Massimo Ampofo


A teacher by profession and a writer at heart. Massimo has always loved reading, hearing and telling stories. His primary medium is the written word; he respects the power that words possess.

He contributes a poem dedicated to his wife. Written to commemorate their fifth year anniversary.

Ahwene pa nkasa:Ode to an African Queen 

I crouch atop a wawa tree and shroud myself in its leaves. 

I wait. Silent as death. Stiff as bark. Eyes narrow.

I'm after a catch today. 

Sunrise is almost here. And with it comes my prey.

I've studied its ways. 

Its daily pilgrimage always in step with the approach of dawn.

I have it down to a sweet science.

The ways of The Woman. 

She will come by here on her way to the local stream. 

She will come with empty bokiti on her head. 

Unseeing. Unknowing. She will come.

And when she does I will


As she thrashes like tilapia in the snare of my eye.

Here she comes!

I strafe and shimmy along the green.

Watch intently as she comes over the hill

To take my bait. Come. Come. My precious.

Agyee! She fires a shot and I am wounded. 

It flew from the swell of her hips

That spin like a revolver's cylinder.

Deadly weapons concealed within toma.

Hoh! I wonder what kind of 3ntoma she is wearing underneath.

Those beads are the world's envy. 

Anchoring the arch of her back

Making no room for anyone else

Screaming gluttony without a single sound.

Ahwene pa nnkasa. Indeed.

Agyee! She fires another shot as she passes me by

Straight from her calves, the smoothest of yams. 

The recoil surges her ankles.

Courses through her feet and into the ground.

A leg shot. I clutch. M3 wu. 

She halts to adjust her toma. Draws it up towards sharp clavicles. 

Like a knife to its sheath. But I'm already cut. Reeling from my rush of blood.

Mtchew. I swear that toma is the richest cloth in the world. 

Even the Asentehene in all his splendour can do no more than covet it. 

For within it are stored national treasures: the ripest pair of mangoes. 

Hoh! How often I dream of their pulp... 

Yesu! She has turned towards me. I shrink back behind foliage.

But wait. Where is her bokiti?

Where is her headwrap?

Without them she is unarmed,

And dangerous.

Look at her hair. Tendrils of blackest smoke 

Roaming wild and free.

Unrestrained and untamed

For freedom runs in her blood

Flows through her veins.

It’s imprinted in her DNA.

It bulges out of the darks of her eyes

Flares out of the wides of her nostrils

Rings out of the coarse clicking of her throat

As it Kum kum kums.

I see it in the thicks of her lips.

Those lips that were made for kissing freely and deeply. 

Hoh! What I would give for just-


She sees me.

Her eyes are locked with mine. 

They lock my very soul. 

Eyes that scold and strengthen at once.

Expose the child. Call forth the Man.

Y3 mm3rima nne3.

Be. A. Man.

The challenge is writ in her gaze.

But I know not how. If I’m even able.

Yet I know that she does. Somehow

I know she knows me better than I know myself.

She is gesturing to me.
Drawing me out of my hiding.
Summoning me with small hands.
I thought mine were tough. They can bend a bow of bronze.
Hands of chaos and war. But what is my ‘strength’ compared to hers?
It is nothing.
For she is fashioned out of substance much greater.
She is Nurture.
She is Undefeated. 
She is Woman.

I step out from the thicket.

Scale gracelessly down the tree. 

My feet hit the ground.
And walk towards her.

Yield to her power.
Heed her call.

To be the Man I was born to be.