Interviewed by: Rachel Bulley
The Ghana's Creative Women series is an opportunity for ReTurn to highlight how women in Ghana are using their love for art and creativity to revive their communities, make themselves financially independent, and discuss what challenges they have faced along the way. In this interview Ms. Bulley talks with Tryphena Lizzert Yeboah. Ms. Yeboah is a writer from Bekwae Womase.
Do you consider yourself a creative person ? If yes, In your own words, what makes you one?
"I consider myself a creative person primarily because of my ability to bring into true form(s) the birthing of an idea and the courage I find in wanting to make more of my imagination than a thought in the safest dwelling of my mind."
How have you developed your creativity?
"My craft of writing has only improved by more writing. In addition to that, I spend a lot of time consuming works of other writers I admire and believe have been able to build for themselves a trademark of beauty and excellence in their field of art. In my bid to seek criticism and explore other avenues my work can thrive in, I send in submissions to literary journals and learn what I can from rejection letters that highlight ways I can get better at what I do."
How do you seek out opportunities to showcase or sell what you create?
"Social media has proven to be a useful platform for me in reaching a well-tailored audience and making my work more accessible in a convenient way. I am able to showcase wall frames of my poems online and at literary events that I may be performing at. I also engage in collaborations with other creatives online and this offers me the opportunity to have my work shared with new audiences."
What challenges have you had since you began?
"As most of my work has been a personal and somewhat private endeavor, I haven’t been involved in any large-scale activities that would bring along major challenges. A common struggle I’ve had along the way as a creative is doubts I’ve had about the worth of my craft and the search for more clarity and understanding of the essence of what I do and how much change I can bring in the world with words."
What measures did you take to overcome these challenges?
"Every day, I choose faith. I choose to believe in my worth, in what I bring to the table. Every day I re-commit myself to the journey of creativity that allows me a lifetime of authenticity and offers me the gift of being my most authentic self. I’ve come to learn and hold on fast to these words by Julia Cameron- ‘Often it is tenacity, not talent, that rules the day."
What is your motivation for doing what you're doing?
"I am very much motivated by the feeling of fulfillment I experience after every written poem. It’s almost as though I empty out to make room for more. Recognizing my craft as a gift also places in me the responsibility of putting it to use, having to be accountable for what I have been given. It will be a terrible thing to have lived this life without bringing to life every good thing breathing within me, waiting to be touched."
Do you have a role model who inspires you in your daily work?
"Of course, I am absolutely smitten with Oprah Winfrey for every obvious reason. I am also constantly inspired by Julia Cameron and her insightfulness on the writer’s life and the overall significance of having a creative heart."
What did you want to be in future when you were a child? Did you end up doing that or it changed, if it changed, what caused it?
"Growing up, I wanted to teach. That vision hasn’t altered much; I still would want to work in academia someday. I love research. And there’s no doubt a part of my life will be spent reading and writing."
Years from now, how do you see yourself?
"I see myself clearer than I do now. I see myself with answers and also more questions. But most importantly, I hope wherever I find myself, I’m happy and I’m doing what I love- could be baking or teaching or writing or speaking at a conference; whatever it is, I want to love it, I want to learn from it, and I want to step into the next season having been shaped somewhat by all that happened."
What is your advice for people who want to be like you?
"You owe your dreams your courage." – Koleka Putuma.