‘Poets from our Savannah’ to host First Ever S. H. S Poetry Contest in Tamale

Poetry has reached its prime and the arts industry in Ghana over the past five years is beginning to move along with this sacred tradition… Poetry for a very long while, has not been tended to well by the Ministry of Tourism and other related institutions.

Fortunately, the rise of contemporary poets has made the system stand on its feet to revive the sacred tradition of poetry.

Since, 2015, the ‘Poets from our Savannah’ has been trying all means of empowering the younger once to take up the Champaign for literary writing. They’ve organised book readings, poetry dwells-online, lectures on poetry, personality interviews on literature and mass literary empowerment projects.

They are set to organised the first ever S. H. S poetry contest among Senior high schools from the Tamale Metropolis and the Sagnerigu Municipality.

Three events comprising the Contest, which shall see students from selected senior high schools in both Sagnerigu Municipality and Tamale Metropolis compete, would happen on April 28, May 5 and May 26 respectively – in Tamale.
The programme aims to empower Northern Ghana in terms of written poetry, performance poetry, and as well promote creative thinking.

PFOS S. H. S Poetry Contest 2018
PFOS S. H. S Poetry Contest 2018

The Sagnerigu Municipal Zone Contest is said to come off Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Kalpohin Senior High School. The competing schools are;

As endorsed by the Ghana Education Service, directors of education shall grace the event and other personalities.

The winner from this contest shall prepare in wait for the Tamale Metro-zone contest winner to go for the Grand Final. Only two schools would make it to the Grand Final.


The event is a competition of poetry and spoken words divided into three rounds. Each school is supposed to perform in each round. There shall certainly be judges, who will score the contestants.

The first round shall be a contest of poetry recitation. In this round, each school is expected to present and recite a written poem on a theme that would be given the schools prior to the event. Judges would therefore take each written piece, go through it, and score it based on content, level of literary devices: metaphors, personifications, imagery, onomatopoeia, etc.

Judges would also score based on how each school is able to present their works, how they connect with the message and how the audience react.
In the second round, each school would do a spoken word. This is going to be an off-head poetry performance.

So representatives shall memorize their poems, different from the ones recited in the first round and based on another theme given them by the judges prior to the event as well, to perform them. In this round, contestants are judged based on their flow, body language, energy, content, rhythm, connection with audience and general delivery.

The third round would test the creativity and literary maturity of contestants in their writing poems. It is assumed that, at their schools’ level, the teachers who are assigned to guide them may choose to do about 90% of the work for the students. Therefore, the judges will give unannounced theme to contestants to write a twenty-line poem at that spot or in the seating.

In this regard, the whole program consists of three events. The first would be for five selected senior high schools in Sagnerigu district. The second would happen consecutively, a week after the Sagnerigu own . . . in Tamale Metropolis. Duration of two weeks would be given the schools that emerged winners at the district levels – to prepare and show up for the Grand Final on the third week. The nature of the Grand Final is the same as the structure of the district level competitions.

Prior to the event, each school would be given a theme to write one poem and email to the Poets from our Savannah, which would be given to judges to judge before the main program. As part of the objectives of PFOS, we aim to nurture budding poets to develop interest in writing. So our mission is not set on just spoken word, but writing of course, too.

As part of making it enthusiastic, there shall be spoken word performances from renowned poets and spoken word artistes.

The contest is not necessarily to see who wins or who loses. It is primarily to support students; in that, all performers shall be acknowledged. The overall winning school will thus, be an ambassador to PFOS for a year.

The program is geared towards promoting arts and literature in Northern Ghana especially, performance poetry. It is also to draw the attention of the nation to the fact that, the north is not deprived in terms of such talents. Thus, arts and literature should be promoted. As part of the promotion, the event yearns at exhibiting the prowess of student-poets in the north and links them to potential publishers, online journal and magazine industries, media, and other promoters.

Story: Zakaria Abdul-Hakim |Editor – Sanatu Zambang Online


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