Phoebe Nortey is a young Ghanaian writer in her twenties studying Psychology and French in the University of Ghana.
In 2021, the young writer emerged as one of the winners of Antoa Writing Contest which received over 100 entries from across the globe.
Phoebe enjoys being transported to different worlds through the act of reading. When her head isn’t stuck in the clouds, her feet are firmly planted in Ghana–her homeland where she lives with her family.
She loves watching musicals, eating chocolate and wearing mismatched socks. I’m sure the photographer saw the mixed-colored socks in the studio when taking the featured image 🙂
She loves to write. And when it comes to short stories, Phoebe can spend a chunk of her time writing. Most young writers got a side hustle to save some bucks before royalties hit the bank account; Phoebe spends some of her time customizing birthday wishes for people.
The young writer values kindness and thoughtfulness. Her favorite color is purple! And not pink.
Exclusive Interview with Phoebe Nortey, Author of “The Sound Thereof”:
Tell us, what inspired your poem “The Sound Thereof”?
I felt like Africans always had people telling our story for us. These stories were usually warped to fit the view of us being backward or poor so I felt like we should write our own story. Write our own sound, and that’s where the sound thereof came from.
Everyone has a story. How did you pick interest for writing?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I think it started one day when I went out with my aunt and cousin and we were disturbing her and she told me to write about my day, and that my cousin should add drawings to it.
My cousin is an artist now though. I didn’t write for a while and I started again when I encountered an interesting teacher who sparked in me the desire to write stories.
Who are your favorite African poets and why?
I don’t really have a favorite African poet…but I love the writing of Ama Ata Aidoo, Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozie among others. There was this beautiful poem I read ages ago but I’ve forgotten the title and who wrote it unfortunately…Strangely I don’t read much poetry 😏
Phoebe, do you have favorite places where you write?
Anywhere peaceful and quiet and conducive immediately becomes my favorite place. So my bedroom, or any bed really 😄 Maybe a desk…Maybe if I have snacks.
I can only write in a noisy environment if I’m very motivated by an idea or deadline. Chaos or stress doesn’t help the my creative process.
As a young writer, where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself at my book launches. My books being adapted into movies. My stories and poems inspiring and entertaining the world and above all bringing glory to God and sharing Jesus Christ everywhere.
Award-winning Poem “The Sound Thereof” By Phoebe Nortey
Do you hear that?
The stories they tell….
Feral animals, running rampage.
Do you hear that?
What they say?
About uncontrollable blood thirst
Do you hear that?
How we are portrayed?
Poverty and ignorance and corruption.
Death and dirt and everything negative that black supposedly represents.
Do you hear this new voice?
The voice of hope.
Of innovation !
Of Africans arising to become the best versions of themselves
To make better the land they’ve been given!
The gifts unexploited, the dreams unexplored.
Nature’s millions of gifts.
Do you hear that?!
A new story is being told!
A story of an uprising.
The story of Africa.
The sound of potential.
The sound thereof.
I felt like Africans always had people telling our story for us – Phoebe Nortey
By Elijah Christopher