WORKS FROM GIRD WRITING CAMP 2016: “PLEASE DO TELL THEM” BY MWAMBA JAGEDO

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We are back from a brief hiatus with more works from Gird Writing Camp 2017. This week, we present a poem from Mwamba Jagedo who was at the poetry workshop facilitated by Prof. Kofi Anyidoho and Nana Nyarko Boateng. And now:

Please Do Tell Them
By Mwamba Jagedo

Tell those who wished my downfall
that I have awoken from yesterday’s slumber
that their devilish thoughts
couldn’t consume my hunch flesh
I am still standing

Yes, tell them
Those who vilified me in long sleeps
And sold me cheaply in towns
When the day hasn’t dawned for a chicken crow
That they have done well
For out of Egypt, came Joseph

Though the path I walk on is shaky
And silently do I doubt greatness a bit
But I have found solace in the Lord
He whom I put my faith in

Ancient as Abraham
Warrior and fearless as the Zulu
He will be my comforter
And lead me through these destructive trials

They may be populous
my foes may be countess as sand
like an army wanting to claw my bones
and smear shame on my blackness
but do tell them
that their backbiting won’t keep me from fighting
Do tell them
their backlash won’t stop me from forging forward
They are not my God
and they simply cannot wipe me off.
Please do tell them.

James.jpgAbout Mwamba Jagedo:

James Robert Myers writes under the penname Mwamba Jagedo which means “Builder’s Rock” in Swahili and Luo languages respectively. He is an Amazon author of two global anthologies, trained software engineer and founder of MwambaJagedo.com; which is a Tech StartUp. He believes in his nation that has failed to appreciate talents like him.

WORKS FROM GIRD WRITING CAMP 2016: “BABOON BLUES” BY NANA AKOSUA HANSON

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We bring you more featured work from participants of Gird Writing Camp 2016. Today, we have a short story from Nana Akosua Hanson. This work of fiction was written at the Fiction Workshop with Prof. Ama Ata Aidoo and Dr. Martin Egblewogbe.

BABOON BLUES

We bathed in the sun, near the glistening pool. It was a sunny, dusty afternoon in Mole National Park spent with the baboons, hogs and the over-promised elephants, which were the main attraction.

A bottle of chilled Star beer was at my elbow, winking at the sun from time to time and shedding tears unto the red and white chequered tablecloth. The Love of my Life lay with his head on my laps, lazily daydreaming, his eyes half closed in a dream behind his sunglasses. We were the only Ghanaians, and black people for that matter. There was a medley of British, Swiss, Dutch, and French skins, the harmonious cacophony of their different tongues hinted at a Tower of Babel. As I watched three French girls and a guy jump into the pool, chattering away in accents my Togolese French teacher in high school could only dream to have, I felt like I was in a page of a very old French storybook about the wealthy French aristocracy and their summer revels.

I took a sip of my refreshingly chilled beer, rolling it around on my tongue for a bit to squeeze out all its sweet juices before swallowing, and wondered at my boredom.

We had paid an arm and a leg, and then some to experience ‘a historical animal reserve like never before’ just to find that it was only a club for the holiday-ing expats who wished to discover ‘Africa’. I wondered at my place. I wondered at my role in this discovery of ‘Africa’. Was I also an interesting, ‘exotic’ specie to be observed and scrutinized? Was my holidaying African self which was currently covered in dust and the kisses of recent lovemaking another interesting sideshow? From the poor naked African children, to the holidaying, dusty African. I heard somewhere that tours were running in a nearby village, ‘to give you a taste of how the locals live’. What role would I be playing, my Ghanaian self walking through a Ghanaian village square with a camera, taking a tour into people’s lives for an exorbitant price of $80? Am I the monkey in the cage observing being observed? Or am I the pet monkey out of the cage observing my observed caged brothers and sisters.

‘To give you a taste of how the locals live’.

