Women writers – part of IWD celebrations in Accra

I attended most of an International Women’s Day event at the Alliance Francaise on Friday 8 March in the evening:  Women of the world: Talking about a revolution, partly because I received an invitation from one of the authors involved, and also because I always feel happy to support writers who want to promote themselves and their work.

I admit I didn’t stay till the end – but managed to at least 23.00 [pretty late for some of us who get up really early – before 6am – in order to go to work!]. I enjoyed the combination of music (for and about women) and words, and the Alliance Francaise is a great venue for outdoor events in the evenings.

I will say more at a later time, but it is a great tribute to the organizers, the AWDF, the Alliance Francaise, and the writers, to come together for such an event.

NB:  this post is done as part of an activity organized by @BloggingGhana





Manu Herbstein describes Accra’s literary scene

This is just a quick post to alert readers of Ghanaian/South African Manu Herbstein’s article on Accra’s literary scene, currently posted on the South African BooksLive website.

I have to admit to admit that Herbstein captures events which I certainly attended – and may even have mentioned in this blog. He also describes many I had  heard about but didn’t manage to go to, in addition to several others I didn’t know about at all.

Definitely a worthwhile summary of the last year here in Accra.

World Poetry Day – two favourite poems

Today – 21 March – is World Poetry Day as proclaimed by UNESCO.  A UN press release says among other things

“World Poetry Day is an invitation to reflect on the power of language and the full development of each person’s creative abilities.”

Personally I have to admit that I am not a great poetry reader.  But once in while, I will come across poems that really strikes a cord with me, and I would like to share them here.

The first is by Mamle Kabu, a Ghanaian writer who is mainly known for her short stories.  The following comes Laban Carrick Hill’s website, for which I say thank you:

Orange Juice

My dying wish?
Orange juice
From oranges that are yellow
Not orange,
Oranges from the forests of Ghana
Grown wild in cool shade
And careless beauty

Why orange juice?
Because it’s the colour of the sun
And tastes like life,
And even better things
that have no name
But can be drunk

Oranges loaded onto mammy trucks
Piled high by the roadside
Hawked with peel neatly shaved
Sucked dry, turned inside out
For the last drops
Of trapped sunlight
posing as juice

That’s what I want
That dying day,
The sun distilled
Light as liquid
A mouthful of life
No, even better things
That can’t be named
But can be drunk

The second, interestingly enough, also has a food element in it, and is by Grace Nichols (available on the web, but taken from Poems on the underground, edited by Gerard Benson, Judith Chernaik and Cicely Herbert. 10th ed. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London. 2007.)

Like a beacon

In London
every now and then
I get this craving
for my mother’s food
I leave art galleries
in search of plantains
saltfish/sweet potatoes

I need this link

I need this touch
of home
swinging my bag
like a beacon
against the cold.