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Entertainment of Sunday, 17 July 2011

Source: Ameyaw Debrah

Get familiar: Ghanaian-American poet, Naki Akarobettoe

Every now and then I find people of Ghanaian heritage doing great things in the Diaspora, poet Naki Akarobettoe takes the biscuit as a consummate artist that her homeland, Ghana knows very little about. A granddaughter of Ghanaian royalty and an American coalminer, Naki was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio where she began her journey into the poetic world at the age of 12.

Intrigued by the natural flow of expression, Naki sought out to study historic writers such as Phyllis Wheatley, Langston Hughes, Toi Derricote, and many more. While in her freshman year at The University of Toledo she was introduced to her mentor Rane Arroyo. Under his teaching Naki found her voice and quickly became a highly requested artist, impacting not only the campus, but taking the community by storm.

In 2004 she Co-founded the student organization D.E.E.P. (Developing Empowering Enhancing Poets through Poetry) to serve as an outlet for the student body to have a platform to creatively express themselves. Upon receiving her B.A. in English Naki set out to give back to youth while serving as a writer clinician for organizations such as Covenant Youth Development and Youth Arts At Work. In addition to her many achievements academically, Naki has opened for hip hop artist Talib Kweli and performed on the same stage as Grammy Nominated Artist, Dwele.

Also Naki’s love and passion for music landed her a position as co-host on the radio show “The Session” WXUT 88.3 FM. Naki has been featured at Tripple Croxx Entertainment’s off-broad way production “The Signature: A Poetic Medley Show” with HBO Def Poet, M’Reld and Internationally known Poet, Tasha Jones. In May of 2010 she released her debut album, PENSTROKES which features her single entitled “Black Is” and title track “Penstrokes”. In 2010 Naki , also co-founded Azucar Morena Ent and launched a live poetry series called “The E-Zone.” May 5, 2011 she opened at a ceremony with her soul stirring piece, “I SPEAK” for over 2,000 attendants at the SB5 rally organized by Stand Up For Ohio. Next up on Naki’s agenda is her new upcoming project “D.O.P.E”.

There is certainly a bright future a head of this lady of deep thoughts and word. Stay tuned!