A group of beautiful half-naked girls danced into the village square, as is routine with the visitation of so many white faces and strange tongues that spoke big pockets, and treated us with a vigorous shaking of arms and feet and waists and quite a lot of yodelling. For $80 dollars per person it had to be the perfect pitch and nothing less. The money was given to the development of the village that saw no development because, it had to remain a village to make more money out of these tourists. One of those dusty crooks, an inhabitant too, with crooked teeth, eager to sell his sister for the quick buck, grinned at me and said, ‘We can show you more things, madam, so many, many more things. The villagers life happy.’

What was my role in this stream of consciousness a mystery writer writes lazily in the sky? What was the spectacle? Was I the spectacle? Were they the spectacle? Two dark Ghanaians mottled the cream white background of ‘Africa discoverers’.  Was I the dusty tourist looking to find a much more intriguing story than myself?  Or was I the monkey who mistook herself for a tourist and then toured with tourists too benevolent to tell me my truth to my face? Or was I the monkey who was the sideshow and knew she was the sideshow?

I gulped down the contents of my glass and poured a refill. Droplets of water dripped onto the Love of my Life’s eyebrows but he made no move. He was asleep now. Lucky him.

A big baboon skulked by, his shiny red buttocks hanging in the air with a foolhardy pride. Did baboons feel the silliest of all the primates having their innards hung out for all to see? I think not. They had this conviction with their buttocks, as though telling you ‘that’s the way it should be. Hang that ass for all to see. How silly you are to hide it in clothes’. And silly I did feel sometimes. Maybe I should title my next blog piece ‘Baboon Blues’ and I would question what gave me the conviction that I was a higher class of animal than the baboon.

I watched the baboon intently as it walked towards a group of baboons on the outskirts of the pool area, who in turn watched us intently – the human baboons with their buttocks in swimming trunks. And I wondered again, what the true spectacle was, who the true spectacle was. The humans or the baboon? The Ghanaians or the holidaying expats? The villagers or the tourists?

By the way, where were those damned elephants they promised?

 

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AKOSUA’S BIO: Nana Akosua Hanson is a writer, an actress and an activist who believes in the power of art and artistic expression in changing the world.

Ten Exceptional Non-Fiction Writers from Ghana you should read

 

Two weeks ago, Gird Centre brought you a list of ten contemporary fiction writers. Through their creativity and brilliance, they have broadened literary spaces, providing variety and quality. Today, we bring you another list of contemporary Ghanaian writers of non-fiction. We believe their contributions to telling the experiences of society, has played an important role in quickening the collective consciousness of Ghanaians. We hope you find a wonderful read from the works of any of the writers below:

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  1. Malaka Grant– Malaka Grant is a Ghanaian-American writer. Rarely does any issue of social relevance escape her notice, especially in relation to gender, African identity, motherhood and sexuality. Malaka gets you to look at issues from several angles; she gives the account people would rather sweep under the rugs. She makes you feel, and laugh, and reject with disgust the injustices that have long been accepted by the Ghanaian as ‘culture’. Apart from non-fiction, Malaka writes fiction and children’s stories. She has five books to her credit, namely, Madness and Tea, Lover of Her Sole, Daughters of Swallows, Yaa Traps Death in a Basket and Sally & The Butterfly. You can read some of her work on her blog, https://mindofmalaka.com.

 

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  1. Nana Oforiatta Ayim– Nana Oforiatta Ayim is a writer as well as an art historian and a filmmaker. After living abroad for a decade, Nana returned to Ghana with the vision of contributing to an ardent reinvention of the narrative of and about Africa. Her dream is to seek the untold, undocumented stories and retell it. Nana has written extensively on contemporary African arts while facilitating numerous research and exhibition projects internationally. In 2012, Nana Oforiatta Ayim founded a cultural research platform known as ANO with the aim of helping artists “at the early stage of their career to find a foothold within the art world here [in Ghana] and also internationally so they don’t feel like they have to go and live in London or Paris or New York in order to be artists.” Nana Oforiatta Ayim’s writing has appeared in publications such as The National Geographic, The Statesman, The Dubliner and Time Out. Her first novel will be published in 2017.

