama: There are a lot of small organizations doing incredible work, I chose OAfrica because of their commitment to vulnerable children, they don’t just operate as a one-time project, but if a child comes under their care say at age 5, they commit to ensuring that the child has all the necessities to thrive well in a family until they’re well of age. And lastly, their consistency. They’ve thrived as a small nonprofit for 19 years and continue to do so.
Both tees are available to pre order on our website before March 5th. Click here to see more.