Winner: Adinkra Poetry Prize 2023: Jonathan Tetteh Kwao for in a Twistocratic Republic

the wheel will also be safe in the hands of an astrologer: 

he’ll pray the galaxy on our sixth presidential podium-

& tell us

our fate.

my friend wept a “Haircut” he did not give his head for/

would’ve espied this before his Titanic sank the iceberg.

                                                                              he sure

                                                                             will tell

us myriad ill monkeys will spawn in a banana republic 

& form firewall to stymy forex nuisance on black marts.

his terms


celestial bodies that decant cistrons of Marcus Garvey,

Nelson Mandela & Kwame Nkrumah into our thoughts.



our minds to avert being attacked by foreign troops led 

by a native from our village. & make us use our hearts,

our heads           & hands,           our time         & dime,

our days             & ways,            our God          & gods.

What the judges said

in a “Twistocratic” Republic brings writing craft and play together in a feat of social commentary that spans fortune-telling and legacy, mocking – true to the Nkyinkyim symbol – those who would make us kyia kyia our lives to the tune of their whims. Easily my favourite four-footed dismount in poetry so far!

Meet the Poet

Kwao Jonathan Tetteh is a young Creative Writer, Educator, and Talent Coach. He is a two-time winner of Samira Bawumia Literature Prize (2020 & 2022), and is published in the anthology, “All Ghana a Stage” curated by H.E Samira Bawumia. His life experiences play an instrumental role in most of his works. He is a lover of God and anything pertaining to the arts. Find him on Instagram @qwao_alpha.

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