 

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  1. Nana Awere Damoah– Nana Awere Damoah is a multi-talented writer. Nana believes in creating his own style anytime he writes. In his non-fiction writing, Nana introduces a diversity of style such poetry, storytelling and satire. Nana’s works have been published in the Legon Business Journal, Sentinel Nigeria Magazine and African Roar which is published by StoryTime. Some of Nana Awere Damoah’s works of non-fiction include I Speak of Ghana (2013), Through the Gates of Thought (2010) and Excursions in my Mind (2008). In 2015, Nana released Sebetically Speaking; a collection of humorous and satirical articles, focused mainly on socio-political happenings in Ghana. Nana keeps a personal blogs as well. You can visit any of his blog to find out what Nana has been cooking even as this list was being  compiled https://nanaaweredamoah.wordpress.com or http://nanadamoah.com

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  1. Nana Darkoa Sakyiamah– Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah is a writer and blogger who focuses on stories that explore issues around the diverse sexualities of African women. She is the curator of ‘Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women’, a highly acclaimed and widely read blog on African women and sexuality. Nana started this blog with Malaka Grant. Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women’ is a safe space for African women to talk about sex and sexuality. Nana Darkoa has written several pieces for This is Africa and The Guardian. Visit her blog at http://adventuresfrom.com

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  2. Richard Akita-Richard Akita is an entrepreneur and life coach. He is passionate about seeing people serve their communities as best as they can; he believes that the gifts that people have can be maximised through constant use, under the right conditions of mentorship and encouragement. Richard is a teacher, motivational speaker and mentor. Some of his works include Power of One: One Idea, One Decision, One Action; Cheat on Fear; Every Day in Love: Inspirational Love Expressions & Insightful Quotes.

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  1. Nana Ama Agyeman Asante- Nana Ama Agyeman Asante is a journalist and a writer. She is currently a co-host of the Citi Breakfast Show on Citi FM, an Accra based radio station. Nana Ama keeps a personal blog on https://nnyamewaa.com .From politics through to gender and sexuality, Nana Ama is unafraid to tackle what is controversial. The candour and boldness of her writing stands out; she calls it as it is. You can catch up with Nana Ama on her weekly podcast, Radio Unfiltered.  Radio Unfiltered explores all national conversations – politics, policy, economy, minority rights and other issues through the lens of women. Join the discussions here:  https://soundcloud.com/radio_unfiltered
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  2. Ebenezer Amankwah– Ebenezer Amankwah is the author of Ahead of the Game: Afare Donkor and Ghana’s Financial Renaissance. According to Ebenezer, the story was inspired by the shocking resolutions which the founder of CAL Bank, Afare Donkor, made at an Emergency General Meeting (EGM) of the bank in 2008. The book chronicles a series of actions and reactions including the removal of the managing director of the bank, Frank Brako and a block trade on the Stock Exchange. Ebenezer has worked as a journalist at Citi FM; he previously worked as Corporate Affairs Manager at Standard Chartered Bank and is currently the Corporate Communications Manager at Vodafone Ghana. Ebenezer’s first book Ahead of the Game: Afare Donkor and Ghana’s Financial Renaissance, was launched in 2015.

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  1. Kuukua Dzigbordi Yomekpe– Kukua Dzigbordi Yomekpe characterizes herself as a memoirist, essayist, and writer of social commentary. Kuukua is the author of several essays and prose poems. Some of her essays have been anthologized in: African Women Writing Resistance (UW Press), Becoming Bi: Bisexual Voices from Around the World (BRC), and Inside Your Ear (Oakland Public Library Press). Her essay, The Audacity to Remain Single: Single Black Women in the Black Church, won the Marcella Althaus-Reid Award for best “Queer Essay,” and is anthologized in Queer Religion II (Praeger Publishers). Her piece of creative non-fiction, “Where is Your Husband: Single African Women in the Diaspora and the Exploration/Expression of Sexuality was published in May 2015. She has participated in the Voices of Our Nation residency at the University of California, Berkeley. Kuukua keeps a private blog, The Musings of An African Woman. You can visit her at https://ewurabasempe.wordpress.com

