A native of Mampong Akuapem in the Eastern Region of Ghana, 23-year-old Artist, Poet and Visual communicator, William Du Bois Kumi Yaw Sakyi, aka Koo Kumi, describes himself as “one of the last dying breed of awesome people”.
So, who is William Du Bois? Just an amazingly artistic prodigy who sure does get around. He is currently a Level 300 student of the Ghana institute of Journalism, majoring in Journalism. He has expressed himself in various written and performed pieces. He is a master of the art of spoken Word and has spat rhymes of great depth during performances on renowned stages across Ghana.
Being reserved as a child who only spoke when he needed to, Du Bois was discovered by art even before he could define it. He started painting at a very young age and developed the skills of artistic writing in Junior secondary school. By the time he graduated from senior secondary school, he had already began honing in on his graphic design and photography skills. At the age of 19, he published an anthology online titled ‘Beautiful Africa’.
Du Bois reminisces about his first performance ever which took place at Afrocentric, Bubiashie. He recalls being told by a drunk man that he did not “need poetry”. According to Du bois, he proceeded to single out a lady in the audience instead and performed to her. He was booked to perform at Alliance Français, Accra the very next week.
He has worked with a lot of artists, videographers, photographers, musicians, journalists, friends and family. Du Bois has worked with the likes of Wanlov the Kubolor, Okyeame Kwame, Sister Deborah, Medikal, Cabum and Worldreader. His artistic reach goes beyond the borders of Ghana and even into international media. His famed movement, ‘Trotro Vibes’, which started out as a social intervention, was recognized by the BBC after a rise in Twitter discussions on the subject occurred. The movement advocates for education, entertainment and information. In 2016, he was featured by BBC’s Akwasi Sarpong and his crew during their coverage of Ghana ahead of the 2016 General Election.
Some of his most recent works include ‘Just for you’ aka, Slow Down; ‘Dear Future Wife’ and a number of poems. Du Bois’ published photographs can be accessed on Instagram with the handle @williamduboisphotos.
Story By: Sarah Djirackor (Level 300JN A) & Comfort Mawufemor Nibor (Diploma 1E)