Last Thursday I went to the launch of Nana Ekua Brew Hammond’s first novel, Powder necklace, at the Silverbird bookshop at the Accra Mall. It was very much a family event – with the MC being the author’s father and the one introducing the author, her mother, plus I suspect there were quite a few other extended family members present.
What I found interesting was the ostensible reason for the author’s presence in Ghana. She attended Mfantsiman Girls Secondary School, and was around to join other colleagues in celebrating the school’s 50th anniversary. There were several “old girls” present – those that introduced themselves were however all resident outside Ghana, as opposed to those living here, which did raise some questions in my mind.
Indeed those of us who bid for the ten auctioned books were told that part of the money raised would benefit Mfantsiman, which was OK with me. Otherwise I would have had to wait to buy a copy whenever they appeared. I still may do so, because I wonder whether some members of my own family would find that there are echoes of their own experience at secondary schools in Cape Coast during the last part of the 20th century.
So there were different strands in my head while attending this launch: the book itself, the mechanisms of the launch, the presence of the “old girls”, the extent to which experiences of kids who are not totally Ghanaian in these environments are similar (or not)…
For this post, the key role of these associations in the development of many schools remains: providing libraries, computers, labs, transport, websites and even housing – among many others. Another significant contribution on the part of the non-public sector to the education here in Ghana.