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  1. Kofi Akpabli– is a journalist whose major works span tourism, culture and the environment. Kofi doesn’t only write non-fiction; his historic play The Prince and The Slave won the National Play writing contest in 1991. In addition to a collection of short stories and poem, some of Kofi’s books include Harmattan – a Cultural Profile of Northern Ghana; Romancing Ghanaland: the Beauty of Ten Regions; A Sense of Savannah – Tales of a Friendly Walk through Northern Ghana and Tickling the Ghanaian – Encounters with Contemporary Culture. He writes a travel column Going Places with Kofi Akpabli in The Mirror newspaper, which is published weekly in Accra. Kofi’s dedication to his work has not gone unnoticed. In June 2011 in South Africa, Kofi Akpabli was voted CNN Multichoice African Journalist for Arts and Culture. In Uganda the previous year, he had won the same category, making him the only African to have won this award back-to-back. In August 2010 Kofi also won Ghana Journalists Association’s Best Reporter for Arts, Tourism and Entertainment. Last but not least, Kofi Akpabli’s latest work has been published in a new Commonwealth Non-Fiction Anthology launched in the UK in May 2016.

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  1. Kobina Ankomah Graham– Kobby Graham is a lecturer at Ashesi University; he is a writer, blogger, DJ and editor who has a soft spot for modern African culture. His blog https://kobbygraham.com is mainly dedicated to championing the arts and contemporary culture. Kobby has written a host of articles that covers a wide range of topics. He doesn’t hesitate to make-up his words (one wonders where he got fauxogamy from) as a way of tearing down the stiff barriers in the English language that restricts the full expression of contemporary Ghanaian experiences. Kobby believes art and culture help society “dream itself out of its problems” with fresher ideas, and from a more buoyant, inclusive perspective. If I were starting a project in film or music, I will pray the gods that Kobby mentions my project on his blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Mind II

Demonstration.
The leashed goat bleats.
Tweets
inundate the timeline.
Annual flooding of the streets;

The mere fact that history
repeats itself. . .

History
repletes it’s shelves with books
yet to be written by enthusiastic writers
having taken on a different occupation.

Job application
Unemployment. Self-employed. Entrepreneur.
Like if I take that money start that business.
Business plan.
You dey wedge Obama make he come talk say “YWC” – Yes We Can.

But anytime people dey give you thumbs up
you for know long time say
yes you can!

Voter’s registration.
The Ballot boxes. But how many people dey vote for the right reason sef?

Secof fight go fi pai for there,
you no go go there go vote saf.
Filled with so much trepitdation.

And so it’s now become a case
of sore thumbs and democracy —
you no dey wan vote saf.

Or is it now a gamble of thumbs?
Which government go be less corrupt
so say you go vote give that one;

I mean,
this be some b-s thinking,
anagram of this
still stinking,
and so I go like talk say,
What . . . the . . . *sighs*

Consternation.
You be the Ghanaian,
you be the nation.

The after party be the minority
in parliament’s internal politics.

The primaries no be secondary matter
for this congress of democracy
bringing division in PP’s offices.

So e check like
the losing parties
always be the decepticons,
as the sworn in presido
be the Opitmus….Prime

Prime news. Headlines.

The people’s demonstration
Voters and non-voters frustrations
Entrepreneurs and Job Aplications
Multiparty or the people’s nation?

Right now dier, the way e dey go
You knor know if you for rep the black
or the gold.

Secof this nation be so much green
with passionate youth
wey dema eye red
but I dey wan ask one question,
“Who wey e dey here
go fi give all
for the red?”

Public Mind. The End.

 

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Daniel Kojo Appiah.
Daniel Kojo Appiah (also known as O’Zionn) is a literary enthusiast and a lexivist. He’s been writing poetry since 2004 and has been performing poetry for 5 years now. He spends his time promoting literary events and projects online.You can follow him on twitter O’Zionn.

