By: Seli Baisie
Ghana’s foremost playwright, Uncle Ebo Whyte has stated that in order to survive in the creative field, one has to have a ‘damage soul’.
According to him, there is no ‘normal’ person who is creative.
Speaking on GBC’s Legends of Our Time, the renowned playwright said there is a certain personality that dominates the creative field.
“There’s a certain personality that gets into the creative field. The personality is, you have to be a damaged soul to be creative.
“There’s no normal person who is creative. Normal people watch us and they criticize us. It takes somebody who is damaged at a certain level,” Uncle Ebo asserted.
Uncle Ebo, who has directed and produced 50 plays since the start of his career, said a ‘damage soul’ could be upbringing, it could be rejection somewhere along the line. It could be that no one gave you attention when you needed attention, especially when you were a child.
“It could be your personality being an introvert and things like that, because introvert means that you live inside you, and so your mind has to occupy you, and so you become a little bit more creative,” Uncle Ebo explained.
“At least it helps you to develop a perspective to things that is different from what normal people see it. You can step back from anything and say, what if it is this one?” he opined on Friday, October 7.
Uncle Ebo Whyte explained further that everyone in the creative space is a damaged person and they find healing in their work.
“So the point I’m making is that, be it a musician, be it a dancer, be it a playwright, be it an actor, there’s a common trait in our lives, and it’s that we are damaged people. And this is where we get our healing.
“And so I’m not surprised that when I saw theater, it filled a certain need in me. Because as somebody who is an introvert who struggled with inferiority complex for most of my life, I could feel that this thing will help me.
“And that is what it does. It gives us a sense of grounding, it gives us a sense of purpose. And it is not just place. Any creative, even painting helps heal something in the artist, he shared.
Ghana’s most successful playwright also revealed that growing up he suffered from an inferiority complex simply because he was born different.
“My inferiority complex was born from the fact that I was different in an environment that did not understand difference.
I was born and raised by a feisty fishmonger. My mother was feisty. My mother did not fight women. She fought men and beat them. The whole of Asafo market, it was known as Auntie Ama fights men and beats them.”
Uncle Ebo said that even though her mom was a bold woman, she gave birth to a very timid boy [Uncle Ebo].
“She gives birth and is me, a timid boy. And she could not understand why she, of all people, gave birth to a timid boy.
A lot of our parents, when they want to mould us, use insults, they use comparison, they compare you with somebody else and things like that. And in doing that, it then destroys you.
And it didn’t help that my kid brother, the one who comes after me, was the direct opposite of me. Oh, yes. He was outgoing, he was fun,” he added.
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