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Poet GhaliLeo conveys a powerful and thought provoking message through the revered tradition of death

How does the theme of death become a convenient vehicle to not only express sorrowful emotions but stoke up vigour, hope and a sense of duty?

Death connotes somberness. It is a period of celebration of life (of the departed). It is also a period of reflection and re-examination of life, actions and progress. All these themes are carefully captured in this 3 minutes by Ghanaian artiste and poet, GhaliLeo in ‘Those Children’.

Exploring the powerful theme of death, GhaliLeo reflect via Those Children how the sad theme of death could rekindled a new wave of hope in the midst of gloom; serve as a light in the cave of doom; brings joy where there is none. As we are aware, death means the end of things and the beginning of new ones.

‘We built this world with our sweat chale

Thorns into flowers, we get power chale

Make you no make we show you who we be chale’

According to GhaliLeo, his chose to tell the story of Those Children through the medium of death (funeral ceremony) is to mourn the ‘death of hopelessness and renewal of a united front’. The concept for this video, he explains is influenced by the recent killings of blacks in the United States. ‘The words were inspired by recent events around the police killings and the rise of consciousness globally within the youth to determine the destiny of this planet’.


The video begin with a voice clip of American Moslem Rights Activist, Minister Louis Farakhan. Out of a black background emerges painted faces backed by esoteric recitation and hums of some words from a poem recited by GhaliLeo. The words are accompanied by fontomfrom rhythms.

Images of a funeral ground is shown, obviously one for a royal, with many umbrellas, adowa dance, thumping of drums and traditional warriors wearing their war robes and clutching their musketeers. One poignant thing about the video is the use of colour-the transition from black and white to dense red colours. According to GhaliLeo the use of red colours is to signify the ‘children tied by blood’. The use of black represent the ‘void and the unknown nature of our story in terms of what is yet to come’

‘Everything wey you do we forgive chale

But enough be enough we for live chale

We for talk am plain, plain chale

They fight Hitler, wey we fight Satan chale

That fire next time, ebi now chale

Where the queen mother reach you for bow chale

Spirit no go fit diminish

Never chale, we already make am finish forever chale

The message in Those Children is about consciousness, a re-awakening of seemingly dead sense of nationalism and re-writing of history. GhaliLeo, in the beginning of his poem set the mind of the listener on why this is necessary:

‘The masters of ceremony like you know God/ Like you know we

Isreal p3 wey ebi holy/Your kiddie sef barb the tooli

You bring gin wey you bring gun chale

You bring bible wey you bring Koran chale

And on the second verse of his poem, GhaliLeo remarks: ‘ Ten thousand crucifixes/Scriptures scripted by deceptions/That deadly intersection of Illusion/Confusion perfection’

With Those Children, GhaliLeo using the revered ritual to express traditions of death explores a very powerful and thought-provoking theme that tickles the consciousness of the listener.

Watch the video

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