TEN CONTEMPORARY GHANAIAN FICTION WRITERS YOU SHOULD HAVE READ BY NOW

In a fair world, some marvelously talented contemporary Ghanaian writers ought to be at the top of the bestseller list not only in Africa, but across the globe. Africa’s literary scene is evolving as newer voices are finding and creating their niche besides already established writers like Soyinka, Armah, Head, Nwapa and Aidoo, to name only but a few.

Gird Center brings you a list of ten contemporary Ghanaian writers whose works you should have read by now. Are you looking for memorable stories and books to read? You can find them by Ghanaian authors who write with untold brilliance and vibrancy. The one thing you cannot do is to repeat the cliché that there aren’t enough Ghanaian writers, or books. We hope you find something you like from the writers listed below.

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Martin Egblewogble: Martin Egblewogble is one of the finest of Ghana’s new generation of writers.  He is the author a collection of short stories, “Mr. Happy and The Hammer of God”. Martin also is the co-founder and a Director of the Writers Project of Ghana. “The stories in Martin Egblewogbe’s Mr Happy And The Hammer Of God are sly and ingenious. Readers will discover a fresh and new voice in this powerful collection of stories,” says Laban Carrick Hill, the 2004 US National Book Award Finalist and author of HARLEM STOMP! In The Gonjon Pin, the titular story for The Caine Prize Anthology for African Writing 2014, Martin captures the reader’s attention with his way with words and excellent sense of humour. Martin is able get into reader’s mind. His exploration of the psyche and the self will cause you to doubt all you ever believed, and to believe all you ever doubted.

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Yaa Gyasi– Yaa Gyasi’s debut novel, “Homegoing”, sold for at least $1 million; it was informed by her own journey as a Ghanaian-American. In July 2016, “Homegoing” made the list for the 2016 Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Here are a few quotes from reviews of Yaa Gyasi’s “Homegoing”.

“Homegoing will break your heart over and over…and leave you optimistic and in awe,” Nichole Solga McCown in the American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next List.

“Finished Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing  yesterday. Thought it was a monster when I started. Felt it was a monster when I was done.” Ta-Nehisi Coates National Book Award-winner on race in the U.S., “Between the World and Me,”

Now who wouldn’t want to read a book that is capable of breaking one’s heart?
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Franka Maria Andoh– Franka is a multifaceted artist; she is an entrepreneur, editor, writer and the owner of a popular coffee shop, Cuppa Cappuccino in Accra. Though her name isn’t as well-known as it deserves, Franka has gained quite a recognition for her work. She was selected to partake in the British Council’s Crossing Borders program for African writers.  Additionally, her short story “Mansa” has been published in the Caine Prize for African Writing 2009 edition.  In 2011, her two children’s stories “Koku the Cockerel” and “Dokono the Donkey” were well received both locally and abroad.  Franka’s collection of short stories, “I Have Time and Other Stories” was published 2014. Franka is the founder and Editor in Chief of an annual magazine for women entrepreneurs called AWE.
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Mamle Kabu– Mamle Kabu is a Ghanaian writer of German descent.  Her stories have been published in several anthologies and magazines. In 2009, her short story “The End of Skill” was shortlisted for the 2009 Caine Prize. Her other works “Human Mathematics” and “Story of Faith” have been anthologized across Africa, the U.S. and the UK.  She is an associate director of the Writers Project of Ghana. Mamle is the author of the young adult novel “The Kaya-Girl” (2012); she is currently working on her first novel.

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Mawuli Adjei- Mawuli Adjei is a British Chevening Fellow. Currently, he is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of English, University of Ghana, Legon, where he teaches African Literature, Creative Writing, and other courses. Mawuli has four publications to his credit: the novels “The Jewel of Kabibi”, “The Witch Of Lagbati” “Taboo” and the poetry collection Testament of the Seasons. He is currently working on a third novel, “Unchained”.

