Mid-September in Accra on the usual hot Saturday afternoon. Time for Nigerian writer and intern doctor Dami Ajayi to meet with Ghanaians to decorticate ‘Clinical Blues’ and by extension himself. The Writers Project Ghana along with Zaria Horizons and Vidya Bookstores collaborated for Dami Ajayi’s first reading in Accra.
Before diving into ‘Clinical Blues’, Dami broke the ice by sharing the intimate poem “Tolu”, written a few days earlier and dedicated to a departed friend from Medical School. The audience could sense and relate to the pain, trauma and slow process of mourning read out through “Tolu”, a good prelude to open discussions on pain and the writing process among other very relevant issues.
He explained how “Clinical Blues” was not his first but his second collection of poems stating he had in fact written one and a half books: ‘Daybreak and other poems’ is available for free online while copies of ‘Clinical Blues’ are available at Vidya Bookstores in Accra and/or contact Zaria for more information.
Justifying the use of English rather than Yoruba (there are several dialects falling under the Yoruba language), pointing out the similarities between doctors and writers, presenting his e-magazine Saraba, commenting on the popularity of spoken word and taking us through love-filled poems to harsh, traumatising experiences such as ‘Requiem for an asphyxiated neonate’, Dami introduced works that speak to each one’s humanity and mortality without solely being about ‘blues’, lost hopes or morbidity. Life has its moments of darkness and challenges but all can be enlightened through them and/or thanks to them.