Six events in two weeks!

In typical Accra style the last couple of weeks have been horribly busy on the bookish front. Often there is a dearth of activities or events, and then suddenly – boom, one after another, to the extent that I hardly feel I am keeping up.

So six different bookish events in the period of two weeks: Programme for Nketsia book

3 book launches
1 book reading
1 book club gathering
and 1 meeting of librarians!

The book launches were for three rather different books, which interestingly enough, were all non-fiction.

Nana Kobina Nketsia V launched his large, and expensive (GH¢200 – which is a little under $100), volume entitled African culture in governance and development: the Ghana paradigm, at a ceremony which was long, and with speakers dominated by what I would nicely call, gentlemen of a certain generation. Almost everyone who spoke was over 60, with the exception of playwright Kobina Sekyi’s granddaughter, who got to give the vote of thanks. Ironically, given the criticisms of colonialism, the launch took place at the British Council! There were a good number of people who matter in attendance, including the Vice-President. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough money to buy a copy – but maybe I’ll get one for work at some later date?

Africa: A miner's canaryThe second book launch was for Africa: A miner’s canary into the 21st century, by Ivor Agyeman-Duah. I freely admit that I have known the author for many years, since he started his writing career as a journalist in Kumasi, so I do try to support any of his events. And I did buy a couple of copies of the book – one for work, and one for myself.

I was late for the last book launch – there was a work away day/retreat – but I have to admit that I was not too unhappy about this. Nana Awere Damoah’s latest book, I speak of Ghana, was launched at a I speak of Ghanalocal bookshop, Sytris, in the evening of the Farmers’ Day public holiday. The venue was packed, but I wondered why some of those present were actually there, as there were constant loud conversations going on at the back of the venue – to the extent that the MC conducting the auction had to actually ask people to keep quiet. And I don’t think any of the noise makers were book buyers! But I bought a copy of the book, and had the author autograph it, and look forward to reading some of Nana’s accounts of life in contemporary Ghana.

The book reading, by Malaka Grant, was another opportunity for some book buying, as she brought along some copies of her recently published book, The daughters of swallows. Malaka, who lives in the US, was full of energy and fun, and her audience at the Goethe Institut (part of the Writers Project of Ghana monthly events) responded with great glee. Ironically I suspect that most of those present knew The daughters of swallowsher because of her connection with the blog Adventures from , while yours truly was more familiar with her other somewhat more domestic blog Mind of Malaka.

The Accra Book Club gathering was, in contrast to the rest of the events, a bit of a fizzle. Only two of us showed up! Oh well…

GLA logoAnd finally there was the Ghana Library Association‘s 2013 Seminar and AGM which took place at the Balme Library. It’s an annual affair, and though this was a one-day event, it was good to see other colleagues, some of whom travel from far outside Accra. Plus this year there were not only a few speeches and presentations, but a breakout session which allowed members to speak their mind on selected library topics. And the AGM went smoothly, with hardly any acrimonious comments, which have on occasion characterized such occasions.

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Three book events coming up during week of 25 November

Next week there are three bookish events taking place in Accra, and even two of them take place on the same day!

The first is actually being advertised as a “public unveiling” – which is slightly strange term, at least when applied to a book.  I guess I would associate that more in connection with a tombstone, but then language does change.  This is for Nana Kobina Nketsia V’s African culture in governance and development.

The second is the launch of another book by Ivor Agyeman-Duah, which I look forward to, since I’ve known him, and tracked his progress for many years.  His book is titled Africa: A miner’s canary into the 21st century.

Interestingly the first two are both taking place at the British Council here in Accra.  Given that both these authors are rather well connected, I suspect the venue will be full.

And finally Malaka Grant, a blogger I follow – she blogs at Mind of Malaka – is reading from her recently published book, Daughters of Swallows.  I think this should be fun.

Selfishly I hope that there will be copies of the books available for purchase, and at a reasonable price!

 

Ama Ata Aidoo launches two books in Accra

I can’t talk much about the programme for the launch of Ama Ata Aidoo’s books which took place on Friday 23 March – her Essays in honour of Ama Ata Aidoo and Diplomatic pounds & other storiesbirthday [though not her 70th if I heard correctly] – because I am a little ashamed to admit that I was horribly late due to a combination of car issues plus parking.  But I was very glad to see that the venue – British Council Accra – was absolutely full, and that the Vice-President of Ghana, John Mahama, himself an author, was able to deliver his keynote address, even though he was due to travel that very evening!

Despite coming at the end of ceremony I was able to see a few friends and colleagues, including Ivor Agyeman-Duah of the Centre for Intellectual Renewal who organized the launch,  and buy the books. One is a collection of short stories, entitled Diplomatic pounds & other stories and the other is more academic as evidenced by the title Essays in honor of Ama Ata Aidoo at 70: a reader in African cultural studies.  Both are published by Ayebia Clarke who has a great reputation for publishing books on Ghana, and indeed on Africa

I must definitely buy a couple of copies for work.

I wasn’t able to get the author to autograph them, but I think there will be another opportunity  soon – as Ama Ata Aidoo is due to give some readings at the Goethe Institut as part of the Writers Project of Ghana on 28 March.

Not an opportunity to miss!