A couple of very busy weeks on the books and information side – that is, apart from work which included a four-day workshop on critical thinking and writing – and I am feeling rather guilty about not posting earlier. No really valid excuses though. But the long weekend for 1 July (Ghana’s Republic Day) is definitely providing a bit of inspiration!
I have to admit that I am usually fairly happy to attend book launches here in Accra, though I do admit that I tend to prefer those that involve fiction and/or some kind of historical orientation. Business and management related books I tend to be a bit more picky about, but an invitation to the launch of Elikem Kuenyehia’s Kuenyehia on entrepreneurship was irresistible. Held at British Council Accra, this was a pretty high powered affair, with fairly sophisticated decorations, and many VIPs or should I say VVIPs present (including Sam Jonah as Chairman, Nigerian businessman and entrepreneur Tony Elumelu as Guest of Honour, Joyce Aryee as Chief Auctioneer and Kwasi Kyei Darkwah as MC)! It was also great to see several Ashesi students and alums assisting in making the programme go smoothly – I know a lot of effort goes into this!
I attended two book readings: one by Nii Ayikwei Parkes – which was held at Sytris, and wonderfully described and photographed by my colleague, Kajsa, so I won’t really go into any details, as she has really said it all. Sytris was a good location, and having a small cafe as well meant that we were not only feeding our brains and hearts! It was great actually seeing Nii Ayikwei Parkes in person, and hearing him perform some of his poems.
The second reading, held at the Goethe Institut, as part of their collaboration with Writers Project of Ghana, was also by an expatriate Ghanaian/Nigerian writer, Taiye Selasi, who is known for having coined the term “Afropolitan”. There were excerpts from her short story “The Sex Lives of African Girls” which was published in Granta 115 and also from the manuscript of her forthcoming book, Ghana must go, which is due to be published in 2013. She was funny and at times biting in her critique of contemporary Ghanaian life. Definitely someone to watch out for!
And because it was the last week of the month, there was our usual Accra Book Club gathering, a relatively small group, as usual, discussing – not in much detail though – Dan Rhodes Little hands clapping. Most of us didn’t really like it, but that was OK. And while munching on our pizzas, we talked about other books, including science fiction, the Twilight series, and the phenomenon of Fifty shades of grey – which none of us had read!
I am not sure what events will be coming up in July – but I am sure there will be some. A good time to read though, as the weather here in Accra is definitely cooler!