At the begining of our formal education, even before we could write full sentences, we were taught poems. School was never fun without poems. Some of us could still remember the poems we recited at the kindergarten. We might think poetry is limited to the classroom but some people are making a living by writing and reciting poems. From Rudyard Kipling to Wole Soyinka, a total of 17 poets have won the Noble Prize since its inception in 1901!
Last year, we interviewed Augustine Mwaawaaru, the CEO of Jesus Poetry on Game Changers and this year another great poet who goes by the stage name Koo Kumi shares his story wth us. I hope his story inspires you.
About Koo Kumi
William Du Bois Kumi Yaw Sakyi (Koo Kumi) comes from a beautiful great town on the Akuapem mountains called Mampong in the Eastern Region. His Dad’s name is Mr. Kumi Jonathan and his Mum is Comfort Ohene Esi Kumi. He has 3 siblings of which two are girls and a boy. Kumi is the first born and completes the list of the family of four children. He attended a couple of schools due to the work of his Dad and his travellings, the most recent ones are St. Paul’s senior high school in Kwahu, Presbyterian senior high school in Mampong Akuapem. He studied Visual Arts with literature as an option in Senior High school and went on to the Ghana Institute of Journalism in 2014 to study communications. He majored in journalism.
Aspirations at Childhood
As a child Koo Kumi didn’t really have a specific job or occupation he wanted to be in, all he can remember was he wanted to be great.
“At a point I wanted to be a military man, a pastor, a scientist, an assassin and a teacher. I knew I was an artist from a very tender age because as short as I was, teachers made me draw the most difficult stuff on the board for them to teach with it, I used to draw on cardboards for the school”, he revealed.
“I have been able to combine all the focused dreams and ambitions into one as an artist who tells stories, communicate and teaches”, he added.
What He Does Now
Koo Kumi is a full time poet.
“I make and unmake emotions, I create worlds and characters, I build bridges with poems and break walls with meaning. I am the simplified version of God”, he said.
Koo writes, records and performs poems for a living and on the other side he works as an E-marketer for a pharmaceutical company.
“I started to actively pursue poetry when I realized the power of words when carefully put together. Words on their own don’t mean anything until they are put together carefully”, he explained.
“I had a hard time explaining myself or communicating with people without them feeling I was being abstract or cunning. I once wrote a note to my Dad and it became a big issue so I decided to channel all that I feel within me into poems 7 years ago, now I feel very free and confident with my ideas and I am able to communicate well.”
When asked about the challenges of his job, he had this to say:
“I am my own challenge. I block myself from some heights and think ‘Oh the system is not favourable’. Poetry is now starting to gain a little attention as a preferred art form in Ghana in my opinion.”
“Event organizers and media houses always want to use poets without paying them what their acts deserve. The challenges are there but it depends on me to make it a challenge or an opportunity to grow and evolve into a better artist.”
Koo Kumi has performed at and on a lot of stages and shows over the past 6 years. He has performed at the National Theatre, Alliance Francise, Churches, Weddings, Chale Wote Street Art Festivals, Radio and TV stations like TV3, TV Africa, BBC, Metro TV, Citi FM, Class FM, Radio XYZ, Okay FM, Starr FM just to mention few. He has also done some private performances for some embassies. He also frequently organizes poetry events at the Antique Lemonade Gallery for poets and musicians to come share their works.
Expectations for the Next 5 years
“I haven’t really thought about that, if what I see myself in the next hour everyday counts then I think if next 5 years comes to meet me here, I will be the greatest ever!”
“Staying focus and being aware of my existence as a mere mortal. Being appreciative of the people God has planted in my life and the support I get from them. Showing love and standing for my core values as an artist. Holding myself accountable for every failure or success and being super grateful to God could help me achieve the expected greatness in the next half decade.”
Lowest Point in life
“When my Mum got sick and bedridden for months, it broke me. Anytime I saw her trying to be alive was a very terrible time for me. She told me to get a reward for my struggles before I give up. I had to change my perspective on life and move on no matter the circumstance.”
“I didn’t have mentors or role models when I was growing up. I look up to myself and what I can become if I stay focused. I have a dream of being the greatest so if I don’t influence myself who would? It’s crazy for someone to just buy into the idea that you want to be the greatest but someone like Muhammad Ali has inspired me to believe and trust in myself.”
Advice for other young people
“Do all you can do when you can do them all. Never leave some out. Try it all out and make the best out of them all if possible. Nobody is coming for you so take a step forward and never stop taking steps, you are the GREATEST!”
You can contact or follow Koo Kumi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/_KooKumi
Wundef.com shall continue to follow and promote the works of Koo Kumi as he continues on his path to greatness.
Do you know someone causing change in his/her own little way? Do you know someone whose story can inspire others? Let us know via email email@example.com or whatsapp +233247516850