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Nana Nyarko Boateng– Nana Nyarko Boateng is a Writer, a Poet and an Editor. She is also a hermit extraordinaire who hates to talk about her work. Yet, Nana is madly passionate about the cause of literature and the arts. She set up Gird Center, a Writing, Editorial, and Training Services Company based in Accra to support writing and writers. In 2012, her short story “Small Poles” appeared in “Summoning The Rain,” a Femrite Anthology.  You can also read her short story “Swallowing Ice” in the 2015 Caine prize for African Writing anthology, Lukaska Punk.  Nana’s unique ability to discomfort the reader in the realities she unveils in fiction is gripping.

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Elizabeth Irene Baitie– Elizabeth Irene Baitie is a true definition of an award-winning writer. Elizabeth has won the Burt Award twice; in 2009 for her novel “The Twelfth Heart” and in 2012 for The “Dorm Challenge.” In 2002, her novel, “Lea’s Christma”, was short-listed for the Macmillan Writers Prize for Africa (Senior readers). Four years later, her story, “A Saint in Brown Sandals”, won the Macmillan Prize for Africa (Junior readers). She is a clinical biochemist and runs a medical laboratory practice in Adabraka, Accra.

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Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond– Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond is the author of “Powder Necklace”, which Publishers Weekly called “a winning debut”. She was shortlisted for a 2014 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship. She has contributed commentary on everything from Michelle Obama’s role in the US President’s campaign to Nelson Mandela’s legacy on various Media Outlets. She is currently at work on her next novel. Keep up with Nana Brew-Hammond on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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Sharlene Apples-Ghanaian-born, Sharlene Apples is an energy consultant, social-political commentator, makeup artist and writer who lives in London. Sharlene, author of “TOWGA-The One Who Got Away” in her debut erotica novel, tells a story the Ghanaian society would like to deny and pretend doesn’t exist. The protagonist of TOWGA is unafraid of her sexuality and proudly identifies as bi-sexual. We love Sharlene, if not for anything, for her bravery.

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Christine Botchway – Christine Botchway is of Ghanaian and West Indian ancestry. A dentist by profession, Christine writes poetry, plays and songs in her spare time. Her first novel, Spears Down, one of the finest yet widely unknown African novels, was published by Macmillan Pacesetters in 1988. Other books by Christine Botchway are “Where Children Play”, “The African Teapot”,  “The Dream Called September”, “The Jasmine Candle”and “Friends Of The Forest”.

Of Warriors Who Once Upon a Time, Came Upon a Witch

 

akuamoahThey had been travelling for days after a loosing war; had seen brothers slashed to pieces by the enemies sword, impaled on sticks for vultures to devour, cowards! They had been chased out, like dogs from the battlefront.

And so they walked in silence, hungry but too ashamed to ask for food, thirsty, but no one dared speak, walking, limping in pain, the ache of the soles of their feet,

when the witch came upon them.

Gentlemen, warriors, the clouds turned dark as the night in a rush, it thundered and flashed, the warriors came to a halt.

And she sat there, under the oak tree with a smile, Hair gray as the ash of firewood after ananse has gone to sleep, skin as wrinkled as the cracks on a harmattan floor, a cloth draped around her frame, she turned and she spoke, gentlemen, warriors, her voice creaked, raspy, it shook.

You have lost your battle, I see you forlorn at the shame, I make you a preposition, should you be willing to bargain. Take you to the past, I will order time in reverse, you will know what you did not, you will be stronger in your front.

The warriors were quick to decide, they agreed but at a cost, no matter the outcome of the battle they would give her one of them. Atoanika the brave was quick to offer himself, brothers let her take me, for the good of the clan, there was murmuring but in the end they knew, they were all cowards, it was he who had only run when pulled away. Atoanika was the bravest of heart.

Time swirled, the wind blew back, they found themselves whisked away only to be back with their brothers in a chant, marching on to a battle which they had not so long ago just lost.

