A BIG literary week in Accra!

51hg9fpz0gL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_This is definitely going to be a heavy literary week in Accra, and when I first realized what the schedule would be, I wondered, on Twitter, whether I should clone myself!

This is definitely going to require a bit of juggling.

It started off with Writers Project of Ghana‘s Sunday evening radio show on CitiFM… with Chibundu Onuzu and Elizabeth-Irene Baitie.

Tuesday 16 July:  Taiye Selasi is doing a reading of her book, Ghana must go, at Taverna Tropicana in Nima.  There will also be music, DJ Kobby Graham.  Time:  from 8pm.  I would have liked to go but I think I might give this one a miss, as I do have to go to work the next morning.  Plus I have another commitment that evening…

Wednesday 17 July:  two events on the same day!   Chibundu Onuzu and Emmanuel Iduma will be reading at the WEB DuBois Center in Accra, from 6pm.  And, Taiye  Selasi is officially doing her Ghana launch of Ghana must go at Villa Monticello at 7pm [I think I will go to this one.]  I have a copy of her book, which I must start reading.  If there are copies for sale, then maybe I will buy some for work?

Friday 19 July:  Chibundu Onuzu and Martin Egblewogbe are doing readings, organized by Nii Ayikwei Parkes, at Sytris [I think I will go to this].  Onuzu’s book, The spider king’s daughter, is definitely on my wish list!

Thanks to fellow blogger, Creative Writing Ghana, for a composite post on some of these events.


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.


A book launch and two readings – a busy two weeks in Accra

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 Selasiwho 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!

Two recent literary events in Accra

Two literary events during this past week, and they took place back to back – on the 18th and 19th of January.

The first I have known about for quite some time, as it involved a senior colleague at work. The second was totally unexpected – and I literally had less than three hours notice [admittedly partly my fault]!  The first was a book launch, the second wetted my appetite for a forthcoming work.  Again the first was fairly formal – with speakers on a podium and a high table, while the other was outside, around an alluring blue swimming pool which pulled my thoughts towards a dip, even if it was only my feet!  The first was academic though impinging on policy and the Chairman did not mince words; the second was supposedly non-political – at least in the contemporary sense – though the readings from the forthcoming book written by the Vice-President of Ghana referred more to the politics of the 1970s, while blended in with recollections of growing up in the northern town of Tamale. And as I write, I realise that both books have children on their covers!

Publisher's blurb

The first book, Children’s rights in Ghana: reality or rhetoric, is edited by three academics, one of whom, Nana Apt is Dean of Academics at Ashesi University College where I work. I had already seen a hard copy version of the book, which was published in the US. This was a paperback edition, specifically meant for the Ghanaian market published by a UK based company called Mot Juste. I have to admit I was especially impressed by the Chairman, Ken Attafuah, who did not hesitate to be straightforward, yet picked up some of the essentials of each person who played a role in the event.

The second event was readings by various well-known Ghanaian writers, in honour of Bloomsbury (USA) senior editor, Nancy Miller, who was in Ghana for a brief visit, working with the Vice-President of Ghana who is publishing his memoirs – My first coup d’etat and other true stories from the lost decades of Africa. Several of the readings were amusing – mainly for their descriptions of events which many of us know or have experienced. The highlight was of course quite a long reading by John Dramani Mahama of an excerpt from his forthcoming book – he chose a  tale of first teenage love interspersed with how the Acheampong regime impinged on his own family.

A couple of colleagues have written about the event, including Nana Awere Damoah who was also present (see his blog with the same content on Facebook.)  Nana Fredua-Agyeman also commented on writing by heads of state and its relative scarcity here in Ghana.

I safely say that many of us are very much looking forward to Mahama’s book actually arriving here in Ghana.