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The Ever-Expanding Imagination of Blitz Bazawule

Ghanaians are natural storytellers, but the artist Blitz Bazawule has an exceptional gift, which he’s applied to multiple media, including music, film, and now literature. Inspired by magical realism, he weaves complex, wildly entertaining stories that are rooted in reality but enhanced by the unknown. As a youngster in Accra in the 1980s, Blitz Bazawule would ride the tro-tro to elementary school every day. As it jostled along the streets of Ghana’s capital, he’d hear stories being passed back and forth among the other riders. Stories given to hyperbole and embellishment, tales as tall as they were wide. It was these daily rides, along with the stories he heard from his own family – stories told at night by his mother and grandmother – that would become the bedrock of his own imagination. The trust Bazawule instills in his audience to find its way through the maze of his mind is a large part of what makes taking in his work such a rich, rewarding experience.