And so it came that there was the clinging of swords and the racing of hearts, the battle was won but something had gone amiss, something had happened that no one of them could have foreseen; Atoanika had fallen in battle, Atoanika was dead.

The warriors went on as they had before, only a few of them knowing what lay ahead beneath the oak. There were loud chants, dancing and merry making, closer and closer they approached their joint promise that only a few of had actually made.

Those who knew stayed behind in silence, afraid of what was to come. Soon they were upon her, the old witch sat still under the tree.

Gentlemen, warriors, the clouds turned dark as the night in a rush, it thundered and flashed, the warriors came to a halt.

A promise was made me not too long ago, I see you celebrate, where is Atoanika my love? I long for his embrace, as you are victorious he is mine, Let him come to me, let him come to me now.

She turned her head, a knowing smile on her face….

Now in times of old, when men could speak with beasts, when a devils bargain was set it came at but one cost, to deliver on the promise made while in need. It was that you pay up or Sasabonsam Kraman, hounds of the king of demons came to collect, your soul, captured, dragged to the abyss.

And while they stood, the old witch began to laugh, and then the original who knew jumped to bush, running, screaming, pleading for their lives. The snarls of canines rang clear into the night.

listen and you could hear teeth sinking into flesh.The devils bargain had been met.

Sansa Kroma
Ne na awuo
ɔkye kye nkokɔmba
ɔse ɔnnkɔ ye edwuma
Ne na awuo
ɔkye kye nkokɔmba

 

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Alvin Akuamuah is a writer who likes to jab at intuition.He writes with all of his feelings, and invokes the ghost of his grandfather. You can follow him on Twitter @Alvin_wal_crawl. You can also visit his blog:  https://anansesemsesewu.wordpress.com for more of his work.

“HEREIN, THEREBY”— A DEPARTURE FROM GRAVITAS IN BUSINESS WRITING

Black-businesswomanSome fifty years ago, business writing was characterized by formality and absolute seriousness. One could not write anyhow because sloppiness was an indication to your business associates that you were not ready to be treated with seriousness. The attitude of attaching a high level of seriousness to one’s writing is what is known as gravitas. Gravitas is a noun which means “high seriousness, as in a person’s bearing or the treatment of a subject; seriousness of conduct, bearing, speech, temperament,” etc.

In recent times, gravitas in business writing has witnessed a drastic change. As columnist Rob Walker states, the best way to show potential employers, associates, and clients that you mean business is to show them that you do not take yourself too seriously. People want to see the cool side of you; they do not want a prissy, uptight employee.

This shift in corporate writing should excite a lot of people, shouldn’t it? Who wants to write like a 20th-century British gentleman, after all? But hold on to your excitement. While TV shows, social media, and TV commercials may make fun of gravitas, jobseekers, young entrepreneurs, and public speakers who wish to go get ahead in the business world will master a form of Standard English and know when to use it. Some employers, as well as other business associates, believe that a poor grasp of grammar can translate to carelessness in other areas.

The key is to strike a careful balance between gravitas and flexibility. While our next post takes a closer look at ways to strike this balance, remember this:

You want to connect with your reader; you don’t  want to sound serious just for the sake of sounding serious. Effective writing is all about putting your readers first. Think about their interests and use language that they are more likely to connect with.

Public Book Reading with Ghanaian Author, Ebenezer Amankwah

The Writers Project of Ghana and Goethe Institute for their monthly public book reading series present a public book reading by Ghanaian author, Ebenezer Amankwah.

The date is Wednesday, 29th June, 2016 at Goethe Institute, 30 Kakramadu Close, East Cantoments, Accra. The time is 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Admittance is free.

Ebenezer Amankwah is the author of the book, Ahead of the Game: Afari Donkoh and Ghana’s financial Renaissance (2015)

This is a moment to meet and interact with the author. Autographed copies of books will be on sale.

