Didn’t miss the latest reading of Ghana Voices

Last week I looked at the Writers Project of Ghana website and saw  there was a reading on 24 October at the Goethe Institut. Given that I looked at it on Thursday, this meant I had  missed the October readings.   I wasn’t very happy with myself, and told the world so.

Imagine how happy I was when I got an email to say that the reading was actually scheduled for Wednesday 31 October, so I hadn’t missed the readings by Mamle Wolo.  And when I checked, information on the WPG website is updated.

So I will make sure that I take my copy of The kaya-girl with me.



Africa Reading Challenge: an update

As I moved into the month of October, I realised that I had to look at progress – or lack thereof – on my one reading challenge, the African Reading Challenge, which was initiated by KinnaReads.

I know I have read quite a few books on Africa and/or by African writers, but I still have the following four on my TBR shelves:

  • Chicago, by Alaa al Aswany – North Africa/Egypt
  • An elegy for Easterly, by Petina Gappah – Central Africa/Zimbabwe – short stories
  • Broken glass, by Alain Mabanckou – Central Africa/Congo – in translation from French
  • The cry of Winnie Mandela, by Njabulo Ndebele – South Africa

So I have decided to move them onto a more obvious TBR pile on my desk, so I will know to pick one of them up as I move to something new with an African flavour.

I only hope that this strategy works!

A belated look at September 2012 book related activities

During September, I read – or more appropriately – finished reading six books:

  1. King Peggy – An American secretary, her royal destiny and the inspiring story of how she changed an African village, by Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman [quite apt as it was about Ekumfi Otuam, the “hometown” of the late President of Ghana, Prof John Atta Mills]
  2. The secret lives of Baba Segi’s wives, by Lola Shoneyin [a polygamous marriage has many secrets]
  3. Half-blood blues, by Esi Edugyan [read for Accra Book Club]
  4. Speechless – World history without words, by Polyp [graphic non-fiction; I confess I wasn’t always clear what was being depicted]
  5. Death and pain – Rawlings’ Ghana, the inside story, by Mike Adjei [aspects of Ghana’s history during the turbulent 1970s and 1980s]
  6. The bean trees, by Barbara Kingsolver [moving early novel by the well-known American author]

As is obvious by the titles above, there were more books with African/Ghanaian flavours/origins. Unusually for me there was an even mix between fiction and non-fiction.

In terms of bookish activities, it was a busy month, or rather the last ten days were very full. I had mentioned anticipating several activities in a previous post, and indeed I did go to all.

GAWBOFEST – Ghana Association of Writers Book Festival – did take place, and I did go. 21 September was a public holiday here in Ghana (Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday). But I didn’t stay long, bought a few books, and left, mainly because I wasn’t feeling very well, even though I had heard that the President, John Mahama, was coming to read from his recently published book, My first coup d’etat. I was very sorry to have missed that reading, but I was very happy that it took place in what was a relatively informal and non-political forum.

The next week, 25 – 29 September, was the 11th Ghana International Book Fair, held this year at the National Theatre. I went round the stands on a couple of days, and didn’t buy much, mainly because I had seen what I wanted at GAWBOFEST. But I was glad to attend the formal book launch of the Burt award 2011 books, and did buy the pack of three books:

  1. The kaya girl, by Mamle Wolo
  2. The lost royal treasure, by Ruby Yayra Goka
  3. Akosua & Osman, by Manu Herbstein

For an interesting and challenging perspective on the Book Fair and writing for children here in Ghana, see Mikelle on Education’s post.

Another entertaining reading took place at the Goethe Institut, where Nigerian author Chuma Nwokolo read excerpts from two of his books, as part of the Writers Project of Ghana Ghana Voices series:

  1. The ghost of Sani Abacha
  2. Diaries of a dead African

Nwokolo was entertaining and amusing, and the audience obliged with lots of questions and laughter, and of course we bought his books!

The rest of the week involved a regular monthly gathering of the Accra Book Club, plus a meeting of CARLIGH (Consortium of Academic & Research Libraries in Ghana)…

And not too surprisingly I did buy a few books: one gift, three books for work, and nine for myself! The TBR shelves continue to grow!

Advert for Ghana Book Awards raises a few questions

Seen in the Ghanaian Times of Wednesday 12 September 2012 [apologies for not posting this earlier, but as the comments still apply, I will still post it]


The Ghana Book Development Council request for entries for Write Publisher  for Ghana Book Awards 2012 in the following categories:

Junior Fiction
Adult Fiction
General Book

The book should be published in Ghana between 2009 and 2012.  Four (4) copies each of all entries should be sent to:

Ag Executive Director
PO Box MB430, Ministries

or hand delivered to either of the following:

GBDC Secretariat
NAPTEX Building
Education Enclave, Legon
c/o Ghana Book Publishers Association Office
3rd floor, Workers College Building

closing date:  15 October 2012

For further enquiries, please phone 023-259-6800


I have a few comments, or rather questions, on this advert.

  1. First of all what is “Write Publisher”?
  2. Second, what is meant by a “General Book” category?
  3. Thirdly I would like to ask about locations:  does everyone know where Education Enclave is? or Workers College Building?  There is no further indication of where these are, and personally I feel that this is a significant omission .  I know we don’t have proper street names here in Ghana, but one can narrow down areas to make them more accessible to someone who is not familiar with Accra.
  4. My last comment has to do with the lack of an email contact, or a website.  In this era there is simply no excuse not to have an email address, even if it is one that is totally web-based.

I do realize that most of the publishers would probably know of either the GBDC Secretariat or the Ghana Book Publishers Association – so presumably those placing the advert probably thought this information was superfluous.  But then, why bother?

The question then to ask:  What is this advert for? Isn’t it a type of promotion of books? and of publishing?