Cosmos Schools is where Fafanyo identified his gift in writing. While in JHS 2, Fafanyo and his classmates were give an assignment to write poems, and that was the first time he penned a literary work.
“I came back with three poems and even had to write for some friends,” he recounted.
Fafanyo then transitioned from just writing poems to doing spoken word and later discovered that he could rap too.
During his second cycle education at Adisadel College, he grew to become an performing artist; he wrote and performed stage plays, and was adjudged the best student actor in the Central region. Fafanyo later developed an interest in filmmaking and pursued a degree in it at the university.
However, of all the performing arts fields he has explored, Fafanyo is most passionate about spoken word poetry.
“Writing made me who I am today,” he said. “This art has made it an outlet rather than voices screaming in my head.”
“There are things we just can’t express. Feelings are much more complicated. Sometimes ‘I’m fine’ doesn’t cut, sometimes ‘This is nice’ doesn’t cut it. We can say those things but deep down we know there’s more to it. That more comes through Poetry and art. It is something everyone can connect with. That’s the beauty of it. This is something I can talk about the whole day.”
“I see Poetry in everything. How people smile, how they walk and talk. How everyone has a unique way of doing it. I can talk about people’s faces every day and it will be different because no two faces are the same. A lot inspires and influences my process.”
“Research is also vital. Some pieces come as just vibes. Others are researched. Most pieces I have are in my audio recorder. Anything I see or come across could start a piece that’s why for me it’s important to record every snippet of an idea that hits me. If I need to do further research to finish it, I do that. If it all comes from my experience or feelings I let it flow,” he added.
His inspiration comes from a cocktail of artists, including Soww Ffar, Worlasi, Megborna, Andy Mineo, Tobe Nwigwe, Brymo, Kanye, Asa, Kojey Radical, Propaganda, Hondred Percent and Nightbirde.
“As long as I feel the person brings something fresh and original, it inspires me. I like music in dialects I don’t understand. It makes me see that art is a universal language and not limited to dialects,” he said. “For me, lyrics are everything. I’m not too enthused about rhymes and all that even though I do study and improve on all the technicalities. Sometimes it has to be raw. It’s all about what would make it flow. Whatever I believe a piece needs to work, I’ll give it just that. It makes the art dynamic.”
Fafanyo’s poems are full of hope as he loves to talk a lot about his life to inspire others. “Where I come from has taught me a lot and I’m still learning. It’s not easy what people are facing and going through,” he said.
“Most artists want to get you dancing, go make money or jam all day. It’s important but I want my art to talk to you. The version of you behind the smiles, behind the pretence. I want to inspire you and let you know that darkness can become light and sometimes it is what it is. I want my art to be therapeutic not just to me but to everyone. ‘Hope Dey’ is my anthem and I don’t give up. It’s all about positive energy and also understanding that negatives do exist and it’s part of life.”
In 2020, Fafanyo released his debut EP titled Making Dawn, whose sequel he hopes to release next year. Prior to this project, he collaborated with WhoIsDeydzi, Obiri Tete and Poetyk Prynx to stage Who Be We?, Ghana’s first-ever experimental pidgin theatrical piece, at the National Theatre. He also worked on a spoken word visual series titled Sessions With Self, which he says is his most exciting piece of poetic work.
“It was raw, I wasn’t thinking about getting the most sophisticated equipment. If I get the vibe, I see what I have around me and use it. It expressed vulnerability; it was the most therapeutic thing I’ve done. People connected and engaged. It wasn’t just my journey, it was for everyone who participated. The last episode was written by the fans and myself. It has to be it. Hopefully next year I’ll be doing Season Two of Sessions with Self,” he said.
Fafanyo wants to continue to use his poetry to touch hearts and change lives, as well as embarking on mental health awareness projects.
“I want people to look at my art and believe nothing is impossible regardless of the situation in which they find themselves. I look forward to giving out and teaching what I’ve experienced with art too. It’s more of a public service to me. My art is for the people. It is not about me. For God and Country, that’s it.”
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