Today on Game Changers, we are celebrating Augustine Mwaawaaru, a young poet who is championing the art of spoken word in the Golden city of Ghana. Spoken word is a performance art that is word based. It is an oral art that focuses on the aesthetics of word play and intonation and voice inflection. It is a ‘catchall’ which includes any kind of poetry recited aloud, including hip hop, jazz poetry, poetry slams, traditional poetry readings and can include comedy routines and ‘prose monologues’.
Augustine Abaeyel Mwaawaaru, also known as Squaru is from Hamile in the Upper West Region of Ghana, the second born but first son of Mr and Mrs Mwaawaaru.
He started his education from Just Love Preparatory school then to Holy Child Preparatory and JHS, all in Obuasi. He had his senior high school education at Prempeh College, Kumasi and went on to obtain a diploma in Registered General Nursing from Jirapa Nursing Training College. From the Presbyterian University College, he again obtained Bsc Physician Assistant with honors.
Augustine Mwaawaaru is currently a Physician Assistant with Obuasi Municipal Hospital. He is also a spoken word Artiste, a writer, a motivational speaker and a philanthropist.
Mwaawaaru revealed that he had wanted to be a doctor in order to help the sick and a part-time motivational speaker in order to inspire others but he is content with what he is today because he is still able to help the sick as a physician Assistant and inspire people as a Poet.
Augustine is also the CEO and founder of two poetry groups: Jesus Poetry and New Edition Africa Era Crew.
Jesus Poetry is a Christian poetry crew that seeks to convict souls for Christ, educate on Christian issues and provide creative gospel entertainment through spoken word. New Edition Africa Crew also seeks to educate on social issues, inspire young people to expose their talents creatively and also project African values through poetry.
Squaru admitted he loves gospel rap music and poetry because he believes the two are strongly connected. He revealed his fear of attempting poetry till he experienced a terrible health issue in 2013 which he thought was going to kill him. He then decided to step out of his comfort zone and tell people about the saving grace of Jesus through poetry. That was how Jesus Poetry started.
There were poets long before there were printing presses, poetry is primarily oral utterance, to be said aloud, to be heard. ‘Poetry, like music, appeals to the ear, an effect known as euphony or onomatopoeia, a device to represent a thing or action by a word that imitates sound. ‘Speak again, Speak like rain’ was how Kikuyu East African tribesmen described her verse to author Isak Dinesen, confirming Eliot’s comment that ‘poetry remains one person talking to another
Talking about the future of Jesus Poetry, Augustine Mwaawaaru reiterate his desire to see Jesus Poetry become a leading National and International Poetry crew with associate Christian poets across the globe still projecting Christ Jesus to the world and to change the perception and response of the general public with respect to poetry.
New edition Africa Era Crew could also be vibrant in every region of Ghana, projecting Ghanaian and African Cultural Values through poetry in local languages in the next 10 years.
There is never an easy way to achieve greater things without challenges and Augustine has them. Time, Time, Time. The greatest challenge faced by the young Poet is time. Blending work as a nurse, a Physician Assistant and a full-time poet limits exposure. Secondly, since the art of spoken word is new to many, a lot of people are yet to welcome it and even at the beginning, it was worse.
Augustine was able to still press on despite the low patronage of his art because he believed in his priceless gift from God.
“I believed in the gifts, potentials and capabilities Jesus had buried within me. I believed that the world deserved to see something incredible.”
Augustine Mwaawaaru has a lot of mentors who directed and motivated him on his ladder up. Professionally(as a PA), he was mentored by doctors like Dr. Sarfo, formerly of Anglogold Ashanti Health Foundation, Dr. Anim, Dr. Dakurah, Dr. Adomako, just to mention a few. They helped shape his professional perspective.
In his ministry as a Poet, international poets like David Bowden and Prince EA have been on the forefront of people he looks up to.
He also draws inspiration from great men of God like Arch Bishop Duncan William, Apostle Emmanuel Adade, Rev. Enoch Akwaboah, Gamel Sankarl (poet) and Prince Ampofo ( CEO of PALMinistry).
Augustine regrets not starting financial investments at a much younger age since he believes money is crucial in every ministry.
Finally, Augustine Mwaawaaru had a word of advice for other young people who want to follow in his footsteps.
“Young people should be more spiritually inclined. That is the only way to discover your hidden potential. And when they do, they should believe in themselves, stretch themselves to the maximum limits.”