You may follow Writers Project on Twitter (@writersPG) for further details and updates or visit their website: Writers Project of Ghana

THIS MONTH ON QUOTE WITH GIRD – MR HAPPY AND THE HAMMER OF GOD & OTHER STORIES

Welcome to Quote With Gird. During the month of May we collected and shared some memorable quotes from the book Mr Happy and the Hammer of God & Other Stories by Ghanaian writer, Martin Egblewogbe.

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“Mr Happy and the Hammer of God & Other Stories” by Martin Egblewogbe [Publisher: Ayebia Clarke Publishing
Here, we have compiled a few of the quotes for you. You may have missed out on the quotes on either our Facebook page,  Gird Center or on our Twitter feed, @GirdCenterGH, or maybe you did see them and would want to read them again. We hope you find them interesting and worthy of inspiration or discussion

1. “A man walked the path he did because of a million sources of coercion – overt, covert – life was the great manipulator.”

2. “He could see that she could see that he didn’t want to talk. This is where honest people say goodbye.

3. “Yet when he stopped speaking to people they considered it a hostile act, but how could keeping your peace be a hostile act.”

4. “Oh the misery technology can bring: on the glowing screen it is worse than I could ever have imagined

5. “Dervi was not convinced by Bubu’s philosophizing. She came from a rich family and could afford to study anthropology and be detached […] For him to be ‘detached’ meant to ‘starve’. He had to go to the field and work.

6. “His applications were rejected so many times that he slowly lost faith in his Bachelor’s degree. However, his fortunes turned when he concluded that the orthodox means of seeking a job would not help.

7. “Long ago he had heard someone say that Psychology was the Science of Rescue. But rescue from what exactly?

8. “Dervi knew that God had not died. Nietzsche had written that; and Nietzsche rather had died.”

9. “The lexical accuracy of the word ‘mistakecould be questioned. Great lies are often hidden in misnomners.”

10. “His fingers passed lightly over the Health warning. Cigarette smoke is bad for you but good for economy.

Look out for the book to quote from for the month of June via @GirdCenterGH or Gird Center

Quote with Gird is a Gird Center project that seeks to present to our audience notable African writers through sharing quotes from their books.

You may purchase Mr Happy and the Hammer of God & Other Stories by checking with any of the bookshops near you or you can get copies by checking with Ehanom Books via the Twitter handle: @EhanomBooks or on Storefoundry: ehanombooks.storefoundry.com

MEET AYI KWEI ARMAH THIS THURSDAY AT LEGON

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The Morehouse  College, Atlanta, in the United States of America, will on the 17th of March, 2016, stream a live conversation with renowned writer Ayi Kwei Armah. The event will also link-in additional audiences in Senegal and remote sites, beginning with the University of Ghana, Legon and the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

The conversation is titled A Global Conversation: The Healers by Ayi Kwei Armah. Healing Africa, Healing African America. It  will be facilitated by  John Silvanus Wilson, the President of Morehouse College.

In a one-on-one dialogue with   Ayi Kwei Armah, streamed live from his home in Senegal and projected on the big screen for a live Morehouse audience, Dr.Wilson will explore with Mr. Armah themes from The Healers, and his  writings since the publication of that book.  The Global Conversation is aimed at discussing the perception that higher education is failing in its mission to prepare American, African American and African youth for life. The discussion will center around  fostering a conscious sense of identity in the youth for success .

Date: 17th March, 2016

Venue: Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Nketia Conference Hall

Time: 2:30pm GMT

ABOUT THE AUTHOR.

Ayi Kwei Armah is a contemporary Ghanaian novelist who, for a period of more than four decades, has stayed vocal and consistent against Western education and its legacy in the continent of Africa. His debut novel, The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born (1968), has established him as a major African writer along with Chinua Achebe, Wọlé Sọyínká and Ngũgi ̃ Wa Thiong’o. Armah pays a special attention to the ways in which intellectual characters (not common individuals) conceive of themselves as Africans. For Armah, an intellectual renaissance in Africa cannot be generated unless authentic African intellectuals combat the Eurocentric and potentially destructive reflexes that shape and define Neo-colonial schools.